There are currently more than 1 billion live websites. In the time you’ve taken to read this sentence, four new websites have been created. With the proliferation of websites it’s difficult to stand out among competitors and businesses are increasingly challenged to leave a unique mark in the rapidly evolving Internet landscape. This, in addition to the fact that we’re in the middle of an information overload, makes it easy to lose sight of the basics that make a good website. A website should tell a story and communicate information seamlessly to the end-user, otherwise it runs the risk of turning visitors off completely.
Below are five reasons that your website will never be successful and basic tips companies should keep in their back pocket and utilize in order to prevent their websites from becoming uninteresting and outdated.
1. Lacks Usability
A website can often be the first impression of a company and a confusing website will push potential customers away just as quickly as they landed on it. Users need to be able to find what they are looking for with easy-to-navigate pages and readily accessible information that promotes further exploration. A clean layout with clear headers and information displayed in a user-friendly way encourages repeat visitors to frequent the site and obtain the information effortlessly.
2. Information Overload
A bunch of words staring at potential customers is a surefire way to get them to leave a website. Customers crave information but businesses need to be mindful not to over communicate main points. It’s easy to upload copious amounts of text and images on a website to make sure all of the bases are covered but in many cases it’s too much information that ends up overwhelming the user. Provide key information that customers are looking for and relay it in a way that’s easy for them to digest. Write in short sentence and in bullets when possible. By presenting focused information in a logical way customers can address their questions sufficiently.
3. Poor Website Name
Choosing a website name is one of the toughest parts of the branding process. Finding an available URL that aligns with the company’s image and can be easily optimized for search rankings are essential factors to consider. Previously, a company was only recognizable if it had a .com domain extension but times are changing and with the onset of a number of generic top level domains (gTLDs) – like .business, .brand and .website – companies have the option to choose from a growing pool of extensions that are ideal for the company in the long term. A notable name creates a unique opportunity to align a company, individual or new product website to better reach the target audience.
4. No Call-to-Action
Unfortunately the work doesn’t end once a customer gets to the site and sees a visually-appealing layout with easy-to-use tabs. There has to be a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages customers to go beyond “window shopping” and take the plunge by making a purchase either directly on the website or being able to search locations where the product is available. Service providers can ask customers to contact a representative to learn more or have a virtual assistant available online for questions. Smaller CTAs such as encouraging customers to follow the business on social media or sign up for email newsletters keeps both potential and existing customers up to date on the latest news. Making the site interactive and determining what the end result and call to action needs to be for the company’s business model is crucial.
5. Not Mobile Ready
Mobile growth has surged and more and more customers are accessing websites directly from their smartphones and tablets than ever before. Therefore it’s critical that websites are mobile ready so customers can easily view the content on smaller screens. Customers have a short attention span so information should be easily readable regardless of what device they’re viewing the website on. It’s also important to ensure the website loads quickly on any device so sticking to simple HTML instead of flash may be ideal.
Websites are essential to a company’s success and take a great deal of time and dedication to build and maintain. It’s important that resources are dedicated to ensuring that this platform is constantly up to date and working correctly. Companies that use these tips when creating their websites will be pleased with the uptick in visitor traffic to their page and overall outcome of having a rich Web presence.
Originally published by Karn Jajoo on websitemagazine.com.