Critique of a local business website

The other day, we jumped on a Google Hangout to review and critique a local business (a sign company based outside of London) website.

Check out the video here:

The main takeaways for other local businesses are these:

  1. Prioritise website performance.
    • If your website takes more than a second or two to load, you’ve got problems. Either your design is too complicated and resource intense, or your developer dropped the ball. Consult with someone who knows what they’re doing to reduce the amount of HTML requests (the amount of files being pulled in from different sources in order to load the web page), clean up the code, and optimise CSS, JavaScript, and image files for online use.
  2. HTTPS is a must-have in 2018.
    • Serving your website on an encrypted connection (i.e. a HTTPS address instead of a HTTP one) signals to users that your website can be trusted. More importantly, Google has started rewarding HTTPS sites and punishing HTTP sites in search rankings. Make the switch now for a quick search-engine optimization win.
  3. Keep the website structure as flat and easy to navigate as possible.
    • People like websites that are easy to navigate and intuitive in design. No one wants to have to go on a treasure hunt in order to find the information they’re looking for. Also, for SEO, Google favours websites that offer a good user experience. Keep things simple and impactful.
  4. Avoid shiny-object syndrome.
    • A lot of business owners and web design clients suffer from “shiny-object syndrome”, which is when they’ve seen something they really like on someone else’s website — and decide it’s a must-have for their website too. It’s possible it’s a good idea, but the agency or freelancer you’re working with is much better equipped to make those calls. After all, you wouldn’t tell your doctor how he should treat your illness, would you?
  5. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer.
    • Good web design requires a good deal of empathy. Your website exists to serve your ideal customer. Put yourself in their shoes — what kind of information are they looking for? What kind of user experience do they want?

      Ideally, this is done in collaboration with the agency or freelancer you hire. Web design isn’t about pixel-pushing. Make sure you work with people who are good at strategy and UX.
  6. Keep it simple, stupid.
    • The key to a good website is simplicity: both in the design and in the code. The reason why people love Apple so much is that everything they make is simple. Whether it be the product design of their laptops, or the operating system of their phones, they strip away every unnecessary component and focus on beautiful simplicity: everything they make is high quality and easy to use. Strive for the same characteristics when you build your website.

We’re trying something new with this type of content. If you liked it, let us know. Want us to review your website? Shoot Jon an email: jon [at] marketingidiots [dot] co.