Is Your Digital Home Base Worthy?

Your website is your digital home base. It is THE most important component of your digital marketing strategy. You need to make it great. Common website mistakes can take away from the effectiveness of your site.

Get the most out of your online presence by avoiding these common website problems.

Cluttered Home Page

Some home pages are stuffed with too much content. Visitors don’t know where to look. They don’t want to figure out the jumble.

Keep your homepage clean. Make every word count, and make sure they tell people who you are and why they want to learn more. Avoid adding unnecessary content or images.

Navigation is important too. Most people see this for the first time on the home page. Make sure the labels are easy to understand. Keep to no more than 7 major navigation options.

Complex Content

Make sure your website is easy to read and understand. Stick to a style sheet to limit the number of fonts and styles and create consistency from page to page.  Pages that look different can confuse visitors.

To help visitors scan and find what they want:

  • Use subheads with keywords
  • Keep words simple
  • Keep sentences short
  • Break up text into many short paragraphs

Unusable on the Small Screen

Most website designs are responsive, technically. Pay attention to the actual user experience on mobile devices.

The other day I was trying to research places to shop for a specific item. I did a google search and got several options. To narrow, I tried to visit the websites. I say “try” because none of the 5 sites was easy to navigate on my phone. I gave up!

Truly responsive websites adapt to the device type that the visitor uses. Keep your writing straightforward and make sure buttons and menus are large enough to click on smaller screens.

Ask Users to Learn if Your Website Works

You want your website to offer a good user experience. Does it? You need to get feedback and data from actual users to get the answer.

To create a good experience, you need to be sure you have the basics covered:

  • Fast to load
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Easy to read
  • Visually compelling
  • Working navigation
  • Links that connect related information
  • Clear and easy calls to action

These basic elements should result in a site that meets user expectations. But, to refine your site to one that creates a great experience, you need to get feedback from the people who use it.

How do you get feedback?

  • Survey visitors. Ask people to complete a short survey at the website. Many sites ask just one question to make it easy for users to give feedback. Have preset response options like “yes” and “no” and also room for comments.
  • Add a feedback link to your footer. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. Having a feedback link on every page lets users know you want their comments. This can lead to a comment form or connect to an email address.
  • Analyze your metrics. Be sure to monitor your web analytics. What are the most popular pages? Where do people leave the site? How much time do they spend on the site? Look for insights into what users are interacting with and what’s falling short.
  • Set up a test. You can also take the step to invite users to help you test the site. You can use a testing tool or just ask people to complete a simple task and provide feedback.

No matter how you get feedback, be sure to thank the people that take time to provide their thoughts. Positive or negative, all feedback is valuable to ensure your website is working as you want it to.

And, certainly, be sure you act on the input you get. You may think that people are not paying attention or are missing what is obvious, but failing to act to fix issues identified is a huge missed opportunity. Make sure you are open to all ideas that help make your website a great tool for your business.