Websites sell, and for many businesses they are the first port of call for potential customers as they seek information. The Gomez Report found 88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. So a good first impression is key, and this must be paired with enticing, digestible content placed across an easy to navigate site.
Customers will research product or service information online to help them make informed purchasing decisions and if your website does not provide them with the details they need or worse, isn’t functional, you will likely lose their interest and a sale.
Think of your website as your digital storefront. You need to consider both design and functionality to create an eye-catching, user-friendly platform that not only captivates but also, more importantly, sells.
There are many ways your business can succeed in the online marketplace, and here’s four top tips.
Choosing the right domain and host
Websites are one of the best lead-generation tools, so make sure you set it up right to ensure you’ll be able to capture and convert website traffic. This starts with choosing the right domain and host.
When choosing a domain, make sure it not only reflects your brand but also has minimal chances of being misspelled. A combination of SEO, simple spelling and branding can see your domain name ranking higher in search engine results.
Your host package is equally important for the functionality of your page. The purpose of your site and nature of your business will determine what package will work best for your needs. Features such as the capability to host media-rich content or the need for additional functionalities like multiple webpages, customer service chatbots (designed to help answer basic or frequently asked questions by customers via the website) or extra security are elements to consider.
While considering your options, always keep your purpose and target audience in mind. Your design, content and navigation should align closely with your audience’s requirements which increases the likelihood of conversion.
Visual branding and design
Website Credibility Research from Stanford found a company’s credibility is based predominately (75%) on the company’s website design. A site that is clean and well-organised will be more appealing to users.
The scheme should align with your brand guidelines to ensure consistency and strengthen identity, such as including a professional designed logo aligned with your colour scheme.
It’s best to avoid crazy visuals or heavy text so users can instead focus on your branding and information – remember it’s all about user experience!
Functionality and navigation
How frustrated do you get when you come across a website that is difficult to interact with?
A website should be easy to navigate, giving users access to the information they are seeking – this is where a site map comes in handy! Each web page should have a function with an easily identifiable connection to what the page contains. For example, your ‘About Us’ pages should detail who your business is and what you offer; and if you’re a retailer your ‘Shop’ should direct users to all your products with RRPs, product information and the capability to purchase directly online.
When it comes to functionality, consider situations that might create a bad experience for users. For example, are there loading delays or broken links or are the contact forms or downloadable content not working? Functional issues will likely see users leave your page.
A quality website should also look good and function across all browsers. Remember to optimise your website for mobile devices – after all 51% of global website traffic comes from mobiles now.
The content you include on your page can impact your search engine ranking as well as user experience and impression. Consider what information your potential customer is looking for and make sure they can easily access it.
Key information should include your hours of operation, location and contact information, including icons linking to social media profiles. Ensure you also include call to actions such as ‘Reach out today’ or ‘Buy now - first item 10% off’ that encourages your potential customers to interact.
A quality website is polished. It is visually appealing, informative, functional, easy to navigate and branded. Users come to websites to seek information and answers to their questions, so make it easy for them and you’ll be more likely to see a conversion. If you think your website needs a revamp, Elevate’s team of digital specialists and content writers are here to help. Reach out today to learn how.