A web strategist can provide constructive criticism to help you make your website more user-friendly and to help you generate more traffic. However, if you’re trying to save money or want to do some research on your own first, there are ways you can assess your site using the tips of an expert without actually hiring one.
Here’s what to look for:
Fast Loading Time: Your site should of course load quickly. To test your site’s load time and have it analyzed for free, use this great tool from Pingdom.
Visually Appealing: Your site should be visually engaging with an attractive color scheme. Make sure your background and font colors contrast and are easy to read. Use a basic font that is easy to read – no cursive. Make sure you have an excellent logo, and use that as the header for your site.
Uniform Pages: Every page on your site should have the same background, font, heading style, colors and navigation bar across the top of the page underneath your logo. Your pages will stand out from each other in content. There is no need for them to differ in format.
Don’t Forget The Basics: Make sure to have a Biography or About Us page. You may think that who you are is evident from everything else on your website or that people don‘t have the attention span to read a bio, but many folks do want to know details and will feel more comfortable working with you after reading about you.
Engage Your Visitor: Use multimedia when possible. Include a page of photos, and a page of videos if appropriate. However, don’t go overboard. Unless you are a musician, your site should not have background music. Most people find that annoying and distracting.
Keep In Touch: Post a link to your Facebook page and Twitter so that people can follow you beyond your website. Always include a Contact Us page. If you use a contact form, also include your email address in case someone prefers to email you directly. Include an option to join a mailing list, but never have a pop up form requesting email addresses for a mailing list.
Create Your Own Error Page: Instead of relying on the generic not found/404 error page, create your own and make sure it has a link back to your home page. If you’re so inclined, make sure it also has an option to report the error to the webmaster. Errors are always unfortunate, but having a customized error page will make you look more professional.
Link Your Logo To Your Homepage: So many websites now have this feature built in that most users expect every website to have it. If they want to return to your homepage, chances are they will instinctively click your logo, even if you have a “Home” button on your navigation bar.
As a basic rule, think about what you like to see in a website as a user, and apply those qualities to your own page. If you need further help analyzing or editing your website, talk to a web designer or web strategist.
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