how-to-evaluate-a-website-design

How to evaluate your small business website design

A lot of the time, new businesses don’t pay a lot of attention to their website. A generic WordPress template showing their logo, contact information and address is sufficient for them. However, let us be the first to tell you, your website makes or break your business. It doesn’t matter whether your business deals over the internet or physically, your website will probably be the first thing someone sees before they visit the premises. And, you need to capture their attention at the first glance, or they’re just going to press back and click on someone else’s website.

But, the question is, how do you evaluate a website design? Is it just all about colors and fonts? Sure, the look has a lot to do with attracting customers, but this is just a small aspect of your site. There are dozens of things that could be the deciding factor on whether or not a potential buyer turns into an actual one. Throughout this article, we’re going to over some criterion you could use to analyze your website.

The Right Layout

Most of the time, people don’t know this that you layouts are meant for specific business. But, the layout of your website needs to be perfectly aligned with the service you’re providing. There’s no ‘right’ layout, you just need to understand the scope of your business and design the layout accordingly. For example, if your target audience are teenagers and you’re providing a service that depends a lot on customer satisfaction, you should keep words to a minimum and utilize graphics instead. On the other hand, if your website is something formal, suppose a law firm site, you need to use a lot more words, less colors and minimum number of graphics. A completely simple layout with just one image per page and 300-400 words will work incredibly well with your target audience. If you’re unsure regarding what layout you should be using, the best way to become sure is through researching your competition is the best option. See if their layout draws you into their service. The whole goal of the site is to persuade the customer. If you find a competitor’s site extremely convincing, then just replicate the idea behind their website and you’re good to go.

Usability

The usability of your site will go a long way in deciding whether or not a user will want to visit, and then stay on your site. Usability usually depends on the backend developer and how well he / she designed your website. You’ll need to consider things like user-friendliness, security, smooth surfing, site maps and the loading times on your sites. These are extremely intricate details but they play a key role in making your site a success. In order to make your site efficient, you should check out the following points:

  • Pages don’t take more than a few seconds to load.
  • There should be a search button to maximum efficiency.
  • There should not be any broken links included in the website. You can check this through several online tools.
  • You should clearly mention that the user’s information is in safe hands when you’re asking for it.
  • Ensure that your site can be used by anyone. This includes people with mental or cognitive limitations.

Versatility

Just because you’re making the site using Google Chrome, doesn’t mean that it should just work on Chrome. Your site needs to work on all type of web browsers, on all types of devices and workstations seamlessly. The primary concern should be whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. A huge percentage of your user base will come from mobile, and depending on your niche, this percentage could go up to an even higher percentage. Your developer needs to design a separate UI for mobile users. On the same time, he should also make the site compatible with various types of browsers; Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Edge, and literally every other application that people are using these days. If you miss out on a single web browser, you’re completely losing a significant portion of potential customers using that platform. And, let’s be honest, no one is going to install a new browser just for your business.

Content

There are things in this article that could be overlooked and you could still achieve a functioning website. However, one thing that cannot be missed is amazing content. The quality of the content you put on your site will ultimately determine how many users to manage to convince to buy your product. People often think that fancy fonts and graphics persuade your potential customers. This is completely incorrect. Graphics only force a user to stay on your site. But, it’s the content that tells them that this product is unlike any other and deserving of your money. Make sure that the tone is friendly, persuasive and extremely professional. The content should be void of any grammatical errors or mistakes and it should be split into readable paragraphs with key wording highlighted for easy readability. The thing about content is that you need to make it look like it’s easy to read. If you load a lot of content onto a single page with a  small font and close to nothing paragraph spacing, the user won’t even bother looking at the rest of the words, he’ll just press the ‘x’ next to your webpage. With that being said, let’s move on to what makes your content attractive, the aesthetics.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics, or graphics as we said earlier, are the only thing that keep people on your page. The look of your site works in a weird way. By a weird way, we mean that someway, it directly influences the amount of trust the user will place in your business. For example, consider a website like Amazon. It’s well-made with visually attractive graphics. But, think about a site that isn’t even worthy to look at (we would have attached some screenshots as example, but that would be insulting to the parties involved). Which website would you rather give your money to?

So, that probably tells you how much attention you should pay to your graphics and readability. Keep things simple, use darker colors to make the web site easier on the eye. No one likes pure white sites since they’re going to be a bit heavy on the eye considering a large amount of surfing is done during the night. Your text should have a decent contrast to the background so the words are easy to read.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization doesn’t exactly help you turn potential clients into clients, but they’re one of the primary way of getting people to your website. Without SEO, your website has absolutely no way of progressing past a certain point. However, you need just the right amount of SEO in your content. Too less won’t generate any results. Too much will affect the readability of your content. All of your images should be optimized with ALT tags and the keywords should be used in all of your titles and subheadings.

If you’re willing to really step up your SEO game and make the most out of the campaign, you need to use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords contain the name of your region and locale and are great if you’re looking to specifically target a state or city. For instance, if you’re a dog walker, using the keyword ‘dog walkers in Miami’ will be the best SEO strategy you can use. Create multiple landing pages for your customers that filter users according to their location and you’re golden.

Website Navigation

Basically, you need to make it simple for the user to get from point A to point B. If they have to mindlessly shuffle through tons of webpages to find information about your website, then it is going to be pretty difficult for you to make sales. The best way to run a website is to classify it in the following categories; Homepage, Our Services/Products, About Us, Contact Us and a blog page (doesn’t apply to all types of businesses). All the things you want to sell go in the Our Services/Products page, your mission statement and goals go in the About Us, information that clients can use to reach you in the Contact Us and finally, a small summary of each of these sections in the Homepage. Moreover, you should have all these pages hyperlinked in the homepage as well so the customer doesn’t have to scroll up all the way to the top to find something. Like we said, there should be a search bar to make navigation easier. It’s also a good practice to add a ‘go to top’ button on the end. Website navigation is absolutely critical and if you can manage to keep the user occupied just for a couple of pages, you’re going to guarantee that sale.

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