How important is an effective website? Let’s take a look at some statistics put out by Adobe. According to a survey they did back in 2015, Adobe found these facts:
- Site visitors use an average of 6 devices and consume 12 sources of content; Millennials use an average of 7 devices and 14 sources.
- More than 7 in 10 (73%) of respondents said content “must display well on the device.”
- 66% of respondents indicated they would prefer to view something beautifully designed vs. simple and plain.
Key reasons site visitors switch devices or give up trying to access the site/content:
- Images won’t load
- Takes too long to load
- Content is too long
- Content is unattractive in its layout or imagery
These are important statistics of what viewers expect when they visit a site. These facts are all dealing with some of the most important aspects of a site’s effectiveness, which is its web design. Wed site effectiveness is the key when it comes to retaining current visitors and gaining new visitors.
From Adobe’s statistics, you can see that users who try to access your site but have trouble will quickly leave. That’s a fact. They want to easily and quickly find the information they need.
Your site navigation should be easy, simple and logical. Make the navigation bar easy to understand and to follow in some logical manner that works for your site and your visitors.
For site content, make sure to use headings and subheadings on each post to make it easier and faster for site users to find the information they need as quickly as possible.
Last, but not least, make sure all the links on your site work properly.
Use Responsive Design
Visitors to your web site expect to use the site easily on any device. The audience visiting your site may be people who view content across a wide variety of platforms—anything from a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. Your site design needs to work with most (if not all) platforms most of your site visitors use.
To achieve a responsive design, it may be necessary for your web designer to create separate versions of your site that work on mobile screens, enable navigation devices (buttons, hamburger menu, etc.) and are easier for users to navigate with their finger and/or thumb.
Content Optimized for your Target Audience
Your target audience expects to find information relating to their topic. They’ll stay on your site longer and even return if the content meets their needs.
Make sure your content is completely geared to your audience’s expectations and needs. Make sure all the content on your site stays consistent with your visitors’ requirements.
Responsive design ensures your site looks great on any device or platform. The layout will respond to the device, and offer up the best size, integrated user experience, etc. This ensures your audience will have the best possible site experience, no matter what device they’re using. In other words, make sure to give your visitors what they want—valuable, targeted information they can use. Or you can hire a company to do this for you. Either way, you’ll have an understanding of how long it takes for pages to load.
Page Loading Speed
As we saw in Adobe’s survey, site users will quickly become frustrated and may even leave if page load times are perceived as too long. For instance, if you have a high bounce rate, it could be due to slow loading site pages.
Look at it from your visitor’s perspective. They only have a short amount of valuable time to spend searching for the information they require. Don’t waste their time with slow loading web pages.
To check your site’s loading speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which is free. The tool shows how quickly (or not) your site’s pages load and even shows you where to make changes to improve loading times.
Design a “Pretty” Site
Let’s face it, people are drawn to sites that are attractive. This means the layout is attractive (and logical), the colors and style make sense for the site’s industry, and posts include images.
When visitors come to a site and find it unattractive, this can also make them leave quickly. Again, you may find the bounce rate is higher than it should be.
Here are some tips to improve your site’s curb appeal:
- Avoid cluttering the site and its pages with clutter, such as images and ads placed all over or place in random places. Instead, make precise use of images—make sure they directly apply to the content/page topic and only use a few here and there to break up the page and create a little white space.
- When it comes to placing ads, be sure to locate ads where visitors expect them. You can use ads to break up text on a web page, but this may frustrate people because ads within the text can be distracting or many people. Instead, place ads in places your audience expects. Do a little research to learn the optimal locations to place ads. And one more thing—make sure the ads pertain to the topic. Don’t include ads that are not appropriate for the content.
- Make sure your home page catch’s visitors’ attention quickly and keeps them engaged. This is the first page most site users will see, and you want to make the best impression. Include content that is relevant to your target audience and make sure this content makes them want to dig for more information on your site.
- Keep branding elements the same across your entire site. This creates trust in your business, trust the site is authentic. Keep colors and logos the same across the site, and visitors will be reassured your business is for real.
These are some of the most important elements that can come together in the right way, or the wrong way when designing the site. Just make sure everything fits your business, keep the branding the same across all sections and pages, and you’ll have visitors who want to come and stay awhile.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.