a little shot of inspiration

What Makes A Great Website And How To Keep People On It

What Makes A Great Website And How To Keep People On It

15th August 2019

If you want to know what makes a great website, how to keep visitors on your website and how to move them around your site – you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will be looking at all of the above to help you make the right decisions for your website.

You can quantify the success of a website on page views, right? Wrong. Having a high number of visitors to your website is a good thing, of course. But the time they actually spend on your site is just as important. And here’s how you do it.

wireframeWireframe

A website wireframe is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework and is one of the first steps in designing a website. Along with a site-map, you have the first steps to a successful website. We have created our top 5 questions you should ask when it comes to the wireframe.

  1. Who are the intended users of this website?
  2. How can the content be organised to support these goals?
  3. Where should your logo and menu live?
  4. What should the user see first when arriving on the page?
  5. Where is the Call-to-Action?

website design

Design

Everyone knows that it’s not nice to judge a book by its cover but that is exactly what users will do when they visit your website for the first time. If they don’t like what they see or if they see something they don’t expect they will probably leave within the first 15 seconds. That’s how long you have to capture someone’s attention on your website. So, if you don’t do that in less than a quarter of a minute, you’ve lost them.

If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design

-Ralf Speth

So, here are a few pointers to make your site a little more appealing –

  1. Design consistently – keeping your colours, typography, spacing and templates consistent across the whole site makes it easier to navigate and more familiar for new and returning users alike.
  2. Text gets more attention than images, this does not mean that you should fill your whole website with just text, but that headlines are important. Short paragraphs work better than long ones. Lists are better at keeping your reader focused than large paragraphs.
  3. There’s a reason why most websites logos and menus systems are at the top. People view your website from the top left corner, so put your most important information there.
  4. White space is good! Leave the main design elements room to breathe. When everything is important, nothing is.
  5. Make content creation a part of the process. Generating solid content will only help the design and constant development of a website. Making the end-users journey a lot slicker and more fulfilling.

Time

On average users leave web pages in 10 – 20 seconds, but pages with a clear message can hold people’s attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of user interaction you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds. As you can imagine the bounce rate increases as page load speed goes down. This means you’ll want to optimize all of your content to keep the load time as low as possible.

1 second to load = 07% bounce rate
2 seconds to load = 06% bounce rate
3 seconds to load = 11% bounce rate
4 seconds to load = 24% bounce rate
5 seconds to load = 38% bounce rate

Navigation

You should always use the three-click rule, so every page on your site should be accessible within three clicks of any other page on your site. This allows users to flow through your site with ease making the bounce rate lower and hopefully for returning users/customers. Categorize content that makes sense to your user – not to you, not to your client, nor your colleagues.

Minimalism is key when it comes to menus. The simpler the better. You should clearly establish what content is required by the user up-front, and what can be hidden. Once you’ve figured that out, make that hidden information easy to find when needed. If you have a content-heavy site use clear and concise mega menus.

SEO

SEO

You can spend all the time in the world creating a beautiful website that people are actively engaged with however, none of that is worthwhile if potential visitors can’t even find your site! Although social media, paid advertising and other platforms will generate some traffic to your website, search engines drive the majority of traffic to the majority of sites. If you didn’t read our latest blog on the importance of SEO then make sure you head there next to get yourself up to speed.

SEO will improve your website’s overall searchability and visibility and here are a few of the main reasons as to why there is no excuse to ignore it.

  1. It’s a long-term strategy. Once you complete your main SEO audit and undertake any key actions as a result then as the world of digital evolves you should be able to keep track and amend each small change as it comes.
  2. As we mentioned it is the primary source of website traffic. Did you know that Google owns about 75% of the search market?
  3. It also means better user experience. A website that offers visitors what they want in a quick and simple manner is pivotal to a website’s success. Google has now learned how to interpret a positive user experience and therefore ranks your website higher.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

-Steve Jobs

Content Creation

Updates

There’s something else guaranteed to stop visitors returning to your site and that’s the fact that nothing has actually been added or changed since they last visited.

So, add new content to your site as regularly as possible. That’s normally easier said than done – but in most cases, why not consider adding a blog piece. This could be anything that’s likely to interest your audience. And apart from giving people reason to stay longer on your site and visit more often, regularly updating your content in this way is also great for SEO.

If you feel like your website is in need of a professional SEO audit, or a design refresh, let us help. Get in touch today!

studio@bopgun.com
+44 (0) 1225 351715