Is your website on the naughty or nice list this year? Here at Tiny Frog, we’ve been granted a sneak-peek at Santa’s criteria. Just like a candy cane, you want your website to be in mint condition. So before the year is out, take our advice, and get your site in the nice column.
Website Naughty List
1. Visual Bullying
Have you ever been on a website where there is so much movement that you felt distracted or like you had to hold on for dear life? Visual bullying is when you have animation or audio/visual components that end up distracting the visitor and can cause them to leave the web page. Remember to use micro-animations and well-placed video to engage versus distract.
2. Too Much Text
It’s snow joke: many websites suffer from too much text. This is especially noticeable on the home page. Since website visitors are prone to scanning text, it’s important to succinctly articulate what you do and why you do it better. Use friendly, short sentences & paragraphs that are easy to read and avoid using too much industry jargon that could confuse web visitors.
3. Too Many Pages
If someone lands on a website and the navigation is overwhelming with tons of pages & drop downs, they’ll probably leave the site right away. Your website navigation should be very simple & clean. Avoid drop down menus because these are difficult to navigate, especially on mobile & tablets. The best way to streamline pages is to consider which pages are most important for conversions.
4. Mobile Issues
As more and more web visitors use their smartphones to surf the web, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Web visitors have very low tolerance for pages that aren’t optimized for tablets and mobile phones. Even if your website is mobile responsive, it’s worth sprucing things up a bit by cleaning up the design & navigation from a mobile-first perspective.
5. Crappy Logo
A beautiful website design can be ruined by a bad logo design. It’s similar to showing up for an interview wearing a sleek silk Burberry suit and beat-up, torn sneakers. The sneakers are a distraction. When it comes to your website, your branding and colors should integrate into every aspect: logo, web design & messaging. So get yourself some classy shoes to match your suit and upgrade your logo if need be.
6. Security Warnings
There’s nothing that will drive away web visitors faster than a security warning on a website. Security is critical for WordPress sites, which are now targeted more and more by hackers. Security monitoring software, daily database backups, and proper WordPress maintenance are all important factors to preventing malware infections on a site. If you don’t take action, yule be sorry.
7. Cliché Stock Images
Stock images can be really great when a web designer incorporates them into a design as lifestyle images or enhances them with filters and unique presentations. But if you don’t have a web designer helping you, bad cliché stock images can really ruin a website and create the wrong impression of your business.
Website Nice List
1. Clean User Experience
It’s proven that a better user experience (UX) leads to conversions, but UX can be a difficult concept to grasp. Think of the last time you went to a new restaurant. A lot of factors besides the food went into whether you had a good “restaurant experience.” Did you walk through a winter wonderland to get there, and arrive rosy-cheeked and delighted? Were there fragrant chestnuts roasting on an open fire near your table? A website user experience is very similar. Even if you have a nice design, a poor user experience could drive away traffic.
2. A Web-Based Value Proposition
One of the best things you can do on your website is to have a clear value proposition. This is where you shine: state who you are, what you do, and how you differentiate yourself. Tell your visitor why what you offer is so valuable, and make sure to appeal to the different demographics of web visitors that could be coming to your website.
3. Strong Calls to Action
Calls to action on a website are the equivalent of good driving directions. Even with Santa’s world-class navigation skills, he still needs Rudolph’s red nose to guide him, so be attentive to guiding your visitors step by step through your website. Even if you have a nice web design, if you skip the Calls to Action (CTAs), you are leaving visitors to fend for themselves and if they get lost, they may leave the website.
4. GDPR Best Practices
GDPR or Global Data Protection Regulation is a European Union law that went into effect in May 2018. It sets new standards for what data is collected on a website, how it is collected, and what is done with that data. Since the law was written broadly, it could apply to U.S.-based businesses. There are a few steps to implement these GDPR best practices on your website – you can see the checklist here.
5. Fast Load Times & Page Speed
You want your site load time to be speedy like a dachshund through the snow. Studies show that visitors will bounce from a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load and that amount of time gets less and less each year. Your website’s page speed can be impacted by a lot of different factors from the hosting server to optimization.
Maintaining a website is a lot like maintaining your car. If you keep skipping oil changes and tune-ups, your car will eventually break down. The same is true for your website. It’s best to call in Santa’s web development helpers to update the WordPress plugins, themes & core on a monthly basis. This prevents security risks and issues from occurring over time.
7. Live Chat
Live chat is a great tool to add to your website. It can actually increase the engagement and conversions on your website because you are making it easier to connect directly with web visitors. It’s very straightforward to add live chat to a WordPress website and customize the chat to fit your site’s branding and messaging.
Good luck getting all your ducks in a row, (or partridges, turtle doves, french hens, calling birds, geese a-laying, or swans a-swimming,) and have your elf a happy holiday!