Your website looks marvelous, darling. It would be perfect in an art museum. The design is fresh to death. The photos are stunning. And the colors are gorgeous.
So why is your website such a flop and a failure? Well, it’s because users want to do more than admire your site; they want to actually use it. Before you design a website, you should always consider what your customers need.
On a well-designed, optimized homepage, your visitors should know about you in seven seconds. That’s right … seven seconds.
A good homepage should entice people to linger and learn more about you and your brand. Everyone has a unique story to tell. Tell yours (briefly) and then help viewers learn more on your other web pages. Make it easy for your web visitors to find the information they need.
Follow these six simple steps to ensure your website is designed to be functional and user-friendly.
- Create crisp and compelling content. As Goldilocks learned, you don’t want anything that is too big or too small; you want something that’s just your size. Too much content is overwhelming; too little and you miss a great opportunity to sell yourself. You want just the right amount of copy on your website.
- Show your visitors what to do. Provide clear navigation and a call to action. While you’re at it, make it easy for your visitors to get back to your home page. Don’t make them click their ruby red slippers three times. Create a navigation bar throughout your web map that shows how to return to your homepage.
- Make sure your website uses responsive design and is mobile friendly. Google recently changed its algorithm. Be sure your site meets their criteria or you could see your page rank fall.
- Add a search box to your website so current clients and potential customers can find exactly what they seek in as little time as possible. Show them where to click.
- Stamp each page with your contact information. Sure, visitors can click on your “about us” or “contact us” dropdown tab, but why should they? Make it easy on them. Include your phone number and email address on every single web page.
- Put your “contact us” page on steroids. Include all the usual information—physical address, mailing address, phone number, and email—but go a step further. For example, you can add a simple contact form, embed an interactive Google map, and show pictures of your facility.
As the old saying had it, you can’t judge a book by its cover. A beautiful website by itself does nothing to grow your business. However, a beautiful website that is informative and functional is a wonderful sales tool. Make sure you provide all the information your customers need right at their fingertips.