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The Foundation of an Effective Website

Your website is where your consumers go to look for your contact information, browse your products, and find expert insight. If your site doesn't engage your users or provide the information they're looking for, quickly, they'll move on to the next search listing.

Here are three simple foundations that will improve user retention, generate repeat visits and quality leads, and increase sales.


Bad User Experience Design1) Clean Design

Good design matters because people make snap judgments. You have just 5/10ths of a second (the length of time it takes to snap your fingers) to capture a visitor's attention.

That's all the time it takes the average person to determine if your site can meet their needs. If your bounce rates are high, chances are your design isn't meeting user expectations.

Some elements of bad design are:

  • Dated, cluttered look
  • Weak calls-to-action
  • No visible contact information

Take a look at the website on the right. Ironically, it's dedicated to the user experience.  

The layout is copy-heavy, and there are no design features that capture attention. That makes it difficult to find what you're looking for.

And given that the company touts itself as a user experience expert, I'm immediately mistrustful of their content because they have failed to create a good user experience.

Ghost F-Shape Design2) Eye-Friendly, F-Shaped Layout

A Nielsen Norman Group study revealed that the majority of web users scan a web page in an F-shaped pattern, focusing on headlines and scanning their way down the page for relevant information. That's probably attributable to the way search engines have trained us to scan results quickly.

Display your most important content across the top middle of the layout, what would be the top of the letter F.

Position your second most important content immediately below it -- the shorter bar of the F. 

Then, place your third-most important content along the left side of the page, where the vertical bar of an F would be.

The F-shaped layout is especially important in copy-heavy areas, such as your blog, and will also draw attention to your most important calls-to-action on the home page.

Mountain View Tire User Experience3) Strong Calls-to-Action

Whether you want visitors to find a location, sign up for an email list, or buy a product, you can guide them to complete those behaviors -- or convert, in web-speak -- with strong calls-to-action (CTAs).

Position your CTAs in prominent areas of the site, and make sure they're visible on every page as on MountainViewTire.com.

Choose one or two important calls-to-action to focus your attention on. Too many can create confusion and decrease overall conversions. If you have multiple conversions you want to achieve, try rotating your CTAs monthly.

Need help creating an effective website? Call the WebArt team for an evaluation. We'll review your analytics to determine user patterns and make recommendations to increase traffic, improve retention, and encourage repeat visits.

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