There are countless ways in which a website can be improved. In our last Friday Website Review, many of you agreed that one of the best ways to learn is by looking at real-life examples instead of just presenting theory.
So, this week we're back with a new website review, including many small improvements you can make quickly and one major change that can completely transform you website (for the better).
Here are the posts that were referenced in the video:
- Why you shouldn't use "skill bars".
- 3 questions you can use to optimize any web page.
- WordPress commenting and spam-prevention systems.
Better Presentation of Your Offer
The main issue uncovered for this week's site is a lack of clear communication about the offer. One of the most important things you can do for any business is figure out what your unique selling point is and communicate that as clearly as possible.
What exactly do you offer and what makes your offer better than competing offers? These are questions your marketing message should answer as clearly as possible. Here's a guide to discovering how you can create the perfect unique selling proposition for your business.
Notes from This Week's Review
Here are some of the fixes discussed in the video, with a wide application to many websites:
Typography & Readability
Make sure that text on your site is easily readable, even for people who don't have perfect eyesight.
As a general guideline, I recommend using dark text on a light background, 16px or above font size and 1.6 - 1.9 em line height. These numbers aren't set in stone: depending on the font you use, others might work better.
Another important factor concerns headlines and sub-headings: these should be clearly distinguishable from regular text. Every page should have one main headline that immediately draws a visitor's eye.
Here's a post with a few case studies showing how dramatically font choices and sizes can affect conversions (note that they use "points" rather than "pixels" in their font size recommendations - in web browsers 12pt usually equals 16px).
Don't Use Generic Stock Images
There's a certain type of stock image that is all too commonly used on websites. You know the kind: attractive people obviously posed and looking slightly uncomfortable.
Images like this are easy to find, but they might hurt your conversions and they can cause a real credibility issue, too. When you use these kinds of images, it's clear that the people in the images aren't your actual customers or employees or support staff - and that makes it seem like you're trying to hide something.
Having a website that is mobile responsive has become the de facto standard. However, just because your website responds to different screen sizes doesn't mean that it does so in a good way.
Typical issues with responsive design are:
- Columns getting too narrow instead of stacking vertically.
- Large text not resizing and breaking on to too many lines on small screens.
- Designs that require zooming on smaller screens.
- Some elements remaining static and breaking out of the frame, while the rest of the website responds.
Always test your pages at different screen sizes and (ideally) on at least one tablet and one phone, to spot potential issues.
Use this Google tool to test whether your pages are considered "mobile friendly" by the Google bot.
Don't Waste Your Precious Testimonials
Testimonials can be a very powerful conversion tool and I definitely recommend that you gather and use them in your business.
If you do have enthusiastic testimonials from your customers or experts in your niche, don't waste them by just dumping all of them onto a single "Testimonials" page. If you do that, you leave it up to your visitors to seek out the social proof for themselves.
Instead, weave testimonials in with your sales copy. Whenever you can, use testimonials as a proof element to reinforce benefit statements or promises you make in your sales copy. And of course, all the points about typography apply as well: make sure your testimonials are well designed and easy to read.
Would You Like to See More Reviews Like This?
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As always, if you have any questions, please leave a comment below!