Published: January 3, 2018
The start of the new year is certainly no time to leave your website out in the cold. With all of the changes a new calendar year brings, your website could probably use a few changes too. You may want to consider re-evaluating the structure of your site and doing an audit on the content within. Give your website a refresh with some improvements that can help ensure your website, and your business, have a great year.
1. Focus on Usability
You don’t necessarily need to redesign your website for the new year. Instead, enhance your site by making it easier to use. Conducting usability tests can help you understand what users are actually doing on your site and can give you great insights into functionality and conversion. You can validate the success of usability updates by examining site metrics before and after any change.
2. Improve Your Loading Speed
Consumers today are focused on instant gratification, and the digital world is no exception. When it comes to your website’s loading speed, every second counts. Nearly half of consumers want a website to load in two seconds or less, and about 40 percent will leave a site that takes more than three seconds. Having a site that takes too long to load ruins that first impression and is off-putting to potential customers.
3. Refine Your Navigation
As a rule of thumb, a typical navigation should have no more than seven items in it. In order to find what they are looking for, 70 percent of users use the website’s navigation, and 30 percent use the search bar. Making clear strategic choices for your navigation makes it easier for users to find the content they need. Avoid having navigation that is deep or complex. You may want to consider combining pages to slim down your site, making it easier for users to consume the content.
4. Be Mobile Friendly
Recently, Google started penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly. In a world where 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone and search engine optimization is highly competitive, you can’t afford to miss out simply because you failed to make your site responsive to mobile. Studies have shown that consumers are less likely to return to a website that is not mobile-friendly, and they are also less likely to recommend the business to others.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of White Space
It might be tempting to try to maximize your website space by including as much content as possible on the page. This is a mistake. Too much content on a page can be overwhelming for the user. Adding a little white space between different sections of the site helps with readability and content prioritization. The “Above the Fold” rule is dead. Giving content space allows you to better serve your audience by adding sections dedicated to different personas. Crafting these sections can also show new customers the breadth of what you offer. For example, InVision, a digital prototyping platform, uses white space well on its website.
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