Nearly every business has a website these days, and if they don’t, they should. This commonplace item in your marketing toolbox is usually your customers’ first experience with your brand. So what constitutes good web design and why do so many websites get it wrong?
Your Google Analytics will show that up to 95% of visitors to your website leave within the first few seconds: they probably had no intention of purchasing anything anyway. So let’s focus on the 5% who want to buy; let’s keep them interested, engaged and lead them through the buying process without confusing them or overwhelming them with unnecessary steps.
We’ve all been to websites that frustrated us, forcing us to go through pages of forms or click around to try to find what we’re looking for. Are you sure this isn’t your customers’ experience with your website?
When visitors land on your website they ask themselves a few subconscious questions:
- Where am I?
- What’s this site about?
- What’s in it for me?
- Where do you want me to click?
Your website is there to get you more customers, so if your customers don’t get the answers to those questions, they will simply go back to Google and find your competitors.
Below are 6 tips on how not to do it:
1 – Don’t have a Mobi Website
Most websites still only have a one-size-fits-all website, when you open it on your mobile phone the font size is 0.5: you can either squint or expand the text and be forced to scroll to the right and left while you try to figure out what’s written there. Frustrating? I should think so.
Our Suggestion: Design one website that works on PC’s and on every mobile device. Some WordPress templates allow this. Remember to keep forms short and test your website using a low end phone to see the worst case user experience.
2 – Have a Web Page that’s Slow to Open
Our Suggestion: Check the size of your website (email me and I’ll tell you how) and then optimise your images for web so they’re smaller.
3 – Have Lengthy Forms
Resist the need to gather as much information on your customer as possible, and don’t clutter up your website with long registration forms, profile pages or force customers to complete these forms before they’re allowed to proceed.
Our Suggestion: As only for the most critical information (like email address) and that only after customers are ready to buy. Send them a survey attached to an email and incentivise it (Win and iPad) if you desperately want the additional information.
4 – Dry Deserts of Text
I know you have a lots of interesting things to say, but please know one thing: People don’t read.
Our Suggestion: Keep text short, use bullet points and headings and make sure you have images to keep it visually interesting. And don’t forget your calls to action (buttons or links asking them to do something like join, call or buy).
5 – Use Lots of Flashing Images
Most websites make use of a large image scroller or a Flash image area that rotates too quickly for people to read. Eye tracking studies show that people studiously avoid looking at this area, it’s called Banner Blindness.
Our Suggestions: If you want to have a lot of moving imagery, keep this area small and confined to one spot on your website. Too many moving images and people won’t know where to look, so they’ll shut your site down.
6 – Use a CAPTCHA Code
Captcha codes are those annoying security numbers and characters used to reduce spam. Companies started using forms and CAPTCHA codes instead of making an email address public where robots can crawl them and then email you offers for things you don’t want or need.
Our Suggestions: By removing the CAPTCHA code you won’t dramatically increase your spam, but you will increase your customer contacts and conversions.
7 – Don’t Test it with Customers
Usability testing involves getting a few of your customers in front of your website, and watching and recording how they interact with your site, without guiding or leading them in any way. It is massively helpful in identifying where customers are dropping off, and why.
Our Suggestion: User testing isn’t expensive, get us to do some testing on your website and you will be amazed at how dramatically you can improve your sales after making the changes your customers (not your boss or a committee) want.
For advice on whether your website is performing, let us have a look at your site and we’ll be able to tell you whether it’s performing well or not.