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How to avoid having an ugly website

In today’s digital age, having accessible online information is crucial for professional success. But just having a website isn’t enough. Presentation is everything—and that includes how your website looks.

Website content needs to be geared toward making the consumer want to interact and engage with it. That means it has to be appealing.

So, let’s take a look at three major reasons that you could be reading this post about your own (upcoming or) current business site:

  1. You want to learn how to make sure your website provides the best consumer engagement and interaction, and search engine optimization.
  2. You’re worried that your website is ugly and came here for peace of mind that it isn’t.
  3. You don’t know where to start when creating a business website, or what works and what doesn’t.

No matter the reason, you’re here for a solution, so let’s dive right in.

Five Tips for Dissecting Your Website for Improvements

Ugly domain

Do you find it easier to visit a website with a simple domain like website.com (an example), or do you prefer to type in randomwebsite123.org/data0=184/net%/? Now your first rebuttal may be that you can just search for the company via search engine and rarely type it. In fact, typing in websites manually can be a little like memorizing phone numbers; we all have smartphones, so who cares? Unfortunately, consumers still do care.

If you were the consumer, would you be content with having to find your favorite and most visited websites by searching for them online every single time? At some point, even bookmarking the website can become a task if the list is long enough. You’re better off building a quality website with a memorable domain name. A consumer’s first impression of a website is largely design-related and easy to find.

Long loading times

Consumers hate waiting. Mobile landing pages take about 15 seconds to load, according to Think With Google’s analysis. Faster mobile site speed makes people view more pages on the site, convert more and buy more. This instant-information attitude also means it takes consumers only a split second to form an opinion about your website. That tiny amount of time shouldn’t be spent on a loading screen.

In the worst-case scenario, a consumer is ready to buy inventory from your e-commerce site, she adds products into her cart and then gets fed up with waiting to checkout. She opts for a competitor to buy similar products instead, and now you’ve lost out. Avoid this kind of sales flop by making sure your site operates at a reasonable speed.

Complicated or overwhelming interface

Consumers don’t want to engage with unattractive content. Think of your own website content for a moment. If somebody looked at it and felt the same way you just felt, do you think they would stay and interact with it? If your answer is “yes,” you get a digital high-five. If your answer is “no,” keep reading.

Start by thinking of all the things you’ve hated on websites you’ve visited in the past. Does your website also have these cons? Too many buttons? Bombarded with videos and pop-ups? Hard-to-read text sizes and font colors? These are all easy fixes—minus the part about advertising, which can be tricky.

Online users are trained to ignore massive amounts of website content due to advertising banners. While those advertising dollars may be what keeps your financials in the green, you still have to keep the user experience in mind. Focus on important topics or focal points that they can engage with. Make sure that the most important text isn’t buried in pop-ups, banners or hidden page links. There should be some kind of balance.

Auto-play music or videos

Many people listen to music while they work or surf in their free time. If you’ve ever noticed a little speaker icon on the right-hand corner of your internet tabs, it means that sound is coming from that page. Although that automated video or music may be enjoyable for you, don’t assume that it’s not disruptive for visitors. It’s not uncommon for users to block automatic sound when viewing unfamiliar websites. If the auto-playing audio or visual content is constant, this can cause valuable consumers to leave your site. Generally speaking, leave it up to users to play them voluntarily.

Website performance doesn’t match mobile performance

Do you always look at a website on your computer, or do you sometimes use your phone or tablet? Is the site set up for responsive web design? If not, it is extremely important that the website is easy to navigate and read without scrolling to the far left and far right, and trying to find text on the page. Doing simple things like entering information or purchasing items via mobile device should not become so frustrating that a user just gives up and visits the website instead. If people don’t realize your website actually operates differently on their smaller screen, you’ve done well.

To sum it up, your website content is one of your most important marketing tools. Whether or not people engage can mean the difference between one dollar and $1 million in revenue. Treat your site like you’re already earning the latter. Use these tips above to make sure your website (and mobile site) both look and operate beautifully.

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