52 Power Up Part 2.

We hope you enjoyed reading the first 10 tips in our 52 Power Up series – part 1. Our series of 52 invaluable tips continues…

52 Power Up. Part 2. All Killer. No Filler.

TIP 11: How people read & scan a website.

How do you grab someones attention online? There are OH-SO-MANY answers to that virtually-impossible-to-answer question, but for today let’s just focus on basic human behaviour. As human beings, we need to make sense of the world around us, we can’t possibly take in everything, so we select and scan for triggers that grab our attention and draw us in. So…

STEP 1: Learn how people read online.
STEP 2: deliver your content to match their behaviour.

Here is what we know for now: when a person is scanning a webpage the most common eye-movements of the viewer is in an F-Pattern. Left to right, less eye-movement towards to right-hand side as we move further down the page. And the eye rests (is more focused) at the start and stop of each point.

When placing important information on your page, it is important to ask yourself if you are taking advantage of those hot-spots. Consider placing important titles or keywords where the eye stops. Or a specific button or graphic that helps to make sense of your offering.

 

The way we scan a website
This graphic was created in seconds using canva

TIP 12: Our favorite free, online design program.

If you’re looking for an easy, free and web-based tool to create graphics for your website, social media or any marketing, we highly recommend Canva. Use their pre-made templates or start your own design from scratch.

They also just released an app for iPhones, which makes designing that much easier as you can instantly access your photos via the app.

Our colleague and good friend, Juhli Selby, created an incredible blog post and video tutorial that takes you step by step through the Canva program. Be sure to check it out!

 

TIP 13: The power of people together.

Just because you like to do things yourself (yes, we suffer from it as well) does not mean that you have muddle through building your website alone. It can be an incredibly frustrating project in isolation. Mainly because there are so many decisions, technologies, and directions that you can take – and you simply might not know what questions to even ask to get the results that you want. It’s easy to get sold on technologies by slick companies selling you on the idea that they have the perfect solution for you.

We started our Website Bootcamp because we believe in the POWER OF PEOPLE TOGETHER.

In a community you gain perspectives, incredibly valuable critiques, and insights from the people around you. And in our workshop we are here to guide you through it all. We (Kim & Niki) have been working in this industry for almost 20 years each – so you’ll save hours of frustration by having access to our insights from years of applied experience. Our approach is to move you past what’s been stopping you, and to help you truly shine! The goal? To get you back to your business at hand.

It's mazing what can happen when we work together
How people judge hompages

TIP 14: Your home page has 2 seconds to impress.

Your home page has 2 SECONDS to engage the viewer before they MOVE ON. Unbelievable right? I mean…one…two…done! So, when thinking about your home page and ways to impress that viewer, there are a few tricks that work really well:

1. Make visual impact. People see visuals before they see anything else.

2. Use one amazing image that really paints the picture of who you are and what you have to offer.

3. If you’re using images, make sure your images are optimized and load very quickly. You don’t want that 2 seconds to impress wasted by long loading images.

4. Use short and concise headings that clearly sum your business up. No one is going to read large bodies of text in those initial seconds.

5. Insert a button, clearly and visibly right near the top of your page. Make it mean something and have it link to your most valuable internal page – help your visitor to engage deeper with your site. For example “sale items” or “shop new” or “book now” or “download today”.

 

TIP 15: Choosing the words for your website.

It can be such a frustrating experience . You dig deep to find those perfect words to tell your story to your people. But somehow they are not moved, or worse – not even reading those painstakingly-crafted words.

Here are some tips for how to deliver your words on a website:

DELIVER BITE-SIZED CONTENT: Drill it down, say it as simply as you can, remove all extraneous words. Do not challenge your people with lengthy explanations. They will never read it.

USE HEADINGS: we are scanners – so use your headings to help people scan. If they find a heading that speaks to them then you have gotten their attention.

DO NOT WRITE IN PARAGRAPHS: It is more effective to break text up, you can have a couple of longer sections – but do not be afraid of hitting the return button, even after a short statement of a sentence.

BULLET-POINTS: I hate the trend, but it is effective. Bullet lists help people make sense of what you are saying quickly.

LINK YOUR TEXT: If your written-words are referring to something on your site, make that text into a link. Then the user doesn’t have the extra task of navigating to it.

PUNCTUATION: The rules are different online. The breaking up of thoughts is really helpful for people to digest your information. So don’t get too lazy, but look at your text, and ask yourself if you could break a sentence up to create a pause for people.

 

 

The words on your website
naming

TIP 16: WHY THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS IS SO IMPORTANT.

The name of your business plays a huge role in your overall branding. Don’t overlook its importance. Here are some things to consider…

KEEP IT SIMPLE – Can people remember and spell it correctly? Don’t use a name that challenges people. Think about your domain name or a person finding you in Google. If they can’t spell it, they won’t use it.

# OF CHARACTERS – You want to be able to use your full name always. Abbreviations or alternations of a name reduce your marketing efforts and challenge people in finding you. E.G. social media platforms often have a character limit. Keep the number of characters in your name to 15 or under.

DOMAIN FREE? – Before you move forward with your name, be sure you can secure the domain and all social media pages using it.

COMPETITION – Check out your competitors and see what names they use, then pick something completely original. You don’t want to be challenged setting yourself apart from your competition.

 

TIP 17: How does your website make people feel?

How does your website make people feel? I’m talking the entire EXPERIENCE of your website. Is it frustrating? Confusing? Slow? Hard to navigate? Every detail affects your user. Create a great USER EXPERIENCE and people will walk away thankful that you did not contribute to the familiar digital noise that they’re used to.

Here are some tips for a better user experience:

PAGE SPEED: If your site loads slowly people will not wait or ever see it. When using images, make sure that the file size is as small as possible. If you are using plugins – do not use too many. (there are many details affecting site speed…)

NAVIGATION: Keep it simple. Do not provide too many options -7 at the most. Use drop-downs, but do not go crazy with those either. Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for – no-one wants to dig for information.

CONSISTENCY: Keep your entire website consistent in layout and look-and-feel. People learn what to expect, and then they feel comfortable with that familiarity. You create dissonance if it is all over the place.

MOBILE: How is your site on phones or tablets? Make that experience just as good as desktop. Possibly hide some images on phones so that a user does not have to scroll forever. (just a tip)

PURPOSE: Give people visual cues to let them know what to do on your website. We call those calls-to-action. But don’t put too many together – then they compete.

COMPETING CONTENT: make sure that the various content on the page (images, CTA’s, titles, text) do not complete with one another. EG: you do not want a background image competing with the text placed over-top.

WHITE SPACE: Give your content breathing room, it’s helps people relax and actually see it.

LINKS: make sure all links work. Link text on a page if appropriate 🙂

what experience does your website deliver?
Website menu

TIP 18: Your menu affects traffic, sales and search engines…

The MENU of a website affects traffic and sales, even how you rank on search engines. Every page on your site relies on your menu. How’s yours working for you?

Take a minute and run run your website through these tips…

LOCATION: the best place to put a menu is at the very top of your website where it will be seen instantly. This is especially important for mobile phones. Don’t challenge your visitors by hiding your menu – they won’t make the effort to find it.

TITLES: Make your titles easy to understand instantly. Get your visitor to where they want to be in seconds. Titles that are too creative or vague will deter people from digging for your content.

DROPDOWN MENUS: People will not take the time to find what they are looking for. If most of your menu is made up of dropdown you are hiding your content.

LARGE MENUS: Try and reduce your menu to reflect only the most pertinent titles. A total of 5 to 7 titles is ideal. If you need to have more, consider using a mega menu, where titles can be organized neatly for optimal viewing.

 

TIP 19: Is your username “Admin”?

The most common WordPress username is Admin, and if it is yours, you have just given hackers 50% of the equation to log into your website to mess with it.

Many site owners think their business is too small to be targeted by hackers, but the truth is that hackers will target any site that is easy to get into. If it is easy they’ll hack you. But if you take measures to make it even a little bit complicated they’ll move on to someone else. So change your username today to have a more secure website.

Is your username %22admin%22?
Use a strong password

TIP 20: Prevent a hack. Use a strong Password.

The easiest way to prevent getting HACKED is to make sure you use a STRONG password. Seems simple right? Yet so many people overlook it, often opting for a password they can easily remember. Do you know that a hacker can ‘bruteforce’ crack a 10 character password in a week? Can you imagine how quickly they could crack your birthday, dog’s name, or favourite colour?

Tip 1: Want a password you can remember? Create a phrase of your own and then switch out some characters for others. EG. phrase: “My dog ate my brand new shoes”. Password: “MyD0g8MyBr&N3w5hoe5”. Always use a combination of numbers, symbols and upper/lower case letters.

Tip 2: Make your password 15 characters or more.

Tip 3: Don’t use significant dates, personal addresses, names, email addresses, slang, short phrases AND definitely do not use the word “password” or “12345” – the top two commonly used.

Tip 4: Want to play it safe? Use a password generator to create one for you. Here’s a good one.

Bottom line, you’ve spent a lot of time, money or both creating your website. Why not take a couple minutes to protect your investment by choosing a password that will protect it.

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Kim Timothy

Hello! I’m Kim - partner, graphic/web designer & brand educator for Brand Brilliant. With 20 years in the design industry, I’m a creative problem solver committed to crafting, communicating & nurturing exceptional brands in relevant and impactful ways.I believe a successful business involves building brand integrity, creating lasting relationships, and representing itself at its visual best.Through Brand Brilliant, I’m thrilled to be guiding entrepreneurs through this process and helping them discover success for their own brands and websites.

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