Did you know that it takes less than a second for web users to decide whether or not they like your website? Did you know that this has a huge impact on your website traffic? Luckily, now you do. But, does web design affect anything else? And what should you change on your website to make it look better? These are the questions that will be answered today.
How does web design affect traffic to my website?
Put simply, user experience. How a visitor experiences your site has the second biggest impact on how long they stay. According to Sweor, it only takes users 50 milliseconds, or .05 seconds, to form an opinion about a website, and ultimately decide whether to stay or leave. Users also place a heavy association of your credibility as a business with your website design. That means, your website has a twentieth of a second to prove its worth for a visitor. So, you better make it count.
Sweor also found that 57% of users won’t share or recommend a website with a bad mobile experience. Providing a great mobile experience on your website is imperative to its success. People spend hours on their phones and do most of their Googling in the process. The likelihood of your website being accessed on a phone screen is only getting higher, and you need to be prepared for that. This means making sure that your website looks just as good, if not better on mobile than on desktop.
Now that you’re through the first few seconds of a user’s visit, you need to make sure that your website functions at a more basic level. If there are broken links or the navigation doesn’t work, you can say goodbye to any user who was there. Make sure that people can use the navigation, and that all of the links work on your website. 38% of users will bounce if they find the general layout unattractive as well, so make sure that your website is laid out in a way that caters to your CTAs. Included in this group also are images. If an image doesn’t load, particularly on an E-Commerce website, people will leave. It’s important to make sure that all images load, and load quickly.
Your loading time should be fast on your website. If users find that it takes more than about two seconds to load, lots of them will leave. People have very short attention spans today, and want everything to move at the pace that they do. Rather than try to combat it, it’s important to follow the trends and the desires of users so that you can keep them happy and keep the traffic coming.
The most important statistic for you to know is that 94% of a user’s first impression is design-based. When people visit your website, most of the time they know exactly what they want and aren’t focused on digging through your content. Because of this, and all of the above stats, you want your website to be almost entirely focused on design.
How do I improve my website to accommodate these stats?
There are a number of things that you can do to make your website more user-friendly and to help improve your traffic. If you have a web team working on your website, then they should easily be able to accomplish these things. If it’s just you, most website builders make these kinds of changes very easy to implement.
Responsive Web Design
The best way to make your website more mobile-friendly is by using responsive web design. Your web designer should have already implemented responsive design when they built the website, and most web builders also have responsive web design built into their templates. If not, there is a specific meta tag you can add, which can be found here. W3 Schools also goes in-depth, so it’s a great place to learn more about responsive web design in general.
Broken Links and Images
The best way to test for broken links and images is to visit your site as a user and explore the nooks and crannies. If you find any, they can easily be sent to a web team or replaced on your own, just be sure to note exactly where the links or images are. This is a really easy fix, and also helpful for your SEO. You can learn more about website SEO (including broken links and site speed) here.
There are a lot of great layouts that will show off content in a number of orders and ways. The most important thing you can do for yourself is make sure that your Call-To-Action (CTA) is in the top section, and/or in your navigation. Pushing your main conversion links and buttons down to the bottom of your homepage makes it much less likely that someone will click on them.
Additionally, if your CTA button is the same color as everything else on your website, you’re not going to get as many clicks. You want your CTA to stand out. The best web design method for this is the 60-30-10 color rule: 60% of your design should be one neutral color, light or dark, that can be used as background colors. 30% Should be one color, which should be the opposite of the 60% (ie you use 60% dark gray and 30% white) for text and small graphics. The last 10% is a bright color to be used only for CTA’s. This should pop against the other colors, and often is a color from your logo or general branding. This is the best way to make your CTA really stand out against the rest of your website.
There’s a lot to consider here when trying to make your web design more user-friendly and experience-oriented. The most important thing to remember is that if you’re not happy with the way your website looks: If you feel it looks outdated, or unorganized or dysfunctional, chances are your visitors feel so too. You know what websites you like and don’t like, you can tell what design styles are trending, so you can easily try to replicate what you like and what’s popular for your website, whether through a web builder, a web designer, or all on your own. Make sure that you’re happy, and your visitors will be too.
To learn more about how Ascent can build you a new, beautiful website, click here.