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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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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Top Trends in Web Development You Can Expect In 2019

Leading website developers in Kenya are quick to adopt the latest trends in web development. As the professionals grow, organizations can expect the latest designs of corporate websites. New trends are sometimes improvements of ideas introduced in previous seasons. For instance, virtual reality was introduced years back in the world of games. The technology has invaded web development.

Almost every business website you visit today has a chatbot ready to assist you before you can talk to the support team. VR will continue to dominate web development as developers explore new ways of utilizing the technology on websites. What other trends can we expect in this industry in 2019?

One-page websites

The popularity of these websites started last year and more businesses are likely to adopt the trend. The one-page websites are more convenient to users than the traditional websites with multiple pages. Whether you are a developer or a website owner, you must wake up to the reality of technological changes.

The easiest way to connect with your clients now is through their mobile phones. An app is trendy but some aspects of your business still require a website. One-page websites are easy for mobile phone users to scroll and learn about your brand without clicking on buttons.

Less text and more illustrations

Companies have been spending a significant amount of money on web content. The expense was tied to the traditional designs that needed large blocks of text to complete the layout. Web developers should shift their focus from multiple fonts and large text. Using creative fonts should not be a priority this year.

Current web users prefer a combination of less text, more illustrations, and photographs or images. The most important details about a brand should be visible at a glance. With so many web and mobile solutions competing for attention, the target audience has no time to read large blocks of text.

Major changes in programming languages

Every programming language has its shortcomings. Despite the advancements in this field, many web developers in Kenya still use JavaScript and PHP in their projects. The changes in these languages will continue this year as the developers try to eliminate their shortcomings.

The developers of the PHP language recently released PHP7 with major changes that have improved the performance of websites significantly. The changes include anonymous classes and the ability to group ads, which were missing in previous versions of PHP. The emergence of digital products such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain products will continue to trigger changes in programming languages.

Progressive web apps

The trend to develop progressive web apps started a few years ago. The popularity of the apps is likely to increase this year. Progressive web apps are developed on HTML, CSS or Javascript. The popularity comes from the simplicity they offer to users.

Businesses that intend to increase their client base and convert visitors into loyal customers prefer progressive web apps. The web apps adapt to the user’s devices. Each app is updated autonomously or independently. Another unique characteristic of these apps is that most of them do not require installation.

Static web pages

Web development started with static pages and then progressed to dynamic web pages. The industry is now going back to static web pages. With static web pages, developers code one page at a time in HTML. Every user views the same static content on the page, which is a different experience from that of dynamic pages.

Static web pages are simple and easy to navigate. Users can find the information that they need easily and make quick decisions. Data analytics also show that the static pages load faster and do not require large amounts of text. On the parts of developers, static pages are easier to develop than dynamic pages.

Motion UI

Users visit a website with the sole purpose of finding information and not just viewing the design or layout. Top website developers in Kenya understand this and focus more on the user interface. In the process of simplifying the interface, web development has adopted motion UI.  The change has improved the users’ experience by eliminating the disruptive flashy advertisements.

One of the advantages of adopting motion UI is that it brings life to all sites including minimalistic sites. In addition, it boosts user engagement because using different parts of the site is easy. Motion UI allows developers to customize websites to suit specific needs and different brands in the market.

Push notifications

Most people are familiar with push notifications on mobile apps but the technology has expanded to web development. Companies are demanding such notifications on their sites because of the marketing advantage. Push notifications enable users to receive instant messages whenever a company posts new content.

Unlike other alerts, users do not need to be on a website or access their email to view the new content. Users can view the click with a single click, which points to another advantage. Push notifications boost the clicking rate for websites and improve conversion rates.

Adaptive websites

As mobile technology advances, the importance of creating adaptive websites increases. Most people access websites on their mobile devices and expect a great experience while at it. Developers now understand the need to create mobile responsive websites. Mobile phone users expect the same experience on their devices while using a website as when using their computers.

The major advantages of adaptive websites are that they are scalable and versatile. Users can access several services fast on the internet. However, developers are also moving towards offline web solutions where users can access web apps without an internet connection. Even with affordable internet connections in the market, web users still value saving data.

Conclusion

It is important for website developers in Kenya to keep up with the latest trend in the industry. Clients expect developers to use the latest technology to update or create their web solutions. In addition, most new trends simplify web development and improve the user experience. By insisting on outdated trends in web design, developers deny web users a great experience and high conversion rates to their clients

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Is color Such a Big Deal in Web Design?

Yes, it is. Color is one of the powerful tools that you can use to drive traffic to your website. Think about it. What do you notice first whenever you visit a new website? The color loads first while you wait for the rest of the web page to load.

The color palette used gives your visitors an impression of your brand even before they read the text or watch any videos. In fact, the first question you are likely to get when seeking web designing and development in Kenya is the theme color(s) for your website. Designers understand the importance of picking the right colors.

Read on and learn the reasons why you need to give the color more attention when designing a website. We also offer a guide on how to pick the right colors for your business website.

The importance of color in web design

When thinking about the importance of colors in design, consider the psychology of your visitors. Colors are significant to the human mind in different ways. Colors communicate a specific message to the visitors even without the text. For instance, red communicates danger or a warning. It also represents passion and power.

If you choose green, your visitors will immediately think of the go sign, health, or the environment. Green is a good color to use when you want visitors to click on a button, which brings us to another use of color on a website. Colors highlight the call-to-action buttons and preempt the visitors to click on the buttons.

It is easier for the human mind to process and store images with colors. A black and white combination does not leave a lasting impression. By choosing the right combination of colors, you enhance brand recognition in your target market. The visitors to your website will always associate the color combination with your brand if you are consistent with the theme.

Colors do not only have different meanings but are associated with different emotions. For example, orange is a warm color that gives your website a friendly appeal to the users. Yellow is associated with joy and is likely to spark a jovial mood. It is a great color to use if your target market is young people or teenagers.

How to choose the right colors for your website

The easiest way to get colors right is to consult a company that specializes in web designing and development in Kenya. However, if you have a website or a limited budget, you may have to choose the colors on your own. Sometimes you need to guide the internal web designers on the best color palette to use on your website. Consider the following when picking colors for your website:

1. Branding

Every marketing tactic starts and stops with the brand you want to build in your niche. If you have already created one, start with the colors that your customers know. You can introduce new colors but be sure to maintain at least one basic color that your existing customers know.

If you realize that you chose the wrong color palette from the start, you can rebrand your business. However, you must invest in a campaign on all platforms to inform your clients of the new look. Remain consistent with your new color palette. If you have a strong brand in the market, changing to a better color palette may create the impression of an improvement in the quality of services or products.

2. Target customers

What kind of services or products does your business offer? Who are your target customers? You may like a certain combination of colors but the palette may be wrong for your target audience or type of business. For instance, if you are offering health services to clients, the colors on your website should offer some form of relief or calm to your visitors.

For fun activities that target adventurous clients, think of bright colors that communicate excitement and joy. The strategy here is to think about the persona of your audience and the emotional reaction that may get the audience to buy your product or services. Chose a combination of colors based on the identified persona.

3. Harmony

You may need the help of a qualified web designed on this one if you have not studied color theory extensively. If you use too many competing colors, the result is eye fatigue. Your visitors will feel overwhelmed and probably move on to another website. Using too many colors is also confusing in terms of branding. Which colors do you use in your marketing campaigns?

Choose one dominant color to take the largest part of your website. You can then add pop colors to highlight some important parts such as call-to-action buttons. Choose neutral colors in the background of content and in the empty spaces.

4. Trends

The reason for investing in web design is to stay ahead of your competitors in your niche. You cannot achieve such a goal with an outdated website. Have you been following the color trends in your industry? Analyzing the trend can help you predict the next big thing.

Be the first to create a fresh and impressive website that appeals to your target customers. You may be tempted to stick to your favorite colors but your competitors may overtake you with trendy colors.

5. Action

Color can prompt web visitors to quick action. Highlight the parts that need action such as Contact Us, Subscribe, or Order buttons with popping colors that balance with your dominant color. Red buttons prompt internet users to play videos. You can adopt the same on your website.

You can also use a popping color to highlight important features such the logo, mission statement, or range of services. A common trend is to use the dominant color in the banner, which has the most important information about your business.

Final thoughts

Color is a powerful tool when used properly on a website. Talk to professionals that offer reliable services in web designing and development in Kenya. It is easy to brand your business and attract more customers with the right color palette.

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10 Worst Web Design Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs In 2019

Do you like the performance of your website? Are you unhappy with the number of visitors you get in a day and high bounce rates? Well, before you give up on it, check what you could be doing wrong. You could be making some big mistakes that are pushing visitors away before learning about your business.

Before we look at the worst mistakes that you must avoid, let us make one point clear. Website developers in Kenya will tell you that design is not just about the outlook of your website. Design covers its functionality as well. How easy is it for visitors to navigate through the web pages and find the information they need?

With this in mind, let us discuss the top mistakes you must correct immediately.

1. The website takes more than 3 seconds to load

Before we can talk about the content or layout of your website, consider the loading time. Web users expect almost instant results when they search for information. If the website does not load in 3 to 4 seconds, they will simply move back to the search results. If you have not thought about it, conduct a speed test right away.

If the speed is slow, check the reason why each page takes time to load. Large files slow down the loading time of the web pages. Ask a developer to review the entire website and minimize the files that are slowing it down. You may need to get rid of some media content.

2. Unclear information about your company’s mission/vision

Once you sort the issue of speed, your visitors can now open the landing page. Right from the logo to the design on the header, a visitor should tell what your business sells or supplies. Be intention with the content, especially on the home page. Visitors develop an opinion about your business in five seconds or less. What does your website say about your company?

3. The website is not mobile-friendly

The majority of internet users search for information on their mobile devices. If you designed the website a while back and optimized it for a website, you need to test the mobile experience. Website developers in Kenya can help redesign the website and make it mobile friendly. You are losing all the visitors that have had a bad mobile experience to your competitors.

4.  Lack of a persuasive and clear call to action

What do you want visitors to do after visiting your website? Call the business? Order for products? Share content on social platforms? Without a clear call to action, visitors will see your services or products and move on. Consequently, your conversion rates will be low. Ensure that the call to action button is visible and functional.

5. Large blocks of text without sub-headings

You may have great content on your website but the reality is that web users do not read through until they are interested. Most of them read the headings to decide if the content is useful or not. Check the content on each page and introduce headings where necessary to improve the reading experience.

6. Multiple links that open in new windows

Internal links help visitors to navigate the pages on your website easily. However, if most of the links open in new windows, visitors get tired of following the new tabs. The experience is worse when a visitor is using a mobile device to access your website. The moment they discover that the “back” button is missing, the visitors will shut everything down. You do not want such an experience for your target clients. Talk to website developers in Kenya if you have such a problem on your website.

7. Placing social media icons at the top

 Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your business. In fact, it is part of the effective SEO and marketing strategies. However, you have to do it right to get good results. Placing social media icons at the top creates an immediate distraction. Visitors will click on the button and may never come back to the website. Place such buttons at the bottom to give visitors room to explore your website.

8. Tiny buttons and links

Ever tried to click on a button but it was too small? It is annoying when a link or button is too small to click with a finger. We cannot emphasize the importance of a mobile friendly website further. Small buttons and links are often optimized for mouse clinks but the reality is that many users will try to click with a finger. Make the buttons and links large enough to click easily on a mobile phone.

9. Invisible contact information

Visitors expect to see the contact information of your business on the homepage. Some visit the website not to read but to find a number to call or the location of your business. Such information must be accurate and visible on your website. Indicate your working hours and provide an alternative way of reaching your business after the working hours. For instance, you can ask the visitors to send an email or a message when your chat button is unavailable.

10. Choosing the wrong font and colors

Did you know that visitors could leave your website within seconds because of a poor choice of color? The colors you choose give your website a personality. How do you want your visitors to feel about your business? Here is another mistake to avoid, a tiny font that makes the text unreadable. The right combination of color and font will encourage visitors to stay on your website and visit other pages.

Our final thoughts

Websites require constant testing and redesign to give users the best experience possible. You may need to change the entire outlook and functionality of your website if you find a number of mistakes outlined above. Getting the right web design starts with the right choice of designers. Do not settle for low conversion rates and high bounce rates. Let top website developers in Kenya help you improve the experience of your target clients.

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