Your website is so much more than just an address and a placeholder on the web—or at least, it should be. For the online visitor, it’s your storefront, your image, your first impression.
How do you determine whether your site is “good” or not?
When looking at your existing website, or designing a new website, here are three quick questions to ask. Does it look professional and inviting? Does it load quickly? Can a first-timer find what they’re looking for fast?
Our average attention span is now eight seconds. That’s how long your site has to make that first impression. So…does your website immediately come across as credible, trustworthy, professional, approachable and solid—like a friendly, yet firm, handshake? Does it make your visitors feel welcome?
Making that favorable first impression is the responsibility of the web designer. But even an attractive design doesn’t guarantee your site will accomplish the goal of attracting and retaining visitors.
Website speed is no longer optional
A snazzy website design is worthless if it doesn’t load … and load quickly. The eight-second rule no longer applies here. Research by Doubleclick (Google) says that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. In fact, with Google's new mobile-first index, sites with slower load times are penalized in organic search rankings.
The fact is, bells and whistles can be a distraction—especially in the world of agribusiness. Make sure that flashy animation and video are necessary to communicate key points about your ag products or services. If so, then run with it. Just be sure to employ development techniques that don’t harm the performance of your website.
Navigation is key
Think of website navigation as a street map. Your site visitor wants to know where to go next … and it should be obvious. There are some great tools out there today that allow you to gather data on how customers interact with your website navigation and content. This allows you to visually see what they are doing, and make changes to your site to optimize every page. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when looking at your site's navigation:
- Keep navigation simple. It should be very easy for the reader to go from the general content on your home page to the more specific content on the rest of your site.
- Include links within your page copy. And make it clear where those links go.
- Ensure contact information or next actions are easily visible on all pages. This is often the key piece of information sought by visitors to your site.
- Add internal links within the text of your web pages. This allows readers to “jump” to more detailed info on other parts of your website.