First impressions are of utmost importance — in the real world and online. In general, you have less than 15 seconds to capture the attention of website visitors. If the page a user lands on isn’t immediately engaging, you’ve essentially lost a potential lead.
Websites are like a digital introduction, and if the handshake is weak, they may never interact with you again. Research conducted by Stanford on web credibility reveals that 75% of users judge a company’s credibility based on its website design alone.
With limited time to convey valuable information, and aesthetics being of primary importance, it’s not enough to simply own a website. Here are five tips to improve your website’s performance and decrease bounce rates.
Improve Your Website Speed, ASAP
Most users expect a website to load in t-minus a second ago. We live in an instant gratification culture. People want what they want, now.
Website speeds can be impacted by a variety of things:
- Large media (images, videos)
- # of 301 redirects
- # of plugins
- Poor hosting
Start with using an online app like ResizeImage.net to shink images to improve page speed. Then, clean up your redirects to minimize excessive load times. Always monitor website plugins. If you no longer use a plugin or replace it with a new one, delete the old plugin.
Poor hosting could be one of the biggest reasons your website is slow. At Veivos, we use Amazon Web Services for fast, reliable website hosting.
In addition, keep your website up to date by actively monitoring when your web platform, such as WordPress, comes out with new versions. Consider testing the speed of your website on mobile and desktop using Page Speed Insights by Google.
Keep Call To Actions Above The Fold
Standard website designs include a large hero image across the top of the page paired with a button in the center, usually referred to as the “call to action” (CTA). Although common, this design is very effective.
The goal of any website is to inform users, which leads them to an end goal (e.g., click a “Call Now” button or submit a form to “Learn More”).
Make sure your website clearly communicates the end goal you want users to accomplish. If you leave the decision up to them, they will aimlessly scroll, click around, or simply click away.
If your CTA is lost in a sea of content, your website is not doing its job. Always display the most important content first. The top portion of a webpage, “above the fold,” is viewed 84% more than content placed “below the fold” — anything that you have to scroll down to see.
The homepage should guide users to the place they want to be. If you have three services, those three services should be front and center. If you want to promote one particular service, use the website design to highlight it.
Whatever you do, make the desired action obvious.
Simplify Website Navigation
The navigation on a website is critical to get right. If your dropdown menu is a long row of options that opens up into a tree of more options, and so on, it’s time to cut the clutter.
Navigation menus serve as an intuitive guide. They help users find where they need to go. Don’t get fancy with the top-level titles. Some websites get clever with their menu items instead of using plain language. Use navigation titles everyone is familiar with.
Keep it simple. We recommend sticking to no more than five main menu items, depending on your business: Services, About, Blog, Contact.
If you feel restricted by the lack of space in the top menu bar, make use of the footer section. Fat footers are a great way to minimally include page links and contact information.
The most important part of your menu is the “Contact” button. Make sure your CTA is highlighted as a bright, bold, or big button at the top right of the screen. Users need to easily access this button wherever they are on the site.
Implement Content Filters
When a user lands on your website, you want them to find what they are looking for as soon as possible. Websites are not meant to be complicated. User sessions are usually minutes in duration, not hours.
If you have a blog—which every business should—make sure to use categories and tags.
Categories and Tags
Categories are the high-level buckets your content sits in. If you are a B2B model, your categories might be your main services: Marketing Strategy, Website Development, CRM. Each category will have more than one tag within it.
Tags are the subsets under each category: Digital Marketing, WordPress, HubSpot. These tags help users find all of the content about that particular topic in one place on your website.
eCommerce businesses particularly benefit from good product filtering. Think about showing users what they want to see in the least number of clicks as possible. The more barriers your website presents, such as bad page hierarchy or a lack of filtering, the more likely a potential lead will click away.