New Year. New Website?
If you’ve read about our team on our website, you know we work with small and mid-sized organizations on Internet marketing and website development projects. We arrived at this niche after identifying a significant void in access to web services for organizations that don’t operate with an astronomical budget. So we understand that for most of our clients, a new website is a significant investment. We also understand that considering a redesign – even if it’s only been a few years since your current website was built – still require careful consideration. Here are a few factors to consider when making that important business decision as you go into 2015:
The Importance of User Experience
User experience is everything on the web. Even search engines know how user-friendly your site is. How? They track things like how many people click through to your website when it’s served in search results, how long a user stays on your site, how many pages they view while they’re there, and more. If your website has a high click-through rate, and most people view five pages in a visit to your site, the search engines can determine that there must be good content on your site.
So what does this mean?
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to interact with your site. And in the mobile-obsessed age we live in, you’d be remiss not to ensure your site is easy to interact with across all mobile devices, too.
The following questions should help you effectively assess your website and determine whether it’s time to redesign.
Q: Is your site responsive?
Why it’s important: Ever pulled up a website on your phone and accidentally clicked the wrong link over and over because the text was so very tiny? That site wasn’t responsive. A well-designed responsive site takes fingertip size into account, making links large enough in a mobile view to click easily with your finger. Additionally, responsive design allows all site content to be viewed across all devices. Unlike once-trendy mobile versions of sites, a responsive site is not a trimmed-down version of your site—it simply morphs to fit any screen, from browser to tablet to phone, no matter the model or brand.
How to tell if you’re responsive: If you’re not sure if your site is responsive, pull it up on your desktop and then resize the window. Do menus and information condense and restructure themselves as the window shrinks? If not, you should consider a redesign!
Q: Does your site have easy-to-navigate menus?
Why it’s important: Drop-down menus are wonderful for usability. They help organize content and help users navigate through your site. They also ensure it’s easy to keep moving through different areas of your website, rather than leaving users hanging, unsure how they got where they are or how to get back to the content they looked at previously.
How to tell if your menus are easy to use: Hover over an item in the top navigation of your website. Does a list pop up? If so, you have dropdown menus! Another important step in evaluating menu usability is to look at internal pages on your site. If you have a left- or right-hand navigation on your site that doesn’t automatically appear on new pages you create, this can be detrimental to usability.
Q: Does your website match your current branding?
Why it’s important: If you’ve rebranded since your website was built, this may confuse visitors to your site. To establish the most impactful brand image, you should keep things consistent across all marketing channels.
How to evaluate your brand image: Check to make sure your site uses the most recent version of your logo and that colors match your brand standards.
Q: Is there a clear call to action (CTA)?
Why it’s important: If users don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, most won’t spend their time and energy to dig for it. You have a small window of time to capture a user, so you want to make sure there’s no question about how you want them to interact with your site.
How to determine if your CTA is clear: First, identify what it is that you’d like a user to do when they visit your site. Do you want them to fill out a contact form? Sign up for your e-newsletter? Register for an event? You may identify two or three goals. Now: Is it easy for users to complete that task? If your ultimate goal is to collect email addresses, but you don’t have a form where users can sign up to receive your emails, it might be time to rethink your current design.
Need some help?
If you think you may be interested in website design but have additional questions not mentioned above, our highly experienced team can help! We work to help clients achieve their Internet marketing and website development goals day in and day out, and it would be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have.
Please contact us today to learn more about website design with Full Media!