Websites are important for every business. In today's digital age, having accessible online info is necessary for success. Just having a website isn't enough, though. What matters is what's on your site.
Website content needs to be geared toward making the user want to interact and engage with it. So, let's have a look at what not to do when designing an appealing website, and I'll show you what you should do instead along the way.
You've read this far for one of three reasons:
- You want to know how to optimize your site for the best customer engagement and interaction
- You're worried that your website is unattractive and came here for assurance that it isn't.
- You had nothing better to do and the catchy title of this post made you blow a little air out of your nose, which, in today's digital age, equates to one "lol".
Regardless of the reason, you're here for a solution, so let's dive right in. Before we discuss any more, take a look at this site: http://thebiguglywebsite.com/. Do not worry, it's safe for work!
Are your eyes bleeding yet? I wouldn't blame you.
We know your website can't possibly look this bad, and we also understand that this website is TRYING to look bad. Now, what are the odds you scrolled down to see what was listed on this site? If they offered a million dollars at the bottom for clicking a link, chances are that you wouldn't have left with a penny.
Why is this? Consumers don't want to engage with unattractive content. Think of your own site content for a moment. If somebody looked at it and felt the same way you just felt, do you think they would stay and engage with it? Probably not.
Start by thinking about all the things you've hated on websites you've gone to in the past. Odds are, one or more of these was on your list. If they weren't, they will be now.
1. Ugly domain
Do you find it easier to go back to a site with a simple domain like website.com (an example), or do you like to type in randomwebsite123.org/ data0= 184/net%/ (another example)? You might be saying, "But hey, I just Google the name and click the link!" Sure that might work for you normally, but would you be happy needing to find your favorite and most visited websites by Googling them every day? You're better off having a site that users can remember if they choose to. A customer's first impression of a website is mainly design-related, so don't you think some of the people in that category want to see a neat and tidy domain? Of course they do!
2. Long loading times
I considered leaving a lot of blank space here so you would have to scroll down and waste your time to prove my point, but I decided to make you read this sentence instead.
Users hate waiting. This is the digital age of instant information. It takes users only a split second to develop an opinion about your site. That small amount of time should not be spent on a blank loading screen! Even worse than that, if there is a long loading time every time a user tries to interact with your site or navigate the different pages, they are going to get increasingly frustrated.
Here is the worst case scenario: You have a customer who is ready to buy from your online store, they begin gathering up products into their cart, then they get fed up with waiting and instead purchase from your competitor. Want to avoid the tragedy? Keep it quick!
3. Complex or overwhelming interface
Does your website have a lot of buttons on it? Are users being bombarded with information? People are being trained to disregard huge amounts of site content because of websites crawling with ads. Keep it simple and focus on important topics or focal points that they can engage with. With a lot of consumers leaving a site because of poor design, you can't afford to hide your important information in text-garbage. Do not lose customers because they can't find where you hid the vital information on your jumbled page.
4. Automatic music or videos
Lots of people listen to music while they work or browse in their free time. If you've ever noticed a little speaker icon on the right side of your internet tabs, it means that noise is coming from that page. A lot of people's first reaction is to get rid of that tab because it's forcing disruptive noise onto their experience, and autoplaying audio or visual content can result in valuable consumers to leave your website.
If you have videos on your main page, great! Just make sure you let people click the play button on their own. At the very least, it will give consumers an opportunity to silence their other music and video sources before they listen.
5. Website doesn't scale
Do you always look at a site on your computer, or do you sometimes use your phone or tablet? Don't you hate it when you're engaging with site content on your phone and you have to scroll completely to the right to read the full line and then scroll all the way back for the next line? It's awful! Be sure your site bends and twists to fit every screen-- this is called responsive web design, and it's very important. If people don't realize your website actually runs differently on their smaller screen, you've done something right.
Your site content is one of your most vital marketing devices. Whether or not consumers engage can mean the difference between one dollar and one million dollars in profit. It's worth it to take the time to make your site beautiful.