Websites are virtual storefronts that customers can visit at any time. You want to make sure that when they visit, you have exactly what they're looking for; but what are people looking at and looking for when they visit websites? We found some very interesting statistics that will help you build a website with all the elements that customers are looking for, and other tips for website design to optimize the performance of your website.

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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we're going to be talking about the top five things you can do to make your website better. I'm Chad Hill, and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good afternoon, Chad. We get this question a lot, in our SEO Reseller forum, and with direct customers, and in casual conversation, Chad. Everyone wants to know, what website design tips can they make their website better? So, I'm going to talk about that today. And it makes some sense, if you're working really hard to bring traffic to your website, but people bounce off, in a matter of just a few seconds, maybe you have a very high bounce rate, it's worth your time, to think about this topic.

And so, the first thing people do, is they generally stare at their website, and put their opinion into its design. They might ask for advice from a web design reseller expert, but we think you should probably go to the research and the science, and really think through what things have been tested, because there is now quite a bit of literature on this. So, we're starting off, Chad, our discussion here, with a study from Missouri University School of Science and Technology, and they did a pretty cool study, that looked at where people's eyes actually look, when they first land on a site.

It is true, that you really only have a short amount of time, to make a good impression, before someone will bounce back. And here are the top findings from the science, and Chad, let's discuss what people can really do with this data. So, what do people look at?

Well, visitor's eyes focus on, first, the logo. They give that a good, whopping long six seconds. They look at the main navigation menu, and see what words are on there. That one, also gets about six seconds.

They might look for a search box. They look for social buttons, and there's some evidence that, particularly, the younger crowd, is using those social buttons as validation. They're looking at the main image, if you have one styled on your page, and then, they're starting to browse into the written content, scanning first, across the words, not reading full paragraphs, but just skimming, particularly, those bolded pieces. And then, they make it all the way down, to the bottom of the site.

So, the science for website design is telling us a little bit about how your eye darts around, when you first land on a site. How can we translate this, Chad, into what the top five best tips for website design, to make your website more sticky, really are?

Yeah, and I'll admit, it is definitely true, that there's just so little time to get your point across. So, today on our list, the top five tips for website design.

1. Have a clear call-to-action

The first tip is to have a very clear call to action. And a lot of people make the mistake of not putting their number in a big enough font or in an obvious place or making their contact form difficult to get to. There's a lot of times, when people are looking to make a quick decision, think about things, like, "emergency plumbers," or "emergency dentist." They don't have time to be digging around, they need to take action immediately.

So, make it very clear, what you want to do, to call, to fill out a web form, maybe download an eBook, and make it big, and maybe make it even big, a little bit to the point, where it might be a little bit gaudy, in some ways. But make it very clear, what you want them to do.

2. Keep it clean & simple

Number two, clean and simple, so, slightly different than what I was just saying, but the main point there, is don't clutter your website. Make it clear, make it have three or four points that you want to make on a page, and don't throw in everything in the kitchen sink. So, keep the design simple, and straightforward.

More and more, websites tend to last about two to three years, before they need to be redesigned, and that's just because the standards of what people want, whether it's sliders or it's different ways that people are doing graphic design change, so, make sure your website is up to date.

3. Have good images

Third thing, is good images. There's been some talk, and research about the fact that websites that use too many stock images don't really come across, and communicate what your company's all about. So, make sure you include either some images with the "About Us," of your team or maybe of your location. Try to get some real photos in there, because it makes your business feel more real, than just using stock photos.

4. Make it mobile-friendly

Fourth one, is make sure your website is mobile friendly. Mobify has found that there's 30% of mobile customers will abandon the website, if it's not mobile friendly. So, if they get to a page, and have to squeeze to make it bigger, they'll just bail out, and go to the next one. So, make sure your website is responsive for mobile devices.

5. Create quality content

And the final one, is quality content. Make sure that the information you're writing on your primary marketing pages, as well as your blog post, is coherent, and makes sense, and is helpful to the user. So, there you have it, five tips that you can do, to make your website better.

Yeah, that's a pretty good list, and you can dive right into those. And I think, Chad, I would just plug on the end of that, it's great to have goals. So, if you're not measuring how well your website is converting, and what your current bounce rate are, those are two key statistics. If you don't have them, you're behind the eight ball, you need to get them. Go sign up for Google Analytics for free, and get that running. If you do have those numbers, and your website is not converting at at least 8%, that's a great number to write up on the wall, as you're moving through these five tips for website design, that Chad just gave you, and start working towards that eventual goal.

But you really need a conversion rate of 8% or better, because you work very hard to get the traffic to your site, whether it's through advertising, your SEO or social or e-mail marketing, whatever it is you're doing, word of mouth, you got to make sure they convert. We hope this is helpful. That's our Brown Bag for today, on how to make your website better, and how to get that 8% conversion rate. Drop us a comment, let us know some of things you think could work, and we hope you'll subscribe to our YouTube channel. So, we'll see you back, at another Brown Bag soon.