Tag Archives: technique

Extended Stay: 4 Tips on Reducing your Website’s Bounce Rate

business tips

The first two words of Radiohead’s 2016 masterpiece, A Moon Shaped Pool, is stay in. The last two, don’t leave. Read together, they form a sentence; stay in, don’t leave. It could be simple coincidence but A Moon Shaped Pool came out less than 12 months after lead singer Thom Yorke’s divorce with his wife of 23 years, Rachel Owen, and there are a lot of things on the album that hints at this, especially the closing track, ‘True Love Waits’.

A Moon Shaped Pool came out on a Sunday and even after more than two years, I remember the moment ‘True Love Waits’ hit me. I put that song on repeat as I lie down on my bed crying with that song playing in the background. I used to joke that I never have problems making people fall in love with me, it’s getting them to stay that way that’s tricky and naturally, what’s true in love is also true in web development. I mean, we even have the term bounce rate that basically covers the same concept.

Stay in, don’t leave

In retail, whether traditional or online, we’re familiar with the concept of window shopping, which is an activity where a person browses through a store’s merchandise without any actual intention to buy anything. Even though you’re seeing only an increase in traffic but not sales, window shoppers are usually a good thing since there’s a good chance they would make a purchase at a later date. The wishlist feature available on most e-commerce platforms was meant to facilitate this.

Bounce rate on the other hand is the kind of traffic you’re not necessarily looking for. The term is defined as the ratio of single-page visits against any other traffic. Bouncing is markedly different compared to window shopping because window shoppers usually click through multiple different pages first. Bouncers usually take one look at your website and then immediately head for the exit. Given that almost no one in the internet is actually pressed for time, it can be surmised then that the problem probably lies with your website.

Bouncing is something you want to minimize as much as possible but the problem with bouncing is that there are various possible causes. It could indicate that your website has a horrible first impression, you might simply be attracting the wrong kind of traffic or that your content has terrible presentation. In the following section, we’re going to dissect each of these points and the possible solution you could try.

Didn’t want to leave you with the wrong impression

First thing first, you want to remove any intrusive ads or interstitial pop-ups from your website immediately if there are any. Google hates them, I hate them and that adorable pomeranian I regularly see on my morning run probably hates them too. Trying to shove supposedly great offers down your visitor’s throat right off the bat isn’t attractive and it actually spotlights your lack of faith in your own website. Let your website and its content speak for itself and stop relying on cheap tactics to try and rope more customers.

If your website is free from such distractions but you’re still seeing a relatively high bounce rate, it is possible the fault lies on your website itself. For me personally, amateurish-looking, excessively loud and poorly organized websites are a turn-off and if I saw any of that in any website I visit, my hands instinctively move to close that particular tab. Try to show your website to the people in your life that’s not attached to your business to get some genuine third-party opinions if you’re unsure about how your website would hold up against the general public.

Attracting the wrong kind of attention

One possibility that might affect your bounce rate is that you’re simply getting traffic from all the wrong places and this might indicative of a fault or a misunderstanding in your SEO strategy. It is possible for example that you’re focusing on the wrong kind of keywords or that your PPC ad is being shown to the wrong people. When it comes to SEO and marketing, there are two things you have to focus on, the type of content you’re doing and the channel you use to market them.

The common misconception when it comes to SEO is that people seem to think that far and wide is the best philosophy when a focused and targeted campaign is actually preferable. A campaign netting 1 million in traffic but only 5% conversion brings far less value than a campaign netting merely 250,000 in traffic but a conversion rate of 50%. Do proper market research first and build your marketing campaign around the data you’ve collected instead of simply going for the lowest common denominator.

When it comes to presentation, the devil’s in the details

I’ve had this done to me repeatedly over the years so I think I’m completely in the right when I say that editing matters and this is all the more important when it comes to video and written content, especially written content. It honestly matters little how good of a writer you are if you can’t present that in an easily digestible way. Content writing, usually written with a marketing or sales intention in mind is a whole different ballgame compared to creative writing, where it is usually okay to be indulgent.

In content writing, you need to figure out a way to get your point across as engagingly as possible without using more words than necessary. In a way, content writing can be difficult than creative writing because it requires a different skill set that the typical writer might not be in possession of. Overly long paragraphs and complex sentences, two things that I’m regularly guilty of, are verboten so edit and reedit your writing to trim those fat as much as possible.

In 2019, Things Change: Why You Should Upgrade Your Business Web Design Quality in 2019

web design tips

Having a website is an essential part for every purposes or activities, especially for business purposes. A website helps consumers find what they are looking for and what they want to know about a business that is selling what they might need. A website can also help businesses be found easily by their target consumers which can increase the business’ brand awareness. However, building a basic website in this year of 2019 will get you nowhere. Why? That’s because building basic websites is not enough to attract customers because of the quality that doesn’t provide clear navigation to make it easier for the users. That’s why quality in a web design is the most important part for achieving your business goals and in this year of 2019, if you are a business owner who owns a website, maybe it’s time for you to upgrade your website design. Keep reading to find out why!

Users need easier navigation on your website

One thing we should learn from 2018 is that our mistake for neglecting navigation design on our business website, so don’t make the same mistake in 2019. Easier navigation on your website will help users find your products or services easily. Don’t forsake the easy use of navigation for the sake of cute design. Sure we need to create good looks and styles for your website, but if the design makes your website navigation difficult for users to use, then what’s the point in that if your customers can’t find and buy your products?

You need to think in users’ perspective

Sometimes we don’t understand people because we are not trying to be in their shoes. When it comes to having a website for business, it is important for you to have a website that provides what users need and want. For that reason, you should put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself: If I wanted to buy something, what would I search on Google? What kind of phrase would I use on Google? What kind of content that would help me find what I wanted to buy? When you outline those kinds of questions and think carefully of a plan to answer those questions, it will help you create a targeted, persona-centric website that attracts the right visitors, directs them to the right content and delights them with a seamless user experience.

Change the look, but not your business identity

Remember the time when Instagram logo used to be a simple camera with light and dark brown colours? After the update about 2 or 3 years ago, Instagram totally changed their look into a combination of gradient pink, yellow and a little bit of purple. They may have changed the look, but not their identity. The logo is still a camera, right? If you feel that the face of your business should be changed, then do it, but never change your identity and your purpose.

Why is it important?

Maybe many of you are already satisfied with your business website design. Maybe you think it is enough. However, as the years go by, things always change, if not for the better, for worse. When the time comes for worse, we have to be well-prepared for that. There will be times when new businesses in the same industry will appear and outstand. If we are not prepared and if we don’t upgrade our website’s quality, chances are, they will be ahead of you in the long run. The most important part to keep in mind is that while things change in the future, you have to be prepared so that your business can keep up and grow better. Learn new things and keep up with the trends, as well as adjust to changes and new things. That way, your business will look like as if it was brand new, not monotone.

Shades of Grey: Monochromatic Color in Web Design

Web design tips

History is filled with companies, brands and other institutions that have been associated with a certain color. Italian car manufacturer for example is closely associated to the color rosso corsa, a unique shade of red that began as Italy’s racing color. By that same token, Coca-cola has also been forever associated with the color red and white and confectionery maker Cadbury has the exclusive rights for that shade of purple named, appropriately, as Cadbury purple.

Armed with the above knowledge, picking a color to use in your website should be done with careful consideration. Usability concerns and general attractiveness should obviously take priority but you should also take into account the use of color for branding purposes. Monochromatic design, the practice of using only variations of one color is one trend in web development and design that aims to satisfy all the above requirements.

A less colorful world

Choosing the right combination of colors is an incredibly arduous process. While technically there are only 3 or 4 primary colors in the world (red-green-blue or cyan-magenta-yellow-black), there can literally be millions of composite colors that can be derived by combining any of the primary colors. Finding the perfect combination from that embarrassment of riches can be difficult, which is why going the monochromatic route might be preferable.

Now, even though the term monochromatic infer that we’re solely going to use one shade of color in every facet of the website, for practical reasons the use of a single color palette is used by choosing one base color, typically one of the 12 colors featured in the standard color wheel along with the variations of that base color. These variations are obtained by darkening the base color with black, dulling that color with gray or by lightening that color with white.

The tricky part is when trying to use this approach if your website is going to feature a lot of photography. Obviously, limiting your images to only feature colors that you’ve picked for your website is going to be close to impossible but you could remedy this issue by simply adding a color overlay to the photo you’re using. This method is more effective when used on grayscale images however so you might have to tone down overly loud images first before applying the color overlay.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars that was a dominant force in Formula 1 back in the 60s and 70s designed his cars around one simple philosophy, simplify, then add lightness. You can find that same philosophy manifested today in brands such as Ikea and Muji and the whole concept of minimalism. Monochromatic web design builds around that same concept of simplification as well and streamlining the choice of colors to just one palette does a lot of wonders to your website development process, which will be outlined further.

Monochromatic design helps make some sense of a busy layout

When a particular section involves a lot of elements or when you’re presenting a lot of data such as when we’re talking about an infographic, monochromatic design can help keep things grounded. While it’s true that you want each data to be legible with the use of contrasting colors, too many clashing colors might overwhelm the viewers. Using two contrasting shades of a single or color or pairing them up with white and/or black could solve that problem without making your website look like a box of donuts.

To help illustrate a sense of progression in your website

Bear with me on this, but I’m going to use a pretty weird analogy to help explain this one. In the world of Pokémon, there’s this concept of evolution, where some creatures are capable of transforming into a better, bigger version of themselves. In most cases, the evolution is natural, like the Pokémon Bulbasaur having the bulb on its back blossoming into an actual flower when it evolves into Ivysaur and then into Venusaur. In certain cases however, like the carp Magikarp evolving into the dragon-like Gyarados, they make absolutely no sense. They don’t even have the same color, going from red to blue.

You see, if a certain section of your website has this element of progression, such as when outlining different premium pricing plans or when presenting the chronological history of an entity, you could use progressively darker or lighter shades of the same color to illustrate this progression. Monochromatic design isn’t just effective aesthetically; it can also be used functionally in clever visual cues such as this.

To create divisions between sections while still maintaining consistency

Still related to the point above, you can also use differing shades of the same color as an invisible wall to divide sections within your websites. Instead of using progressively darker shades as a sign of progression, you could also use the same technique as a visual cue for hierarchy to show both the division and relationship between sections. Think of this as color-coding done intelligently, using progressively darker or lighter shades as you move further down or up the hierarchy.

Additional thoughts

As an added note, it might be a good idea from time to time to not always stick to the rules in monochromatic design. For example, even though Facebook’s interface is mostly blue and white, they also selectively use green to highlight important action buttons.  You don’t always have to be rigid when it comes to monochromatic design, if there’s an opportunity where you can bend the rules a little bit, don’t hesitate to do so on your discretion.