Web Design Tips: How to Keep Visitors Longer On Your Website

Are you frustrated by a high bounce rate? You are not alone.

Many website owners experience this challenge, especially after launching a new website.

The frustration comes when you cannot figure out the reason for the high bounce rate.

You check your analytics every week and hope the situation changes.

The web design tips below will help you reduce your bounce rate.

A low bounce rate will not only improve your conversion rates but also your website ranking.

1. Highlight important information

Your visitors come for a specific reason: to find information about your business.

If your website has a blog, the title of the blog could have attracted them to your website.

The first impression will determine if they will stay or go back to the search results.

Use bold headlines and bullets to underscore the most important information.

Using long text may help with your SEO but your visitors have no time to read every line.

Ensure that the information on each page is relevant.

The content should match the headline; otherwise, your visitors will be frustrated.

2. Add high-quality images

Images get more of your visitors’ attention that text.

You may start with free stock images but with time, you need to consider professional photographs.

The nature of images will depend on your business or brand.

For many online stores, the best images to add are those of top products.

Upgrade the quality of images as you upgrade your product line.

If you have no product images to add, look for professional photos relevant to your business.

Here is another trick in case you have no images on your website.

Create quality infographics to present important information about your business or industry.

Use the infographics to highlight reasons why visitors should consider your brand or products.

If you already have images on your website and still getting a high bounce rate, it is time to review the quality and relevance.

3. Embed videos

We cannot give web design tips and leave our videos.

Quality videos are not just good for marketing but for improving your site performance as well.

We bet that your visitors will watch an embedded video before reading any text.

One thing to note about images and videos is they can slow down the loading speed.

Let us pause for a second and ask, could that be the problem with your site?

No one has time to wait for more than 4 seconds for a page to load.

Hence, as you add visual content on your website, consider its effect on the loading speed.

Choose a reliable video platform like YouTube that loads video content fast.

In addition, consider the size of the files before uploading them on the website.

Ask your web designer to minimise the files if you need help.

Again, ensure the video content is relevant to your business.

4. Bold your main keywords

The old trick still works to date. Make your target keywords bold.

Sometimes, actually, most times visitors skim through a page looking for highlights.

You cannot have images and videos alone on all pages. You need text.

In addition to using headlines and bullets, the bold text will keep visitors engages for longer.

Do not stuff your keywords but distribute them evenly throughout the page.

Visitors are likely to scroll down and click on the embedded link on the keywords.

The links should lead to other pages on your websites and not just external sources of information.

Hyperlinking any text makes it stand out even without a bold keyword. Use it.

5. Be direct

The first sentence that your visitors read matters more than you think.

Be direct from the beginning. Use short, clear and concise sentences when creating content.

Put the most important information right at the beginning of a page. Avoid long introduction paragraphs.

You may need to discuss the strategy with your content managers.

Sometimes website owners have the right content that visitors need but fail in the presentation.

Do not shy away from being upfront about your services or products.

You created the website for that reason, right?

6. Simple language

Do not try to impress your visitors with complex words or expressions.

Use plain language and simple sentences.

Your visitors will appreciate the simplicity with which you communicate complex issues.

Also, try to include a playful language in your posts.

Balance your humor with professionalism. You still want them to perceive you as a serious business owner.

You can add humor to your website to a limit. What may be funny to you might offend someone else.

Avoid expressions that target certain groups of people or any offensive language.

The rule goes for social sites, which sometimes overlook a professional language in efforts to keep visitors entertained.

7. Match the content with the title

Web design tips will always include clickbait. In most cases, content creators use the headline as the clickbait.

A lot goes into picking a title or headline for a page or blog post.

Internet users judge the relevance of search results with the title and meta descriptions.

It is acceptable to use attractive headlines. After all, you want as many internet users as possible clicking on your website.

However, the content on the page must match the headline.

Always deliver your promise on your title and meta description.

Otherwise, visitors will leave as soon as they realise the content is irrelevant. That takes seconds.

8. Add a call-to-action button

A CTA button gives visitors a reason to stay longer. Place it at the end of each post or page.

Highlight the button in a way that visitors do not miss it after reading the post.

The button could be anything from ordering a product to sharing the content.

Pick the fitting action depending on the content. Some website owners add a subscription box to collect visitors’ data.

Test the button to ensure that it works and links to the right page where applicable.

Use a creative tag line that encourages visitors to click on the button.

For instance, you will come across expressions like “before you go…” or “just a second” at the end of a post.

In short, lead visitors to take the actions you want.

Final remarks

We have highlighted the top web design tips that will keep your visitors longer and improve your bounce rate. Do you have additional tips to share with our readers? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

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Web Design in Kenya: Why is Your Website Traffic going Down?

One of the top reasons why you should invest in the best for web design in Kenya is to attract traffic to your website. The number of visitors affects your bottom line at the end of the year.

You may not admit it but you get worried every time you see a downward trend on Google Analytics. What is wrong? Where did all the visitors go?

Let us look at the top reasons why your website traffic may decline.

1. Outdated keywords

Keywords or key phrases drive traffic to your website. Internet users end up on your site if it appears among the top results for their search phrases.

When is the last time you updated your keyword strategy?

We understand the demands of building a business. You do not have all the time to follow up on the website after the web designers hand it over to you.

The common practice in many businesses is to search for keywords when developing a new website. The website owner will then write content based on the keywords.

As time goes by, you forget about the website especially if you have steady traffic at first.

The right keywords for any business will change over time as search trends change. For instance, internet users were concerned about the best web design in Kenya in the past.

Today, the users are more concerned about a responsive website design.

If your traffic has declined, it is time to review your keywords. Rewrite the content or write fresh content for the website based on those keywords.

Schedule keyword review in a way that you do not forget to keep your content updated.

2. Google Algorithm update

Many website owners are victims of algorithm updates from Google and Bing. Unfortunately, the search engines do not give any warnings.

The greatest concern for search engines is to give internet users the best experience possible. Remember that they are also in business.

Happy internet users mean higher returns and loyalty to a search engine.

When Google updates its algorithm, the ranking of your website will either improve or decline.

A decline in ranking means that fewer internet users see the website when search for your line of business. The result is low traffic.

Combine this with the wrong keyword strategy and your website will be invisible to your target audience.

You cannot do anything about algorithm updates. However, you can watch the trends in ranking websites and determine what you need to change on your website.

If an update pushes your website to the second or third page of results, use alternative ways to drive traffic as you fix your website.

Social media and email marketing are proven strategies that drive traffic to websites.

An alternative is to run Google Ads for the keywords that your business targets.

3. Security issues

Security is a big issue in online business. A small security issue will affect website traffic almost immediately.

The downside of it is that even after you fix the issues, some visitors will never come back.

You need to fix any security issues immediately.

Start by ensuring that your website is HTTPS and not HTTP. What is the difference you may ask?

HTTPS encrypts user data when transferring data. Hence, sensitive information like the user’s bank details is encrypted when using your website.

Internet users are aware of this difference. In addition, Google always notifies users when they visit a HTTP website.

For most internet users, such a notice means that they need to run or look for an alternative.

Some visitors may proceed after the notice just to get information but they will not purchase anything or provide any personal data.

When choosing a company for web design in Kenya, ensure that you purchase and activate a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.

If the SSL certificate has an expiry date, update it before that date. Otherwise, you will lose traffic when Google starts indicating that your website is insecure.

READ ALSO: How to Keep Visitors Longer on Your Website

4. Slow speed

Nothing puts off internet users like slow speed. As long as they have fast internet, they expect your website to load in 3-4 seconds.

If your website takes longer than that, they will be clicking on the next best result.

Check the site speed regularly especially after uploading media like videos and images.

Delete unnecessary files and pages that slow down the website. In short, you cannot just develop a website and forget about it until you hear of a complaint.

Be proactive in checking for issues even when the traffic looks good.

Test it on different devices and different internet connections where possible. Remember that most of your visitors are likely to visit the site on their mobile devices.

All pages must be responsive and load fast.

5. A poor SEO strategy

Keywords are a large part of SEO but not everything. You need to update your SEO strategy as you update your keywords.

Your SEO strategy determines your ranking on search engines for specific keywords.

Having the right set of keywords is not enough. You need a good strategy to outdo your competitors in ranking for those keywords.

Follow the latest SEO trends and update your strategy accordingly.

If you have little knowledge and experience in SEO, consider outsourcing the service to experts.

SEO companies come in handy when you are in a highly competitive field.

Be careful with your SEO strategy when redesigning your website. Many companies lose traffic while trying to improve user experience.

6. Poor Server Performance

Everything we have talked about so far relates to issues you can fix internally. However, external issues like an unreliable server or hosting company will affect your website traffic.

If you pick the right provider for web design in Kenya, you will get a good recommendation for a hosting company.

A big mistake that website owners make is to go for the cheapest deal to save costs.

You may save money on a hosting service and then lose traffic when you need it most.

An expensive package, on the other hand, does not always mean a reliable server.

Check the experience of other website owners with a hosting company.

If you are using an unreliable hosting service, do not wait too long to make a move.

Make quick changes even with the other issues mentioned above. If you wait too long, your potential customers will have moved on to your competitors.

It is advisable to track the performance of your website daily to identify issues that need immediate attention.

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13 Warning Signs to Look For When Hiring Web Designers in Nairobi

Gone are the days when you had to walk into a physical office to get a service. Technology allows professionals to work as freelancers including web designers in Nairobi. The same technology has opened a door for the unqualified web designers to join the industry.

You will come across many designers that promise what they cannot deliver. If you do not do your background check well, you are likely to end up in the wrong hands. The individuals may ever have some papers to show but still lack the skill.

How do you know that you are talking to the right person? Can you read past the marketing gimmicks and identify flaws? Well, let us make it easy for you. Look for the following red flags when interacting with a new web designer.

1. The designers do not have a website

Run from any designers that make too much noise about their skill but have no website. The least they can do as they look for clients is to design a website for their business. If all you see is social media buzz, messages and calls, you are talking to the wrong people. Insist on seeing a running website and then check the next sign.

2. They have a shoddy website

Let us say they pass the first test. They have a running website. Go a step further and analyse the quality of their website. Run if you find a poorly designed website. Otherwise, you will end up with the same if you hire such designers

3. No portfolio or testimonials

It is okay to hire new web designers in Nairobi. However, the decision comes with very high risks. A portfolio shows that the designers have already applied their skills in real projects. If the designers have been around for a while, there is a reason why no clients trust them with a project.

4. Poor customer service

How does the designer address you and your questions? Do you feel safe and comfortable when talking to them? If you must wait for days for a reply or get a bad attitude, you are better off with another designer. Excellent customer service is critical in every profession.

5. The designers lack an online presence

Here is another tell tale sign that you have landed in the wrong lane. You have a name but no online presence. You cannot find the designers in any social media platform. If such accounts exist, they are rarely updated and the information given is scanty.

6. They want to complete your project fast

Time is a critical factor but does take the place of quality. Be worried if find website designers in Kenya who want to rush through the process. The designers will promise to complete your website within days even without considering your unique specifications.

7. Very aggressive with pricing

Have you ever come across an advert for the cheapest or most affordable web design services? Well, there is no problem in offering affordable prices to attract customer. The problem comes when the designer insists on cheap services instead of quality service. If you hear the term “we are the cheapest” repeatedly, acknowledge the red flag and move on.

8. Asks few or no questions about your website or business

You are looking for a new channel to market your business or brand. Your website gives your audience the first impression of your brand alongside your social media accounts. Then you come across a designer who cares little about your business or brand. The goal for such designers is completing a project for the paycheck. Do what is right for your business; look elsewhere!

9. Big on plugins

Plugins add to the features on your website that makes it easier to manage content and monitor performance. However, if all the designers talk about is the plugins to add, you are in trouble. Some designers have mastered different plugins but cannot design a good website from scratch. You can add plugins without a designer. Look for skills and not design tricks.

10. Ignores your conversion goals

You are in business to make money. A website should contribute towards that goal. The right web designers in Nairobi will focus more on building your business than on developing a website. Hence, the chosen features will be based on your conversion goals. Do not trust anyone who ignores the business side of your website no matter how skilled they sound.

11. Lacks knowledge in SEO

You cannot mention web design today without mentioning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A web designer may not be an expert in it but should have the basic principles in place. Check if their website is well optimised. The ranking on search engines including the domain authority can help you judge the designers’ knowledge of SEO.

12. No architectural strategy

Talk is cheap. If you all you get are promises but no solid strategy, you are free to explore other options. A good designer will give you an architectural strategy that suits the kind of website you need. With such a plan, you can compare the results after the development process to determine if they deliver what they promised.

13. Your gut says no

Have you ever had a chat that felt wrong? If your gut tells you to run, then run. Sometimes negotiating a deal feels wrong even when you do not have the facts. The designers answer your questions but you still feel like you are making a mistake. Do not ignore that feeling. If it feels like there is a loose end or missing link somewhere, try another design company.

Final remarks

Hiring web designers in Nairobi is only an easy journey if you know what to look for in the process. The secret is to have as many chats as possible, whether physical or virtual, before hiring. The field has many competent freelance designers. However, you will also come across individuals or companies with huge promises but no skills. Beware of subcontractors and check for the tell tale signs shared in this article.

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How to Migrate From One Domain to Another without Losing SEO and Traffic

Muva recently moved from muva.co.ke to muva.tech. Our greatest concern like most website owners was the possible effect on traffic and rankings. Hence, before making the move, we considered all the factors that could affect our SEO. Remember that we had built a strong brand around the old domain for 8 years but the change was necessary.

The fear of losing flowing traffic holds many website owners from making such a big move even when it is clearly necessary. You need to be certain that switching domains is necessary even before considering the effects. You could lose all the years of SEO and branding if you switch domains at the wrong time.

It is advisable to move during a slow period in your financial year. The reality is that even with the best planned migration, temporary traffic fluctuations are inevitable.  Search engines take some time to update the index of the new domain. If you are certain that it is the right time for the move, take the following steps:

1. Crawl your website

Prepare a list of all URls and meta descriptions of the old website. A tool like Screaming Frog can help you pick all the links and identify redirects and errors. Remove or replace any links that direct traffic to 404 pages. You also need to list all the pages in your old site from your database. Crawling tools may leave out important pages.

2. Use a test server

Even with a complete list of URLs and pages, you still need to test if everything works privately. Avoid going public before testing and confirming that all redirects are working properly. Fix any errors or broken links that you may find when running the tests. It never hurts to run several tests with different tools to be sure. Web developers can recommend the best tools for such tests.

3. Maintain the URL architecture

The recommended way to migrate to a new site is to keep the URL architecture identical. The reason is that when you change the architecture, Google may interpret the new site as a different site. Hence, you will lose your rankings in the new site. In addition, maintaining the URl architecture simplifies the process of redirecting old pages to the new pages. The redirect workload on the server is lesser when the architecture for both sites is identical.

4. Check duplicate content

The best way to solve issues of duplicate content is through self-canonization of all new pages. The process ensures that only one version of a URL is published. Self-canonization is also a way of telling the search engine that the new site is the new location of the old site. Check your folders to see if more than one folder leads to the same content. In addition, ensure that all IP addresses redirect to the new URLs.

5. Keep a copy of your Google Analytics

You will never know if you lost any traffic during the migration if you have no benchmark. A copy of the current analytics acts as your benchmark. Monitor the traffic to your top pages after the migration. You can run analytics on the new site and compare it page by page with the old site. Consequently, you can determine the specific pages that need special SEO attention. The reality is that if old pages with the highest number of inbound links go down in terms of SEO, the ranking of the new site will be low after the migration.

6. Update internal links

HTML links on the new site will automatically redirect to the new site if you migrate in the right way. However, depending on this automated process is risky. The redirect process takes longer and the slow loading time affects the page rank. Search and replace all internal links on the site’s database. Be careful with the updates to ensure that only the text with a HTML link is updated and that the folder structure remains the same.

7. Avoid removing pages

You might not need all the old pages on the new site. However, deleting many pages during a migration will hurt your SEO efforts. Google views the new site as a new website and you now have to work your way up again. The best strategy is to keep all the pages and remove the unnecessary pages later when the traffic is back to normal. However, if some pages must be removed, keep a list of the pages. Set the replacement links where necessary and remove all links to the old pages. Avoid redirecting the removed pages to the home page.

8. Keep the old domain

Many website owners sell their old domains after migrating to a new site. The general advice is to sell the old domain when Google stops indexing the domain. However, you can lose the redirects from the old site to the new site along the way. If you no longer have control over the old domain, you will lose all the inbound links from the old site. It is possible that the migration was to lead to the sale of the old domain, but if you can, keep the old site in your control.

9. Check the sites for errors and redirects

Every link on the new site should lead a functional page. Visitors should not get any 301, 404, 501, or any other errors. Find a replacement for all links with errors immediately. Internal links should point to a functional page directly and not through a redirect. Your goal when monitoring the new site is to eliminate redirects because it takes longer for such pages to load. The result is a lower ranking and poor performance of a site that was high ranking before the change.

10. Monitor the performance of the new site

Track the rankings and traffic to the new site after the migration. It is advisable to pull data daily, weekly, and monthly. Conduct the page-by-page comparison consistently as you monitor the performance. Tracking performance daily helps you make quick SEO decisions right after a migration. You can identify and fix errors early before you lose your best customers to redirects or slow loading times.

Final remarks

Migrating to a new site is a risky process but sometimes necessary to build a strong brand. All the steps outlined above happen in private. However, you must publicize the move even before making the major move. Talk to your current customers or audience on all social media platforms. Press release statement and offline advertisements will help maintain your audience as well.

The reality is that you will lose some traffic in the move. However, the magnitude of the loss depends on your migration approach. Much SEO work is required to keep the traffic flow but with the steps above, you are already in the right direction even without an SEO expert. Involving a good web developer is also advisable to avoid missing any step.

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How to Use Web Design to Build a Strong Brand

Are you trying to make your brand more visible online? Well, web design is one of the key strategies that many website owners ignore. You must consider design as a branding strategy when hiring website developers in Kenya. A strong brand does not only help you to attract new customers to your business but also turn them into repeat customers.

Where does web design come in when building a brand? The internet has provided new platforms for customers to search information about companies or service providers. Your target clients will first search for your website online, check your product range, and compare your prices with your competitors.

Before a customer places an order or calls your company, the customer has an idea about your brand. Your website becomes the first impression of your business that customers get. We share a few tips on how to use design to establish a strong brand in the market.

1. Choose the right color

The first thing that visitors notice about your website is your choice of colors. Every color has a specific meaning or effect on your visitors. For instance, most people associate the green color with health or the environment. Orange creates a fun theme while blue communicate calmness.

The right color depends on your products or services and target market. For instance, if you are selling luxurious products such as watches or jewelry, black and gold are great colors to use on your website. If your target market consists of young people or the millennials, orange is a good choice.

2. Redesign your logo

From the colors, the visitors will start to look for your logo. The internet has many free logos but it is risky to go for a free logo. Thousands of other business owners around the world have access to the free logos as well. Hire website developers in Kenya to design a unique and professional logo for your business.

Ensure that the logo is visible. The top left corner is the recommended location for a logo. You can add a value proposition below or beside the logo depending on the design. Combining the two communicates to the visitors what your brand is about even before they scroll to other pages.

3. Connect with your audience’s feelings

Top brands across the globe have mastered this strategy with their websites. You can do the same and increase your brand visibility. How do you want your audience to feel when they see or hear about your brand? The design should bring pleasant emotions to your audience.

Your choice of color will help you stir up the emotions you desire. For instance, hospitals use pale shades of green to calm their patients. If you must use formal colors, consider using media on your website to connect with your audience.

Add interesting video clips or images that market your brand or products. Keep the videos short and small in terms of size to improve the loading time. If the videos or images take too long to load, your hard-earned visitors will leave.

4. Choose the right language

Web design goes beyond colors and the layout of web pages. The major reason why visitors come to your website is information and not the layout. Hence, how you present the information is important. Study your target audience to determine the right language to use. Have website developers in Kenya check your current language and advise on the best approach.

A casual language works for the youth but the older generation prefers a formal language. You can use a playful language in a way that captures the interest of all clients. Balance between the playful and formal languages. Avoid jargon, hard vocabularies, and offensive words. Consider the preferences of different cultures as well.

5. Add a personality to your brand

What personality can your audience associate with your brand? Add some character to it or anthropomorphic elements. The term simply means that you give human traits or qualities to objects or animals. A good example of anthropomorphism is the little bird that is synonymous with Twitter.

Think of a character or personality that suits your brand. The key thing is to assure your clients that they can rely on your brand for quality services or products.  Clients should associate your company with honesty, fairness, and safety as well.

6. Be consistent

Your goal is to communicate the same message about your brands to all customers at all times. Hence, you must be consistent with your choice of colors, font, graphics, and layout. Avoid sending mixed signals to your visitors. If you are communicating or selling a luxurious or high-end brand, maintain the same theme.

Consistency helps in creating a memorable brand. The moment a client sees a certain combination of graphics, colors, and font, your brand should immediately come to mind. Using a consistent design helps you improve the load time as well. You will be reusing the same images and graphics, which makes it faster for visitors to load pages.

7. Be unique

All the tips given above will mean nothing if you turn your website or brand into a cheap copy of your competitors. You are trying to outdo your competitors. You can learn from them but not copy their ideas. It is confusing to your clients if your brand looks similar to another brand. Worse still, the customers may consider you as the cheap copy even if your products or services are of a higher quality.

When talking to your web designer, insist on a unique and consistent design. If you fail to do so, the designer may give a template that all companies in your industry use. The right designer will create a unique brand based on your product and target market.

Final thoughts

Creating a good website that communicates the right message and impression of your brand takes time. Website owners try different themes, graphics, and even colors before getting it right. Take time to think through the type of brand that you intend to create or market. Working with reliable website developers in Kenya ensures that you the latest designs with the personality of your brand.

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