Is your website working for – or against you? There are certain elements of a website design that can make or break the user experience and brand perception. If you’re about to get a new business website, or about to undergo a website redesign, make sure your web development agency knows how to build with your business and brand in mind. Let’s start by learning what makes a good website!
What is User Experience?
Say you’re off to the mall to shop for a new suit for work. You head into a new store and see clothes off their hangers and on the ground, garbage sitting on the displays, and employees lounging around while customers need help, your perception of that entire brand will likely be affected. You likely wouldn’t shop around, and probably wouldn’t return.
Your website is the digital representation of your business. If you make users work too hard to get the information they’ve come to the site to find, they’ll have a negative experience with your brand – and they likely won’t return.
What many businesses tend to forget is that a user-friendly website is a must to build positive brand awareness. If you’re noticing that your website traffic continues to rise with no increase in conversions or your website has a high bounce rate, then your website may not be working to your advantage.
User experience is exactly what it sounds like it should be: the overall experience a person has with a place, product, or digital asset such as a website. So, what makes a good website?
5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for You
While each business is unique, there is a certain flow and functionality that people expect when visiting a website. After all, they’re there for a reason! Whether you have an e-commerce store or a service-based business website, you need to build positive interactions at the first touchpoint with your brand. Here are some improvements you can make to your website to convert your visitors into customers.
When visitors are on your website, make it easy for them to contact you – whether that’s by phone, in person, or through an email/online contact form. If visitors can’t find this information then they’re more likely to leave:
- Phone Number – Make sure your phone number is big, easy-to-read, and on every page. It’s also a good idea to use click-to-call coding to make calling easier on mobile devices.
- Contact Form – Many searchers look for products/services after normal business hours, making it important to include a contact form on the website. Contact forms should be short (3-4 fields if possible) and easy to fill out. If possible add a contact form to every service/product page – enabling people to contact you without having to go to another page.
- Address – Your address verifies that visitors are viewing a local company, which is often the intent of searches. Some people may visit your site just to find your address, so make this information easy to find and read.
These 3 elements are critical to converting customers and for your local SEO strategy.
Write Unique Content
Creating and posting content to your website is a must for local businesses. However, this does not mean copying and pasting from another website. This is known as duplicate content – and is one of the fastest ways to get penalized by search engines.
Search engines are greedy; they want quality and quantity when it comes to content!
Unique content can come in many forms. Two of the easiest ways to get content is by writing about your company and your services/products.
- Write About Your Company – Whether it’s an About page, Team page, or a blog about company updates, add it to your website. This is great content not just for the search engines but for your website visitors too.
- Write About Your Services/Products – Do you sell chicken to restaurants or are you a restaurant that sells chickens? Visitors, and search engines, want specific information about you to help them make a decision. Give as much detail as you can to show that your services/products are superior to your competitors.
Use Strong Call to Actions
A call to action is exactly that: a phrase that inspires action in a user. “Call Now,” “Request a Quote,” or “Sign Up” are common CTAs, or calls to action. These are meant to guide the user to make a conversion on your site. It answers the “Now What?” question that is often asked when a visitor is ready to make a decision. Make it as easy as possible for clients to contact you by using strong calls to action that direct them to the next step.
Integrate Your Tools
Your website should not only be user-friendly for your visitors/clients, but for you as well. By integrating tools you already use into your website, you’re maximizing your marketing potential. For example, include an appointment setting calendar to increase conversions. If you’re on a dental office’s website and saw they had a 4:00 PM teeth cleaning available, wouldn’t you be more likely to go ahead and schedule your dental visit?
Another idea is to integrate your CRM. Many companies are starting to do this to help them manage their leads and sales. This can save you time as when potential customers fill out a contact form they are automatically added to your CRM, and then can also be added to your newsletter (if you have this setup).
If you’re hesitant to update your website because it’s not easy to work with, then maybe it’s time to think about a website redesign. Updating to a content management system, like WordPress, will help you manage your content, images, videos, and other data without needing to learn HTML and coding.
Build to Inform
In short, both function and form should be top-of-mind when getting a new website for your business. It should quickly answer the “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” and “Why” of finding a new product or brand. Don’t make your users guess or work to find what they need.