Three steps to a pandemic-proof website

Posted on June 8, 2020

 

Having the right web design is important at any time, but in today’s world, as lockdown is lifting and businesses start to trade again, customers are cautious and want reassurance about where to shop and who to use for the products and services they’ll need.

If you want to thrive – and not just survive – in the aftermath of this pandemic, then you need to check your site. Here, we offer three steps to pandemic-proofing your website:

Step 1: Build for mobile first

Mobile device usage has been increasing for years but, as a result of the pandemic, people are spending more time at home and are searching more on their smartphone than ever. Worldwide, the statistics recently hit 70% for the first time.

This means your website must be built for mobile first, so it needs to be more than just ‘mobile friendly’. A mobile-friendly website will work on a smartphone/mobile device. What you want though is your website to have been designed specifically for the mobile user. This means it’s designed for speed, and designed especially for the smaller screen.

Step 2: The 8-second rule

When people are online, you have only a limited time in which to grab their attention, and raise their desire so they take the action you want. You may have heard of the 10-second rule. With the advent of social media, increased time on mobile devices and a life where we suffer from information overload, research suggests you now only have 8 seconds in which to do this.

If you don’t show people what they want quickly, you’ll lose them. Potentially, more than 50% of users won’t even scroll down past what we call the ‘fold’, i.e. the bottom of the screen you can see when you first load the website.

Don’t worry too much about having pretty pictures taking up the header of your website – unless you’re a photographer perhaps – as you want your opening headline at the top. Right now, that could be a message about how you’re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, what your opening hours are, or what products or services you’re offering right now. You want everything really important above the fold. Beware of too many rotating graphics as well, and how long they take to cycle through. Remember, a design can be pretty yet not convert. You want your website to convert. The design is secondary.

Step 3: Video is a MUST

Video grabs the attention fast, so it meets the 8-second rule as well, but it will make people stop and listen – for a short time at least – and is likely to get you a little longer than the 8 seconds. You can get a lot in the space above the fold by using a video.

Make sure you write it well. It should be two to three minutes MAXIMUM. If your unique selling points (USPs) are key to what you do, get them all in here. If it’s who you are and your experience, this is your opportunity to showcase it. If you’re worried about going on camera, bear in mind it doesn’t have to be ‘you’. A video can be made with photographs, testimonials from clients, or slides with a professional voiceover.

Those are our three steps to making your website pandemic-proof. Remember to follow Engage Web for more tips to help your business thrive.

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