Imagine you are looking for a business to help you with a specific problem. You do your research, narrow it down to two possible choices, and decide to visit their offices before making your decision.
The first office is very nice and clean, with friendly staff who anticipate your needs and get you the information you need quickly. You leave feeling happy, informed, and appreciated.
You move on to the next business, but things go very differently. You have a hard time finding their offices, and when you finally do, their building is slightly run down, their products are outdated, and their customer service is slow and leaves you with more questions than they answer.
Which business would you choose and recommend to your friends?
Your website is your virtual office, and nobody wants a dirty office with bad service. Your visitors want to find your website easily, while being informed, engaged, and appreciated throughout their experience. Your website must be easy to navigate, simple to use, and adapt responsively from 4K desktops down to mobile devices.
You want visitors to return to your site often and share your content with their networks, so make sure they have good things to say. Your homepage should showcase the best you have to offer, as well as any current news, new content, discounts, or promotions. Your homepage should engage with a wide audience and make them want to see more, while driving them to helpful content. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert into leads and paying customers, and the easier your site structure is to follow, the deeper your visitors can engage with your content.
This guide will take you through 9 easy steps to evaluate the effectiveness of your website and walk you through the process. It will help you expose any potential issues with your current website and give you the tools necessary to start tackling them head on.
This process should not be very time-consuming. It will, however, help you make the most of your website. While going through this guide, make sure to take plenty of notes about your review, so you can easily reference them in the future. You can also use a website such as DesignRush for further vetting of potential agencies, such as on their Boston Web Design Companies page.
Step 1 – What Draws Attention Most?
The first step is to determine what will attract your visitor’s attention. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitor. Navigate through your website and determine what the first things that grab your attention are. Now, ask yourself: Is your website appealing to look at? Is it easy to navigate as a brand-new visitor? With more demands on our time and shorter attention spans, most people will only give your site a few seconds to make a first impression before deciding whether you can help them or if they need to look elsewhere.
That makes it crucial for your homepage to grab the attention of and engage with your visitor immediately. If it takes more than a few seconds to focus on any one piece, then your website probably has a confusing interface or design which is not guiding your visitors forward. The first thing a visitor notices about your homepage should be something which buys you more of their time.
Step 2 – Is It Obvious What Your Website Is About?
It’s not enough to simply inspire people to stay on your website. You also have to make sure your site is sending the right message. People should also know what your website is about within the crucial first few seconds. If they are coming from search engines, it is important that your content is relevant to their search queries. If it doesn’t, your bounce rate will increase greatly, and you will end up with visitors you cannot convert. This makes it essential to target the right keywords with both your content and your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.
As a business selling a particular product or service, or attempting to gather more leads, you should make your purpose and mission clear from the very start. When evaluating your homepage, landing pages, and deeper content, determine whether or not there are distractions which are reducing the impact of your message.
Step 3 – Is the Most Important Information Easily Accessible?
To keep your visitors happy and engaged, you need to ensure the experience is great for all users, both mobile and web. Your hook should be featured immediately, so that users want to scroll and engage with the rest of your page.
If you are trying to make sales or generate more leads, you need to show value to your visitors and help guide them as soon as they land on your page. You want to ensure you are leading your visitors to take further action, while making sure your site displays beautifully and responsively for everyone.
Step 4 – Are the Benefits of Your Product or Service Easily Visible?
Every day, millions of people use the internet to seek help, entertainment, and knowledge. When marketing your business online, your job is to show your visitors how your product, service, or company can bring value and benefit them directly. You don’t want to simply list features and talk about how amazing your company and products are. Your visitors need to see the value of what you are offering. This piece should be easily seen with minimal scrolling, while being highlighted and as obvious as possible. The more excited your visitors are about the value of what you offer, the more interested they will be in all the features and in sharing your content.
Step 5 – Do Your Calls-to-Action Stand Out?
Every great website needs great calls-to-action to guide your visitors. Even when you have great content, you want them to clearly see their next steps. Your calls-to-action should align with the content on a given page to avoid frustrating your users. Keep your CTA’s short, simple, and to the point, while avoiding any unnecessary fluff and passive voices. Choose your typography and colors carefully to make them stand out to your visitors.
Step 6 – Is Your Website Aesthetically Pleasing?
Have you ever gone on a website and instantly loved or hated it? What about it appealed to you? What about it didn’t you like? Whether your website is aesthetically pleasing is entirely a matter of personal opinion. However, there are ways to make your website as appealing as possible to the general public. It’s important to make sure your website’s look and feel suits the industry and the typical tastes of your target audiences. If you’re unsure of what’s suitable in terms of design, look at successful competitors and explore what they are doing well. Ultimately, you want to find your own unique style that stays within the mainstream, without duplicating the style of someone else. Take the time to choose your themes and content carefully to appeal to the right users for your business.
Step 7 – Is Your Content Easy to Read?
One of the most important elements of modern web design is typography, especially since designers are no longer restricted to a very small selection of Web-safe fonts. With that said, all the new possibilities available in typography also make it easy to go overboard. This can cause your website to be less aesthetically pleasing and, even worse, hard to read. Choose fonts that are easy to read within your styles and avoid extravagant script-like fonts, as well as too many serifs. It is good practice to stick to plain fonts for the bulk of your written content, and your users value consistency.
Step 8 – Is Your Content Web-Friendly?
Whenever you are creating content for a website, you must keep in mind the shorter attention span of visitors on the internet. Unlike creating content for printed media, such as magazines, website content should be tailored to website users. You also need to be aware that a large and increasing portion of your visitors will be on mobile devices. Ensure your content is easily scannable by using short paragraphs, subheadings, and bulleted lists when appropriate, while making sure the content adapts correctly across all browser sizes. When you have the right content in place for your target audiences, the last thing you want is to drive them away with a bad design.
Step 9 – Is Your Navigation Straightforward?
The last thing you should test and evaluate is your website’s navigation. Test your navigation on a PC or Mac, a tablet, and a mobile device. Note the differences in these displays, and ensure that your visitor’s experience is not hindered on any device by poor navigation. Your menus should be simple and consistent throughout. When it comes to navigation, simple is best.
These 9 tips will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your website and find many items you can improve. The more effective your website is, the happier and larger your audience will become, attracting the right visitors for your business to convert into leads and close with sales.