Keeping It Simple: 3 Things Many Websites Are Still Doing Wrong!
January 10, 2017
Let’s face it, your website is the virtual bread and butter of your business. Since the majority of your prospects will either find or qualify your business here, it’s essential to get the basics right. Since Internet usage is constantly growing and users habits are ever changing, what was right when you launched your website may no longer be up to speed. Revisiting these three web design “don’ts” may just spruce up conversions on your website:
1) Navigation with too many choices
Links across the top or down the side of the web page are familiar forms of navigation. They give users a number of options where to click next. But think about it. Wouldn’t it be better to guide them to where YOU want them to go?
Rethinking your website navigation from this point of view can turn prospects who are just browsing your website into into targeted buyers.
Do your glamorous project photos sell your service? Or is it your low pricing? When planning a website design, ask yourself, “Where is the ONE place that is most important for my prospect to go next?”
Whatever the answer, make it the most prominent element of your page design. Strategically keeping your visitor focused in the direction of your sales process gets you on your way to increasing response.
This construction management company specializes in developing large real estate projects. Their portfolio of photos is what best qualifies this firm. Rather than clicking across a navigation bar to get to the portfolio, this web design employs not just one, but three tactics to direct the user to key information.
A rotation of project photos sets the tone, navigation is simplified to a hamburger menu, and most important, a single button encourages visitors to go straight to their project portfolio.
Remember; engage your visitors by leading them where to go vs. letting them poke around. A simple addition like a bold or bright colored button to your homepage can make the difference in the number of contacts who reach out each week.
2) Too much content that’s too hard to find
In the old days of web surfing, web visitors loved clicking through page after page of information. Nowadays, because visitors are spending so much of their time online, information that is readily accessible is more likely to get the right response.
To enhance usability and enable quick scanning, website design with scrolling pages can serve your prospects better than the many smaller pages of the past. They easily offer visitors what they need to make a decision faster.
To achieve an optimum level of usability, consider simplifying the information on your website. Make it easy to find your key selling points by
- Combining short web pages into more succinct scrolling pages.
- Reducing the amount of content you provide and
- Breaking up long paragraphs.
In his book on web usability, Steve Krug advises to “Get rid of half of the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left” – certainly solid advice for websites with cumbersome copy.
Another content “faux pas”: offering the same generic content to different markets – and letting them sort through what’s relevant. No one likes going on a search and find mission. If you have more than one market, guiding visitors to a designated section with content geared to their specific interests will send them on a quicker path to purchase.
Rather than hunting through this kitchen company’s website for relevant information, this website design provides direct links for contractors vs. homeowners. Because benefits are very different for both markets, the user feels better served from the get-go and the company can better present very different benefits for each.
3) Weak (or no) call-to-action
What is your most important call-to-action, and is it accessible when your visitor is ready to buy? Relying on a click to your contact page gives your prospect one more pause to think “ Hmm, maybe I should look at that other guy’s website first”.
It is wise to anticipate where on your website most visitors may be ready to contact you. When they are ready, what is it that you want them to do next? Sign up for a seminar? Purchase online? Call your sales rep? Be specific and make sure the information is at their fingertips. Tweaking your website design so your call-to-action is more visible can make a difference in conversions.
For example, if your prospect has to scroll back to the top of your page to find your phone number or other info, a simple switch to also display it in your footer gives users one less reason to hunt. Or better yet, change your header so it scrolls with the page and keeps your call-to-action only one click away.
Different from many businesses that encourage buyers to call, homebuilders prefer prospects to walk in the door. Because a one-on-one experience is always better for sales, setting an appointment is a main call-to-action for this company.
Within this website design, two “pushes” are always available: An online sales counselor (who of course encourages an appointment) and a friendly speech bubble that floats with the page, asking for the appointment. Both were easy additions that have proven to enhance this builder’s sales process.
Living the C-word
As marketers, we live for Conversions. No matter what kind, they depend on a clear and focused website. If yours are slow in converting, check these three points: navigation, content and call-to-action and see the difference in sales it can make.