Five Questions to Ask When Building a Website

The best websites take into consideration the desires of their intended audience. Whether looking at your business’s current website or thinking about designing a brand new site, here are five questions that can help you keep the user experience front and center.

Is the design too clean or too busy?

Consider if the design is easy on the eyes: is it too bright, busy, or dark? Is the text easily readable, or is the user forced to decipher an exaggerated script? It’s common to think that unique fonts establish your branding, but too often, they’re just off-putting to readers. On the opposite side, a website that’s too clean can leave a user bored and uninterested in exploring more on your website. Finally, ensure the website design is engaging and interactive to keep clients interested. Include smooth transitions, easy-to-read text, attractive imagery, and a brand voice that will speak to your ideal customer.

Does the menu contain everything it needs and nothing more?

Many website menus have far too many options leaving the user with no idea where to start and consequently “bouncing” from your site (i.e., leaving within five seconds). Other websites take the in vogue “clean” look too far, and users can’t find the information they need. As the owner, you get to be the filter for your visitor on your website. How you choose can help or hinder a prospect’s visit. A website menu needs to contain enough information to engage users while not totally overwhelming them. Give straightforward and easy-to-understand options. Make sure your navigation and page titles make sense. The more “to the point” you are, the more likely a user will engage.

Is the website an overall stress-free experience?

Have you ever been on a website that immediately explodes a pop-up onto your screen with no clear way to exit? Or been stuck in an infinite scrolling loop because the map widget isn’t mobile-friendly? What about a website that refuses to load? Every added stress to your website – such as pop-ups, plugins, and widgets – increases the chances of a user bouncing from your site. Every section you add to your website should have a clear purpose: Make it count or leave it out. Avoid excessive copy, unnecessary sections that go on and on about how great your company is, large images, obnoxious pop-ups, and anything else that will increase the time it takes a page to load. Just like nobody wants to get stuck behind a slow driver, users don’t want to get stuck on a slow website! If your homepage takes forever to load, you could be left with a missed opportunity to do business.

Does your website’s layout make sense?

Your website should be laid out in a way that is natural and makes sense to a first-time visitor. This guidance goes back to the easy and stress-free navigation mentioned earlier. However, if we break it down further, you get the “bones” of the website (known as the wireframe in marketing and design circles). Designers layout this framework before the actual creation process begins and helps get you in the user’s mind. It asks you to consider the question, “what is most important for a visitor to be able to see and do on the website?” The layout of a website is, in essence, the roadmap for a visitor – you want it to make sense and not have any dead ends!

Does your website have a clear call to action?

The ultimate purpose of a website is to get a user to do something. Whether that is purchasing an item, making a donation, or scheduling an appointment, it is crucial that the visitor can easily take this step and know what the step is. Calls to Action can be personalized to each business. The goal, no matter what, is to help direct the user towards a decision to ”act now. A clear call to action increases the chances that a user will take the step you want them to complete.  We know how important it is to build a website you love. However, it’s even more critical that your potential visitors love it. Therefore, design your website with the target audience in mind. Statistics say that a user will look at your website for less than 4 seconds before deciding if they will stay or not. This means your website has four seconds to make a good impression. Ensure that it does by keeping the above recommendations in mind.  Want help creating a website that attracts and converts visitors? Contact the Engaged Marketing team to get started!
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