Does Your Website Design Suck? Here’s How to Find Out
Every business needs a website these days, and it seems that everyone is a web designer these days. There are offers to build complete websites for as little as $500 all over the Internet. Unfortunately many business owners assume that building a website is a cookie cutter process and will award the job to the lowest bidder.
These low bid jobs will typically just use a template and throw a logo on it and call it a custom design. We see these hack jobs all the time, as well as “custom” designs that just don’t turn out the way the business pictured their site, or didn’t have the functionality they desired. You get what you pay for when it comes to website design and development. If your website isn’t performing as well as you would like use the following information to determine if a redesign can benefit your business.
Analyze Visitor Data
You will want to dive into your analytics account and look at the bounce rate for all of the pages that you are sending your traffic. If your bounce rate is high on your homepage that could mean that your layout and navigation is not appealing and rather than trying to figure it out your visitors are simply leaving your website. If they are bouncing off product or service pages then the content isn’t what they are looking for or expected, causing them to leave early.
There are several heat map tools that will show you where every visitor clicks on your website and how far down they scroll on each page. This is a great tool to determine if your layout is effective. If your users aren’t scrolling down far enough to see your main content on your pages then you need to reposition it within their view. We analyze websites all the time and discover that the visitors aren’t even coming in contact with the offer because it is positioned too far down on the page.
Get Real-Time Feedback
Want to know the best way to find out what a regular visitor will think when they land on your website? Have people visitor your site and tell them to narrate their experience and opinions out loud. Something that you might think makes clear sense could be confusing to someone that is not in your company or industry.
Ask friends and family to do this for you, either in person or on the phone. Their initial thoughts and feedback can be the most valuable feedback you receive. Often times this can help to identify weaknesses or points of confusion on your website. Ask questions and find out what they really think and what parts of the website were confusing.
If the feedback indicates that they are confused about what the website offers or they have a hard time navigating the website it is time for an overhaul. Make sure you get a nice sized sample of feedback. Aim to get feedback from at least a dozen individuals.
So, how do you fix it?
By looking at the visitor data and gathering real feedback you will be able to pinpoint what the biggest problems are. The most common problems are horrible navigation, leading the users to get frustrated and simply leave the website. Another common problem is a very poorly designed homepage that leaves the visitor scratching his or her head wondering what the website offers. A design tat just isn’t visually appealing is also a major problem, as your website is the first impression you are giving your visitors.
3 Steps to Fix Your Website
Sometimes you just need to move your content and offers around to make sure your visitors are coming into contact with it. This is where the heat map tool really comes in handy. If your visitors aren’t scrolling how far enough to even see your offers how do you expect to convert them? Try to position all of your offers above the fold and in plain sight.
If your website content isn’t compelling enough you might want to consider hiring a professional to r-write your copy. You could have the best product or service but if your copy isn’t strong your visitors aren’t going to convert.
Bring in Professionals
Some websites are just so bad that they need to be completely scrapped and redesigned from the ground up. Most of the clients that we end up doing a complete website overhaul on went with a very cheap option first and it ended up costing them more money in the long run. Not only are the designs poor, but the structure is usually incorrect as well.
It is important that the web design company understands SEO and conversion optimization as well, because an effective website involves more than just a pleasant design. If you want to get it right, hire a professional agency.
Keep Analyzing Visitor Data
We spoke about analyzing your visitor data above, and this is something that you need to do on a continuous basis. Keep track of visitor activity by using analytics and utilize the heat map tool to monitor user behavior on your actually pages. If you notice that conversion rates are dropping take a look and find out why.
Your website is one of the most valuable assets your business has, so make sure you are utilizing it correctly. If you would like a free website evaluation, contact us today, and our team of design and conversion optimization experts will provide you with a complete analysis as well as make suggestions to improve your website.