As a designer, you know that there is always room for improvement. The same philosophy applies to designing for websites, whether it’s your client’s or your own website. Got some spare time? Try adding these 3 stupid-simple things to your website to improve its success. You might be surprised with the outcome if you do!

Tweet This: Sure, your website is awesome, but does it have these 3 completely necessary elements? 

Opt-In Pop-Ups


If you didn’t design any pop-ups for your sites out of the sake that you hate them, then you’re only stunting your success. If you weren’t aware, “Pop-ups drive 1375% more subscribers…” so it’s no question that you should consider designing and implementing them. First, you’ll need to figure out what kind you’ll want to make. You can make them for email subscriptions, blog subscriptions or even special content like eBooks.

Read how to build your own eBook mockup in a few easy steps!

Here are some personal preference tips I can give you about designing these pop-up gems:

  • Give it a personal voice: Look at our pop-up above. One of the reasons it stands out is because we use our own voice. Who else can you think of uses “Sorry ‘bout it” as a bold headline? Exactly.
  • Keep it simple & short: Since pop-ups are usually universally hated, don’t stress a user even more by making them read a giant paragraph. Keep it simple and briefly describe why they should subscribe. Before you write your CTA text, NEVER use the word “submit” in a form.
  • Overall design: Of course, brand it! If you need it to stand out, use bright colors and contrasting elements.

Need more direction? For a complete list of tips, you can check out this article from Everage.

Custom 404 Pages


No one likes a dull 404 page. Plus, if you don’t have a designed 404 page, you’re missing an opportunity to put a positive spin on broken links or incorrectly spelled URLs. This is a great place where you can direct users to a page that they can search internally, give them some humor, or even play Pacman. When you customize your 404 page, you’re reaching out to users in a way that has the potential to stay on your site rather than leaving in frustration. Personally, I like giving users a way to search your site so they can find what they need (as you can see above in Red Branch Media’s 404 page). If you want to try something different for yours, here’s a good primer for your creativity from Flywheel, giving you 14 examples of fantastic 404 pages.

Sharing Buttons & Blog Navigation


The last thing your site may be missing is simple blog navigation and social sharing buttons. Scoff if you must, but I honestly can’t count the number of clients I’ve seen come through that didn’t have these on their blog prior to working with us. These 2 things will give users the ability to share your stuff with the world (who doesn’t want that?) and to direct them to other articles and content to keep them on your website for longer periods of time.

Let’s add your social buttons, and don’t sweat… it’s as easy as adding a plugin. Here are The Ten Best Social Media Plugins for WordPress (2016) you can download so you can equip these on your site ASAP! Finally, adding something as simple as next and previous content buttons at the end of your blog will help ensure users will stay on your site longer. You can do that by, you guessed it, another WordPress plugin! Not to worry, I’ve found the most popular navigation plugin (downloaded over 4 million times) you can use, called “WP-PageNavi.”

Giving your site a boost in awesomeness doesn’t have to be complicated… in fact, it’s stupid-simple. Users love captivating websites, and these 3 tweaks will set your site in the right direction to gaining more traffic. Simply make some opt-in pop-ups, customize your 404 page and add some social sharing buttons and navigation to your blog. Remember to get creative when making these tweaks so you can uniquely connect to your users in a more personal and engaging way!

This article originally featured on the Marenated blog by Red Branch Media, our sister site. Check it out!

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