Your website is a chance to make a good impression. It’s a place to share your company’s values, history, expertise, products, and services. It’s an unwavering representation of your brand, a way to turn visitors into loyal customers—unless it’s driving them away.
Could your website really be that bad? You’ve uploaded lots of information and photos. But have you considered its ability to help potential customers? To engage them into action?
The Obvious Secret
The secret to an effective site becomes apparent when you change your perspective. You must step back from your familiar online landscape and view it as a visitor. Pretend you know little to nothing about your brand, products, or services. Then, work through your website while asking yourself these questions:
- What do I notice first on the homepage? Is the site menu plainly visible?
- Does the homepage display key content, photos, or other indicators of the brand and industry—assuring me that I’m in the right place?
- Is the font easy to read? Is the content accurate and relevant?
- How can I learn more about products or services? Is the search function both intuitive and thorough?
- Is there a way to contact the company? Can I get in touch or receive more information using minimal effort?
- Is purchasing clear and simple, or does it require several clicks and page-loads to begin? If online shopping isn’t offered, is it abundantly clear how I can go from browsing to buying?
Your answers should culminate into an obvious conclusion: To drive leads, your website must be easy to use by the average visitor.
The above questions should also be asked while viewing your site on both smartphones and tablets. The world has gone mobile—you should, too. (If you’re not sure how mobile-friendly your site is, we’d be happy to run a test on it. Just get in touch.)
The Next Steps
Now that you’re acutely aware of any shortcomings on your website, take a moment to plan your next moves. How should you fix the problems? Here are a few areas to consider:
Design hierarchy. Work with your designer to ensure the most important items stand out first on each page. In general, less is more. The viewer shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by content and graphics, but invited to move intuitively through the pages.
Buttons and links. You already know the site menu should be easily located from every page, but don’t forget buttons and other links. The user should clearly see where to click to read more, view different content, make a purchase, etc.
Landing pages and CTAs. Arguably the most important proponents in driving leads, landing pages and CTAs (calls-to-action) should be used strategically. If a Twitter follower clicks to your landing page in hopes of downloading a coupon, he/she should be clear on the next step: filling out a form and thus becoming a lead.
SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) may not seem relevant to website design at first glance. But, keywords and strategic content play a significant part in your rank in search results, giving greater opportunities to attract potential leads. Bear this in mind when writing content and choosing its location. Remember to make the next step apparent, such as completing a CTA form.
Personalization. First-time viewers aren’t the only group to keep in mind when constructing your website. Return visitors are integral to your business. Consider customizing their experience on your website by including personalized greetings, recently viewed items, suggested articles, special offers, etc. Even prior to the buying stage, this personal touch can strengthen brand loyalty and trust.
Ready to make some changes for the better? We’d love to take your website to the next level. Get started here.