This guest blog post was written by Katie Williamsen.
When running an online business, it can be so easy to get caught up in #allthethings. Deciding if you should spend your time on social media, SEO, blogging, email marketing, etc. can be overwhelming. With a long list of everyday to dos, websites, the hub for #allthethings, often get forgotten.
But, your website is your greatest asset and your digital welcome mat, so it must be treated with care. Even if you aren’t a tech genius, there are a few tweaks you can make to help optimize your website. Making these fixes will uplevel your site so you can start making more sales!
Mistake Number 1: Your images are not optimized
Waiting for a webpage to load can be as exciting as watching paint dry. How often do you choose to leave a website that is slow to load? According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a website to load within 2 seconds and 40% will leave if a site does not load within 3 seconds. You do not want visitors to leave your website, you must make sure your images are optimized.
When you upload images to your website, it is ideal if they are 100 kB or less. If you upload a photo directly from your iPhone, digital camera or stock photo website, you will find they are often 2 MB or larger. If you upload these images directly to your website, they will end up slowing down your site.
The Fix: Your images need to be resized so they can load faster and speed up your website. I use Adobe Photoshop to resize images. Canva, a popular, free tool, reduces image size, but not small enough. Most pngs I created in Canva were still over 1 MB and jpgs were around 700 kB.
Note: Canva recommends exporting all files as pngs. Unless there is text on your image, save it as a jpg to make a smaller file.
If you do not have access to Photoshop, can you compress your images with a tool like Simple Image Resizer. Or, if you have a WordPress site, there are various plug-ins such as EWWW Image Optimizer and ShortPixel.
Taking a bit of extra time to resize your images is key to speeding up your website. To help you out, I’ve created a checklist of the step you need to go through to help you optimize your images. Download now!
Mistake Number 2: A confusing navigation
If clients or customers cannot find what they are looking for when the land on your site, chances are high they will exit your site. When it comes to fancy tricks, website navigation is not the place to try them out. Instead, you want your navigation to be as clear and easy to read as possible.
The Fix: When prospective clients visit your website, they will expect to find a horizontal navigation along the top. Navigation links should be in an easy to read font like Open Sans or PT Serif. Save the pretty script fonts for logos and blog post images.
Keep the number of navigation choices to a minimum. Our short term memory can only hold seven items, therefore, the less choices, the easier it is to navigate. Make navigation link titles clear, not creative. Use standard terms visitors have come to expect such as home, about, contact, blog, shop, etc.
If you are unsure if your navigation is clear, ask a biz bestie for feedback.
Mistake Number 3: Text as images
When you design a beautiful image with a text overlay all about your services or product and upload that to your website, you are doing yourself a disservice. Using text on your website will also help your website’s SEO and load time (because it will have less images to download).
Google cannot see your images, but Google can read text.
The Fix: The easiest fix is to keep images and text separate. Place your graphic onto your page then put copy above or below the image. If you want to get fancy and overlay text, Krista Rae has a great step-by-step tutorial for WordPress.
Note: It is okay if your blog post graphics have text on them.
Add some time to your schedule to review your website and see if you are making any of these mistakes. Don’t forget to download your image optimization checklist!
Katie Williamsen is the web and social media strategist behind Katie Williamsen Web & Social Media Consulting, LLC. She teaches lady bosses how to be confident in their online strategy to attract loyal fans. She is also the editor of the lifestyle blog, Twin Stripe, dedicated to helping fun, fabulous readers create a bright and modern lifestyle — that doesn’t cost a ton. When Katie isn’t strategizing with clients, researching or blogging, she’s spending time with her husband, Chad, and their pup, Hobbes.