July 25, 2016
Nowhere is that more true than in our visits to various websites. We applaud a website that performs like an elite athlete; we abhor one that plods along like an old plowhorse. Here are 3 simple tips for making your website a winner.
Slow is deadly
Set the timer on your smartphone and see how long it takes for your website to load. If it’s more than 3 seconds–the maximum amount of time most users give a site to load before they move on– it’s time to streamline. You can check your website for various technical problems using free website optimization tools and you (and your tech department) can discuss some simple changes that will enhance loading speed. For example, there are techniques that allow file sizes to be reduced without degrading the quality of photos, videos and other visuals and various plug-ins to simplify processes and take some of the burden off your browser.
Don’t make them send a search party
Website users are not patient people. If you want to make them crazy in a hurry, just
bury pertinent information like your company’s phone number and email address. You laugh, but sadly, a lot of companies, especially small businesses, do just that. When a digital research firm looked 1 million U.S. small business websites a few years ago, it found that about 60 percent didn’t have a phone number on the home pages and 75 percent didn’t bother to include an email link on the home page. Combine that with the fact that 55 percent of users leave a website within 15 seconds of landing, and you can see how a lot of contact with potential customers is lost.
Make contact information easy to find on the landing page and then repeat it in several places throughout the site–the About or Contact Us pages, for sure. Some companies put the information on every page, often in a bottom corner.
Also, because people spend at least 10 percent of their time on Google, creating a Google My Business page will help. Google offers instructions on how to do so, but we can answer any questions.
Keep it as simple as possible
From the amount of text on a page to the overall design, keep your website short, sweet and simple. Website users want to grab what they need and move on. Simplicity is especially key if your website is used for e-commerce. Design the simplest order form and system that you can come up with, but before you put it into use, test it. Chances are good that you’ll be able to simplify it even more, using the feedback you get from testers.