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How to Fix Your Website’s Structure

By: Chris LaFay on June 20, 2018

When your website’s user experience is short of fantastic, your company risks losing potential customers to its lack of structure.  If visitors are unaware of how to purchase products, send you an email, or learn how you can best serve their needs, they won’t engage with you. These are a few key areas that I see when looking through websites that come our way.

Not Intuitive to Navigate

Navigation around your company’s website is critical to keeping potential customers on your site. A clean menu with essential page links will allow customers to properly react to calls to action. How do you ensure that your menu is doing everything it needs to do?

Intuitive Menu Find the line between thinking outside the box and throwing away the box. Make sure that your website's navigation is in a intuitive place.
Actionable Links Ensure navigation links are the actions that users will take. Be descriptive! Instead of "Contact" use "Contact a team member."
Allow Navigation Whether you have a multi-page site or a single-page scrolling ad, make sure you have navigation that links to specific information that site visitors will be interested in finding quickly.

Overuse of Stock Imagery

Stock images have their place. Original illustration or photography is not always within most small business’ budget. It makes sense to do the things you do well, which is run your company, and leave coming up with how to best represent it to the professionals.

When images are ambiguous or don’t match your brand, it makes it the worst offender on the list.

Just take a look at the images above. The middle image, for example, is a man holding a globe with uninformative icons in hexagons. Without explanation, this image does not communicate anything meaningful.

How do we fix this?

Custom Photos Even if professional photos aren't in the annual marketing budget, your phone's camera can do a good job. Getting photos of staff around the office goes a long way to show a more personal side of your business.
Stylized Imagery When you're using stock photos, choose colors or filters that are consistent with your branding.
Consistent Photographer A quick search will reward with a slew of option. Dig deeper! Finding a set of photos with the same models and shot by the same photographer can bring consistency across your primary content.

In Your Face Calls-To-Action (CTAs)

Remember when pop-ups ads littered the internet?  Now we have even more types of “in your face” advertising than ever before. With exit-intent boxes, chat pop-ups, full screen take over ads, autoplay video ads, and more, people get bombarded with more ads than they have time to process.

Given the influx of new ad types – and the negative response from consumers – Google has started cracking down on getting rid of them.  Using these CTAs is not a bad thing – if done in an appropriate fashion:

Accessible Content Make sure you allow readers an easy path to the content that brought them there. Ads that cover up the content are frustrating and can reduce the amount of time people spend on your site.
No Auto-Playing I have not met a single person that appreciated a video automatically playing with audio. Let your audience decide on their own what they read, watch, or listen to.
Relevant CTAs You can and should have custom calls to action within your content! When you share information with a customer that invites them to engage, make it easy for them to do so. In a lot of our blog posts, we have strips within the content to invite potential customers to connect with us, like the one below.

This isn’t the definitive list of problems that customers have, but this is a start. Take a look at your website and see if any of these issues are there.

Want us to check?

If you would like my team to take a look at your site for you, we'd be more than happy to do a free website audit.

Written By:

Chris LaFay

Chris founded CCC after trying to figure out how to have the work-life balance that everyone dreams of. Not only does he get to enjoy designing + implementing websites, he also gets to play with his dog, travel, enjoy family dinners, and keep up with baseball. Check back with Chris for articles on web design, user experience, and project case studies.