Earlier this month, I attended a local tech talk aimed to help small businesses avoid the pitfalls of website design. Chad Warner, founder of OptimWise, a Holland, MI-based web design agency, delivered a phenomenal presentation highlighting the most common website mistakes and how to fix them without leaving you or your pocketbook exhausted. As I will be revamping our company’s online presence in the months to come, I was relieved to learn that our website wasn’t violating too many of the mistakes mentioned by Chad! However, there’s always room for improvement, and I hope the take-aways I learned from the session can help you as they have me. Three of the most helpful points from Chad’s presentation were:
Hub & Spoke Model
Think of your online presence as a wheel where your website is the hub, and your social media platforms are the spokes. They should all be connected, similar in design, and point users back to the core – your website. As the online face of your company, your website needs to be under your control, where you have ownership of its content. Using third party platforms for your web presence makes your sites susceptible to change, obsoletion, or irrelevance.
The technical performance of your website is as important as its design and content. Chad quoted a statistic that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Three seconds!! That could mean you’re losing 40% of your potential clients. Therefore, always make sure your website is speedy, secure, and updated with the latest software.
Customer-Focused Content & Design
Is your website a novel of your company’s history, achievements, etc? Visitors to your website probably don’t care to read paragraphs of your company’s background. What they really want to know is how you can help them. Keep your content concise, simple, and customer-focused. Mobile-friendly functionality is also vital as Chad mentioned that 60% of all online traffic is from smartphones and tablets.
For more insights into web design, view Chad’s presentation by clicking here.