How Effective Is Your Website?

Your website is important. It is the face that you present to the world.

Your readers judge you and your books by your website. In fact, the people who visit your website will form their opinion within 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) of viewing your web page.

How Effective Is Your Website?

If you want more visitors to stay on your website so that you can convince them to engage with you and eventually buy your books, then it is important that your website is effective in retaining visitors.

To find out how effective your website is, ask yourself these four questions.

1.  Does my website load quickly?

 Statistic:  47% of users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an
average website.

The longer it takes for your website to load, the more potential visitors bail. People want quick responses. When they don’t get them, they move on to the next thing.

You can test your website load speed on the following free services:

Often the culprit for a website slow load time is that the image files on the website are large. If your website is slow, try compressing your images with this free tool found at Optimizilla.

2.  Is my website content written for easy scanning?

Statistic: Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content.

Research shows that 79% of people scan a web page, while only 16% read word-for-word. Too much information results in cognitive overload. In an effort to reduce our cognitive load, we scan information. This results in more efficient processing of that information by the brain.

To maximize the effectiveness of your website, make your content scannable. Break paragraphs down into two or three sentences. Use headers and bullet points.

3. Does my website include a call to action?

Statistic:  70% of small business websites lack a call to action (CTA) on their homepage.

Good marketing always includes a call to action. Whether this is in an advertisement, in an email, on a social media site, or on your website. A call to action urges the reader to act now.

Include a call to action on your website. What do you want your visitors to do?

  • Sign up for your newsletter.
  • Give their email in exchange for a free ebook.
  • Buy your book today to receive a special discount, bundle, or extra material.

4.  Does my website display well on all devices?

Statistic: Nearly 8 in 10 customers stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.

Websites look different on different devices. Your website will look different on a lap top computer versus a smart phone. You can view how your website appears on various mobile devices with the free tool found at Responsinator.

Did you know that your website may also look different in different browsers? You can view how your website appears in different browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.—with the free tool found at Browser Shots.

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Is Your Author Website Scaring People Away?

Caution! Slippery When Wet!

The sign, often used in public places, warns people to take care. The floor is wet, therefore slippery, increasing the risk of falling. This warning sign catches people’s attention and helps prevent accidents.

Is your website scaring people away?

The internet also has warning signs. As fraud increases, the internet community has bumped up their concerns about safety. As a result, internet browsers now warn people whether a website is safe or not.

If a website is safe and secure (featuring an https:// in the URL), the browser shows a lock:

secure website

If a website is not secure (featuring an http:// in the URL), the internet browser will show some type of warning:

not secure website

website not secure warning

These signs tell a visitor to your website whether your website is a safe and secure place. Savvy internet users recognize these signs. If your website does not sport an https:// and the browser features a warning sign, potential customers visiting your book or author website may be scared away.

Recently a Member of Christian Indie Publishing Association sent in an announcement about a new book for the Association’s newsletter. When checking the URL for the newsletter, I noticed that his website appeared as “not secure” in my browser. I sent this member the following note:

By the way, you should update your website from http:// to https://. Just ask your hosting service for an SSL Certificate. Many now provide them for free. Google’s SEO is now paying attention to https and you will rank higher if you have it.

The Member sent back this response:

Thank you for the SSL tip. I was able to set up my website for free with a certificate from my hosting service (I just always assumed that they would charge me extra for it).

His response surprised me. Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) has been encouraging all our Members to update to https:// with an SSL Certificate for the past year. The Association neglected to tell our Members that many hosting services provide this for free. In reality, the benefit of having an https:// outweighs any small cost some hosting companies may charge.

So, I am passing this information on to you so that you can make sure your website is:

  1. Not scaring away visitors by being unsecure, and
  2. Ranking higher in search engine results because it is secure.

If your website still sports an http:// in the URL and shows up as not secure in a browser, check with your web hosting company. You can get an SSL Certificate for little or no cost.

Your website sends a message to the world. Make sure your website says you are professional and can be trusted.

Related Posts:
Tips for Selling Books from Your Website
Are You Doing This with Your Website?
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Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels.