6 easy ways to keep visitors viewing your website

How you structure your website and design it, plays a huge part in how long visitors stay on the page and what they do when they get there.

I have a confession to make, and it’s one I’m a bit embarrassed about as a design who prides herself on great UX training. I’d neglected my own site. That’s why the home page has moved about. So here’s my five tips for you:

  1. Fonts. I know I go on a LOT about fonts (evidence right here!) but make it clear and easy to read. Save the big scripts for Christmas cards and keep it simple. Ditto backgrounds!

  2. Order. How you structure your site depends on the business you’re in. Words, testimonials or portfolio. A pet hate I have. Building firms who shove their before and after photos like an apology at the end of the page. If you’re secretly addicted to George Clarke on Channel 4 then you’re with me on the power of a makeover, right? We want to see the bit when it’s all shiny and fixed. Check with your clients and see what make then tick. Mine all say portfolio first so it’s been reordered.

  3. Keep it up to date. If you’re not entirely regular with the blogs then you need to make time. At the Cambridge Social Media Day last month, Nicole from Lollipop Social advised making our personal branding a homework task and I add blogs to that too. Use apps like Pocket to save material you like and Buffer to share your posts so you can get some order. That’s kind of an SEO style tip rather than a design one but if the last blog post says July 2018 and it’s talking about the heatwave and I’m hugging Molly to keep warm, it doesn’t look good. It is possible to hide the dates but the content might give you away. Anytime you post a blog, take a look at the analytics and see how visitors are behaving which leads me nicely onto…

  4. Hotjar is my favourite UX tool as it shows behaviour. They offer a 15 day free trial of the business service and it’s helpful in seeing how your site works for visitors and fix any pain points. Although I have reordered this home page, I’m going to pay a lot of attention to the readings from Hotjar. Is it wrong to have a crush on this site?

  5. Check out the view. That’s how it looks on a mobile and tablet. As you edit, flip to the other views and check. In my first attempt, the newsletter boxes ran in sequence. I know my newsletter is a thing of beauty and information (ahem!) and even more so when I escape from MailChimp very soon, but you don’t need to keep getting demands to sign up (but if you want to.. head over here!)

  6. Call to action. You may want your visitor to sign up to a newsletter, a petition to support a campaign or a donation, or visit a shop. How do we present CTAs? Scattered throughout a page? All at the end? All at the start? 

    A good rule is one call to action on one page. The CTA can, and should appear several times throughout the content, but you want only one as your content needs to move your reader, step by step, to a single destination. If readers are presented with multiple CTAs it’s confusing.

Do you use any heat mapping or analysis for your website? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!