Every day, an absurd amount of new content is uploaded to the internet, making it harder and harder to compete for traffic. If someone hops onto your webpage and doesn’t immediately like what they see, they’ll leave you for a competing site before you can say “SEO!”
It’s the unfortunate reality of online searches. Say you’re looking for a new pasta recipe and the website you stumbled on has pictures of ravioli that take foreverrr to load, or the page’s layout looks like it’s straight out of 2002, or the food blogger goes on for years about the history of their family’s secret lasagna recipe — odds are you’ll head right back to the search page to find the next site listed.
That’s why for spring cleaning this year (along with dusting the sofa) we’ll be discussing how to spruce up your brand’s website. We already covered some SEO tools and tactics in our last two blog posts, so we’ll be taking a broader look at how improving design and functionality can help drive your business goals. Let’s get into it:
1. The Mobile Mentality: Prioritizing Mobile Users
The data is in, and it tells us that around 50% of 2020 internet traffic came from mobile devices. So it’s no wonder that making your brand mobile-friendly is one of the best ways to bring new visitors to your site. Sure, mobile users can still access a page designed for desktop viewing, but they’ll almost always choose the website that is easier to navigate on those much smaller screens.
When designing the mobile version of your website, make sure you use shorter titles that can be read more easily on mobile devices. Stay away from pop-up ads that cover up the screen, and stick to short-form content that’s easy to scroll through.
2. Keeping it Low-key: Simplistic Design
We’ve all heard that “less is more,” and while that adage doesn’t apply to everything in life (like, for instance, how many dogs it’s acceptable to have) it’s certainly true with website design. There are few sights more unappealing than a webpage cluttered with different fonts, colors, pictures, and text blocks.
While looking at your homepage, if you find your gaze being pulled all over the place, then it’s time to cut down on the content and simplify the design. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re only seeing two to three images/icons and one to two text blocks at a time while scrolling through your site. We also recommend employing a simplistic color palette and using a maximum of three different fonts.
3. You Shouldn’t Need a Compass: Website Navigation
Improving your website’s organizational structure is essential to helping your audience easily navigate your content/products. Within the last few years, you may have noticed that it has become common for websites to be divided horizontally into smaller slices of information. This segmented design creates a clean layout that allows the audience to process one detail at a time. For reference, check out the homepages of your favorite brands (i.e. Apple, Disney, and Get Community!)
It’s also important to consider developing a more simplistic design for your navigation bar. There shouldn’t be too many tabs to choose from, and it should look consistent on every page of your website. Otherwise, people can easily get lost while hopping from one page to the next.
4. No One Has Time for That: Load Time
If your site is taking too long to load, potential customers might bail out while their screen is still a blank page. One of the easiest ways to fix slow loading times is to optimize the size of your images. You will want to make sure each file size is as small as possible while still keeping the picture quality sharp and professional.
Secondly, your development team should be keeping your servers nice and healthy by making sure they’re running the latest software versions for modern security and speed improvements. Page load time can be optimized by making use of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) to serve content to users from a location closest to them. You can also speed things up by cleaning out any old, unnecessary data. This can be done by first removing unused databases and files, then saving them to a backup hard drive for safekeeping. If you don’t have a development team yet, you can always contact Get Community to ask about our website development services!
5. Where in the World: Geotagging
This small adjustment can make a big difference when it comes to your SEO ranking. Geotagging is done by assigning longitude and latitude coordinates to your pictures. That way, web browsers can match each image with its corresponding location. This will help your content pop up when people include locations in their search text. For more info and some free geotagging services, we suggest visiting GeoTagOnline.
We hope this info was helpful, but if you still have questions about the wide world of website optimization, feel free to send an email our way. The Get Community team of web pros is always here to help in the ongoing quest to maximize your website’s true potential!