At Amelia (probably the best WordPress bookings plugin), we believe that your website is the key to business success. If you feel like your website is not as effective as it should be, there must be something wrong that you need to assess and then correct.
In case you don’t notice any sale boosts or new inquiries once you’ve published your site, you might need to perform a website critique and see what’s the matter with it.
Table of contents
- How to conduct your own website critique
- How do you know you need website critique in the first place?
- How to perform a good website critique?
How to conduct your own website critique
In order to step aside from a subjective point of view and perform good website critiques, you need to perceive things with a different pair of eyes. This is something that not all people can do from the very first try, but with the right tips, you will be able to perform your own website critique.
To master this art, you need to develop a logical eye and to do a reason-based analysis of what you can improve on your website. Criticizing the website from a point of view which is not constructive in any way is just a waste of time and resources.
A good website critique can only be obtained if you organize your opinions logically and come up with resourceful feedback regarding your website.
How do you know you need website critique in the first place?
You need some design feedback
If you think that the way your website looks is not appreciated by all people who visit it, then you might need to analyze it more in-depth. The design of your website is the element that catches the attention of your website’s visitors within seconds.
Without an attractive website, you have low chances of generating sales online. Start your website design critique process here and see what you can improve. You can critique a website once you detach yourself completely.
Google ranking is not in your favor
People use search engines to look for what they need. If your website won’t pop up on the first page of results, users are unlikely to reach it.
Google applies certain algorithms that have to do with Search Engine Optimization. Optimize your website to get a better ranking, especially by using keywords. Don’t forget to optimize images as well. A slow loading site will push you at least on page 2 of Google.
Visitors never turn into leads
The purpose of a good website is to turn regular visitors into leads. Noticing that doesn’t happen is a reason why you should start putting your website critique together. What is the issue behind your SEO configuration?
What can you do to improve the user experience and increase user retention? Ask yourself these questions and make the necessary changes. Look for “review my website” for more information in this sense.
Sales go down
It’s time to perform your own website critique if you notice that your business sales went down in the past couple of months. You need to learn how to critique your website from multiple points of view, not design only.
If no one buys products from you, it doesn’t matter how aesthetically pleasing your website is. See if your website looks trustworthy and try to find your competitive advantage.
The bounce rate is high
A good webpage review always includes details related to the bounce rate. If your website seems to have a high bounce rate, it happens because your website lacks direction, it doesn’t look professional or it doesn’t include quality content.
Quality is more important than quantity and this matters quite a lot for good user experience. Read a website critique example if you don’t know where to start with yours.
The traffic numbers are low
Critiquing websites involves numbers too. If you notice that the traffic on your inexplicably went down, you must find the element that made that happen.
See if enough resources were invested in advertising. Any website critique template includes some numbers related to traffic and sales, and you definitely can’t be the exception.
How to perform a good website critique?
Determine if the website is practical
Website critique is all about practicality. The navigation system is the first element you should analyze to determine why people spend the amount of time they spend on your website, be it short or long.
A clean navigation system is always a requirement, as well as including zero distractions in the path of the user. You need to start with this criterion before anything else. Web critique always begins with how practical the website is.
Keep in mind that website critiques are not always negative. Some people simply want to analyze the level of their website, which can be a highly positive one. If that’s your case, congratulations! In case you notice that there are things which can be improved, go ahead and make the necessary changes as fast as possible.
Visuals and the website’s aesthetic
After analyzing the website’s navigation system, you can move the website critique to visuals. The way your website looks will determine whether a person remains on the website or not. The visual impact represents the first impression a user has when he accesses your website.
In order to come up with a good website critique, you should place yourself in the shoes of a visitor. If you are happy with what you see, the website should work just fine. If you notice things that are not pleasing to the eye, change them and see what difference it makes. It is helpful to ask yourself:
- Do your visuals have a direction?
- What is the main focus of the website?
- Is the page layout good for the message your website tries to transmit?
- Are the elements matching?
Make searching easy
Next, you can start checking out the search options. People want to find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible. This has to do with the navigation system. See if you can easily find the search bar. If not, make it visible immediately.
People always look for a search bar when they want to find something specific on your website. Streamline the entire navigation system to the point you can find anything in a matter of seconds. Anything less effective will make the bounce rate go through the roof. Website critique is all about making your website better, so don’t be greedy when it comes to making changes.
Another thing that people instantly look for is represented by your contact information. Performing a website critique should always refer to this element as well.
See if the contact information that you provided is up to date, spelled correctly and generous enough to keep the visitors informed. Take into account that visitors who can’t find contact information rapidly won’t reach out to you any longer.
When performing a website critique, you need to review your published content, which is probably the most intricate, time-consuming thing you can do. You can either hire someone to proofread your content or do it yourself with patience.
Correcting all spelling mistakes is just the first part of the task. You will also need to make sure that your website contains enough content to keep visitors informed and entertained. Resourceful content will make users come back.
Even though you might not have plenty of knowledge in coding, it’s important to perform a website critique from this point of view, too. You should only be familiar with the basic principles of HTML/CSS and go through your lines of code.
If you see anything looking odd, Google it and make sure that it is correct. Some errors are produced because of a mistake in your website’s code. A simple check-up and short research should do the job.
Finally, the last thing you should consider in the website critique process is represented by usability. If the website is too difficult to figure out, visitors will be tempted to leave very rapidly.
To avoid that, you need to make it easy to access and pleasurable to navigate. Put together all details that make the website easy to use and work on them until everything seems right for you.
Ending thoughts on performing a website critique
Performing a website critique is definitely not easy. The insight you need to invest in this process, as well as the experience and knowledge you need to have to make it more difficult than it seems. Hopefully, the information you found here is a solid starting point that you can use in the future.
If you enjoyed reading this article about how to perform a website critique on your own project, you should check out this one on information architecture.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like loading bar, homepage design, login page and golden ratio in design.