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5 Tips to Improve Your Website

Website Design

1. Think About Your Call to Action Buttons

We all know that, when it's time to create a call to action button, the first one's that come to mind are 'Click Here' or 'Find Out More'. We've all been guilty of reverting to these options but we need to do better. These types of call to action buttons mean nothing to me as a user and I have no expectation of what clicking that button will achieve. The purpose of a call to action button is to draw our users attention to it and to encourage them to click. The fact is, all buttons are unique. They can land users on different pages of our website, allow users to make a download or send users to another website to get the information they need. If we want to make our website users happy, we need to be upfront about where the button will take them and set some expectations for them to ultimately ease any fears they have about clicking on it.

If your call to action button is to subscribe to your email newsletter, call it what it does, 'Subscribe' or 'Subscribe to Newsletter'. If a button is to book an appointment, call it 'Book Now' or 'Make Appointment'. If the button is to link through to an article where you're giving the user 10 tips about styling their home, don't call it 'Click Here' or 'Find Out More'. Instead, call it 'Read the Tips' or 'Tips for Styling Your Home'.

Also, best practice is to not go ALL CAPS. The thought behind website owners using an ALL CAPS call to action is that it will draw the users attention to that button. Not true. In actual fact it is much harder to read and it just looks like you are shouting at your website user. (Probably not the best first impression to leave). If you are worried about the call to action not standing out on the page, you need to look at other factors like negative space, colours, competition of attention and the hierarchy of content on your website.

2. Add Labels to Icons

Icons can be ambiguous and have different meanings across different cultures. The Google Translate app used to only display icons to identify the different options on the app but the team felt like this was a potential issue for users so they did some A/B testing. On the A/B test they delivered the original with the icons for the A while the B had the icons with a small label to identify the icon. The results were massive. They saw a 25% increase on the click through rate on the B version (with the labels), proving their hypothesis was correct.

So as much as we think that our users will understand the icons we add to our site, we need to be mindful that our interpretation could be very different to the typical user. So where possible, add a label to your icons.

3. Take Your Time Writing

Take time to consider the copy on your website. Whether it's body copy or headlines, both are really important at representing your brand. Remember that your users might not be technical, they might not have heard of your product before so you should avoid using highly technical language or acronyms and instead speak about your product in the simplest possible terms.

Also, make sure to remember to always talk about the user benefit of your product rather than the functionality.

4. Remember, users scroll

The concept of 'the fold' goes back centuries and has roots in the printing press. Newspapers were printed on large sheets of paper which then had to be folded to fit on news stands. Newspaper editors soon realised that they must put their most attention-grabbing headlines, photographs and content into the top half of the paper to attract someone to purchase their newspaper. This area above where the newspaper folded became universally known as 'the fold'.

In the following years this concept was adapted to the digital world and in web design it related to the content a user could see before having to scrolling a website. However, as the world of digital continues to evolve the concept of the fold becomes much more complicated than it was in the print world. It is still widely acknowledged that although this area is very important real estate for your website, if you manage to capture your users attention they will scroll your website. In a recent report carried out by Chartbeat, as described on, they discovered that 65.7% of all engagement on the website they surveyed happened below the fold.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to get all of your content in above the fold on your website. Instead, keep it short, simple and to the point. Spread your content across the entire webpage and if you are clear with your hierarchy and use good negative space users will happily scroll down the rest of your webpage to find what they're looking for.

5. Consider A/B testing

A/B testing is essentially where you create two variations of the same thing and run a test over a period of time to discover which one will work best for your chosen goals — whether that is click-throughs, registrations or signups etc.

For example, if you have a pop-up 'Sign up to my Newsletter' on your website you could run an A/B with the call to action buttons. You could call one variant 'Sign Me Up' and another 'Sign Up For Free Newsletter' and using software you can see which call to action button performs best. Google Optimise is a great tool which is free to use and allows you to run all these types of test without the need for you to contact your developer to run a test — which could be costly and negate the benefit to the test. You can test on buttons, colours, headline, images.

You can A/B test pretty much anything on your website with relative ease.

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