As business owners, especially when starting up, we tend to get caught up in trying to do it all. From watching as many webinars that will help you with sales to working with clients.
Things just tend to get lost in the shuffle. And our website is often one of them!
I’ll admit it. Even as a designer, I’ll be so focused on client projects that when I look back at my own site I start seeing a lot of digital “cobwebs!”
If you’ve been seeing that digi-dust on your site, here’s 5 things you can easily do to spruce it up for the new year.
1. Simplify. Write out what’s most important for a visitor on your site and what they might be looking for. Where did they come from? Why are they on your site? What do they want to accomplish?
Knowing what’s going on in a visitor’s mind is key to a great user experience.
For example, if your site visitor is coming from an Instagram post they saw, then they likely don’t know who you are and want to see what you’ve got to offer. They might also not be ready to buy – you need to build up the trust first.
So, your navigation might only include links to the home page, an about page, contact page, blog, and, depending on what you do, a freebie that will entice them (free e-books, a mini course, etc). If you wish to take it one step further, you can include a service page in the main navigation as well.
Simplifying the navigation to assist in the main goal for the user will make them more likely to click through. Do the same for the actual web pages. Think of what the user will be looking for and the path to get them there.
2. Check your color contrast. Go to your site and squint your eyes. Can you still make out the gist of the page? Does it look like a toddler went crazy with a 600 count crayon box? Does it look like a moody 13 year old girl’s MySpace page?
If color is an issue, do this: make the background of the page white. Make any body text (anything not a headline) black. Now look at the rest of the site and make sure you’re not using more than 3 colors and that you know exactly what color is the primary. Make headlines and call to action buttons that main color – assuring that there’s enough contrast between the background and text. Read more about colors and design here.
3. Increase the body copy font size. This depends on how large your text currently is. Go to your site and squint your eyes (yes, again – best designer trick) and see if your text blends together too much. If so, increase it 1 or 2 points. This will make your site easier to scan and read.
4. Get in the habit of optimizing your images. This is especially important if you have a slow site or plan on having a lot of images, like photographers or graphic designers.
Always save your images to the smallest weight possible without it looking blurry or pixelated. Then, you might want to run them through an optimizer like ImageOptim that will give you an extra boost.
This will make your site run faster, which users will obviously love.
5. Add a search functionality. Have less than 4 pages and they’re all linked on the main navigation? Don’t worry about this one, but as soon as you surpass that 4 or 5 and/or have a blog, add a search box.
These will typically be located at the top right corner of the website and available at every page. If you have a sidebar, add one to the top of it too.
The search box will make it easy for your potential client to find more information about services, products you offer, or articles you’ve written.
What things do you think improve a site’s usability? Let me know in the comments or connect with me in the Kickass Lady Bosses group!