Gerald Yapp, senior designer and owner of Bedfordview-based In-Detail, shares tips on how you can make your site more attractive and user-friendly.
1. Invest in fast page-loading speed
Google ranks you on how well your website performs, how long visitors stay on your website and if they can find what they are looking for. If your site is slow to load, it’s costing you money. Visitors will quickly close the page if they feel that the site is slow or not responding. Also remember that a lot of people are accessing your website on mobile and they are concerned about data costs too, so a slow loading site normally means it’s eating up their data!
2. Stay mobile friendly
Most people accessing your website will be doing so from a mobile device. There are a reported 35 million mobile users in South Africa – way more than computers and laptops. So you should build your website to be mobile friendly first, then desktop friendly.
3. Implement calls to action
What do you want the visitor to do? You managed to get them to your website, now they need to be guided to the next step. Simple calls to action like ‘Call Now for an Appointment’ or ‘Request a Quote’ should be prominent as buttons or headings. Don’t be shy about using them everywhere either – you can basically never have enough calls to action.
4. Include social media share and follow buttons
Be social and show the links to your social media on all pages – linking to social media also improves your organisation’s SEO. Most websites will have this in the footer or header sections. Also make sure you are linking back to your website from your social media. Use your website effectively to grow your social media following – it is the best tool you have.
5. Use people in pictures
People like people. Something that was discovered long ago in the early days of advertising and that is still super relevant today: we are a species that seem to like looking at ourselves. Just take any popular women’s magazine – its all about people. Display products with people and show scenes and settings with people. Use people who your audience will identify with and make them feel like they are hanging out with these people.
6. Content sharing
If they like it, let them share it. Convert visitors into promoters by giving them the tools and content that they can share. The more you do this, the more they share and it’s free advertising that has been endorsed by the visitor to their friends. Create original content, as it is far more valuable and will be shared far more too.
7. Carousels, sliders, tabs and accordions
Just like video grabs attention online, so too do animations and sliders. Explain your product or services concisely so that visitors understand what you do in seconds. Use tabs and accordions to hide long explanations that might scare then off – people hate seeing too much information and will close the page. The accordion allows them to drill down to more information if they are interested. Tabs help to organise information easily, allowing the user to select what they need to know, and keep your page looking light.