It happens way too often. You select a new website theme or hire a website designer because you want a pretty website. I totally understand wanting a pretty site because I do too.

But too often we get caught up by looks and don’t consider how the website functions. It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is if your client or customer can’t figure out how to purchase from you.

Making sure your website works while being pretty is key to higher conversions and making more money.

Today, I’m sharing my top 5 website pillars that you can use to see how your website is doing. I even created a handy checklist for you to print out and refer to as you work on your site!

User Experience

I put this one first on my list because user experience (UX) is often forgotten. UX looks at the overall experience, positive or negative, a website visitor has when using a website.

When designing your website, keep your ideal client in mind. How could you lead her through your website so she has a good experience and opts in to your list or makes a purchase?

  • Easy to Use Navigation Bar
    • Make it easy to navigate your site so visitors don’t get lost.
    • Keep the number of navigation choices limited to 5 or less. The more choices, the more confusion.
    • When your navigation is clear and visitors find what they are looking for, they will feel more confident in what you can provide.
  • Buttons and Links
    • Make sure buttons and links are easy to see and look clickable.
    • Use a color with enough contrast to make sure buttons and links stand out.
    • When you hover over either one, make sure the color changes so your visitor understands she can click

Ready to make your website easier to use? Get started by designing your own simple visibility test following this tutorial.

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Accessibility

Accessibility focuses on improving disabled users’ experience with websites. One out of 5 U.S. adults has a disability, so it is not something to ignore. (Source.) These disabilities can range from visual, cognitive, auditory, physical, speech and/or neurological.

Going back to user experience, making your website easy to use is a great first step to adding accessibility into a website. You also want to make sure your site has:

  • Easy to read text
    • Is the font easy to read?
    • Is the font size big enough on desktop and mobile? (Size 16 or biggest is recommended.)
    • Check to see if your background and text pass the color contrast test.
  • Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning (especially if your target market includes men because they are more likely to have color blindness.)
    • The most common types of color blindness have difficulty distinguishing red and green or blue and yellow, so be sure to stay away from those combinations.
    • Use the colorblind webpage filter to see what your website looks like to someone who is color blind.
  • Images and alt tags
    • When you add an image to your website, fill out the alt text description
    • When a screen reader gets to an image, it will read the alt text.
    • Alt text should describe the image.
    • If you have an image that is for decoration only, add empty quotation (“”) marks to the alt tag.

PAGE Layout

As I’ve mentioned before, you want to make sure your website is pretty and functional while leading visitors through your website.

  • Homepage
    • Clearly communicate the purpose of your business, who you are and who you serve so potential clients see that information right away.
    • When someone lands on your website homepage, what is your ultimate goal? Do you want them to sign up for your list, visit your about page, or read more about the services you offer? You should make your call-to-action central to your homepage.
    • Always include easy to access contact information on your homepage. This makes your site feel more trustworthy.
  • Include a call to action at the end every page of your website so you continue to lead your potential client down the correct path.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information that you can use to find out what is and isn’t working on your website.

First, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website. Not sure? Check here. Use this tutorial to install analytics.

Once it is installed, spend 30 minutes each month reviewing your analytics. Find out where your traffic is coming from and where they are staying on your website.

SEO

Making sure your prospective clients can find you on Google is key to building trust with them. If you have no idea how to boost your SEO, here are 4 ways to get you started.

  • Create a content calendar and stick to it.
  • Before you start to write a blog post, think about the language your ideal client is using.
  • Make sure your blog post is offering value to your ideal client.
  • Take the time to guest blog for sites that are bigger than yours.

Making sure the 5 pillars are in place will make your website pretty AND functional. If you need some help, download this free checklist to make it easier on you! Grab it now!

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