Here at GND, we’re looking at a computer screen a lot. I mean, a lot. Inevitably in the line of work we’re in, we are constantly online browsing through website after website for research into other brands, or to just to blow a trumpet at Donald Trump’s hair piece (seriously, it’s a thing and it’ll change your life. See http://trumpdonald.org/).
Website tips that will change your life (maybe)
During an exceptionally long day in the office, it occurred to us. There seem to be common themes amongst websites – common annoying traits that make our lives, and more importantly the potential customer just a little trickier.
So, we decided to attack this annoyance head on! Here is a list of, in our opinion of the biggest website mistakes a brand can make. Obviously and how to avoid them, we’re not assholes.
Mobile optimisation, or lack thereof
Did you know that over 50% of all web traffic worldwide is now from mobile devices? Gone are the days where your website can look great on desktop but is a train wreck on mobile, with unclickable buttons and margins all over the place. You have to keep in mind the size and scale of mobile screens when designing your website, making it mobile responsive across different handheld devices.
Google offer an extremely helpful Mobile-Friendly Test that renders how your website will look on a mobile device. We tested our own website and Google delivered the following results...
Of course, our website is top notch - it would be pretty embarrassing if it wasn't!
It’s important that your website content scales properly otherwise it will look totally out of shape on mobile – the best websites are completely intuitive to the size of the users screen.
Not optimising your website for mobile is a sure-fire way to put off potential customers – both bad functionality and a lack of brand trust are big sales limiting factors. It is very unlikely that a user will choose to try again on desktop after you’re website failed them on mobile! Again, it comes back to making a good first impression!
Ridiculous Loading Times
It’s all about those first impressions! Within the first few milliseconds of landing on your website, a user has made the decision whether to stay or go. If your website takes an age to load, most people tend to just hit that big X and look elsewhere. Nothing more annoying than a slow loading website! That’s not even to mention the fact that Google nerfs your SEO ranking if you’ve got a slow loading website.
Again, Google has a brilliant little tool to test your current website load time over at their PageSpeed Insights interface. Just enter the URL of whichever page you'd like to test and hit analyse.
Think about what you can do to improve your loading speeds: get rid of unnecessarily heavy elements – things like animations, large images and unnecessary widgets. It’s definitely worth checking out some free web apps that allow you to reduce all the file sizes of your images.
It’s a classic eCommerce mistake to create menus that make it confusing for the user to navigate the website. Making products difficult to find is pretty much the opposite of ideal.
Make sure your menu options are clear and easily visible – don’t hide them with crazy colour combinations or creative collection names. Always offer a quick route back to the homepage so that your users can easily start over.
Make sure all of the so-called boring stuff can be found too: terms and conditions, shipping details, returns policy etc. Customers want to be able to see this information to reassure them that your website is legit! Trust in your brand is a massive deciding factor for customers when deciding to buy!
The dreaded autoplay! There is little else more annoying than autoplay ad rolls on your website, usually resulting in your customers rushing to close the tab. It’s not just ad content, even original video content is annoying if the user hasn’t consented to watching it. Not only is it irritating, it also slows your website down to a crawl.
One more thing – the same criticisms can be levelled at annoying pop-ups that cover up your content and force your visitors to choose whether or not to hand over personal data. Keep those pop-ups very much to a minimum!
Lack of Social Sharing
Give your customers an easy way to share the content that they love! Make it super-simple to share on social media with clear social icons – it’s free marketing! Even better, encourage your customers to engage with you through giveaways or clever promotions. Increase that brand engagement!
So there it is. You now have this information at your disposal, take it and use it as a check list for your existing website or your next new build. Nail these areas and your website should be in good standing with your potential customers as well as Google ranking.
'Til next time, catch you later.