One of the biggest issues with attempting to improve your own website, is that you often won’t see that improvements need to be made! You are so wrapped up in it and you’ve seen it a thousand times, that you’ve forgotten to try and look at it through a new customer or user’s eyes.
Here are 10 basic things you can look at straight away to ensure your website is being as effective as possible at bringing in those orders or leads.
1. The Seven Second Rule
Your brand, what you do and who you are should come across and resonate with the user within the first 7-15 seconds of landing on your website. This is all the time you’ve got to capture someone’s attention. Confuse them, and they’re gone!
The navigation of your site should be clear and visible on ALL pages and in the same position. It’s the chief way for people to browse your site and get to the page they want to, and we want them to be able to do that in the least number of clicks possible. Ensure you’re using words that your customer would use and avoid any kind of industry jargon – keep it simple
3. Call to Actions
The Call-To-Action button is used to entice people to take a specific action – this could be Contact, Buy, Book, Go To Checkout. Used in the correct way, a button can be enticing enough to immediately attract your customers and get them to undertake the action you want them to. But to work in the right way, they need to stand out from the rest of the page, they need to be big and eye-catching and copy used on the needs to be short, concise and actionable!
4. Easy Scanning
People don’t read, they scan. No matter how tempting it is to bombard the user with loads of information (this is difficult because in YOUR business all of your information is interesting to YOU), you must keep content clear, concise and compact!
5. Wall to Wall text
It’s your business, so of course you have a lot to say – but our customer is busy. Picture them in their “natural habitat” – kids screaming, struggling to use their phone with one hand – they don’t have time to read wall to wall text, and it will likely put them off!
Don’t make your users guess or struggle with what you’re trying to say – If you’re using words over the top of images, ensure there is enough contrast so the words can actually be seen! YOU can see them as you’ve seen the site over and over again and your brain has “learned” that they are there. New users, with fresh eyes, won’t see it!
Only show form fields that are relevant and that you truly need – people are lazy and don’t want to fill out long arduous forms. Keep it simple and ensure you clearly highlight and explain if someone makes a mistake. Don’t let them guess – or you’ll lose them!
8. White space
There was a time when people were terrified of having anything beneath “the fold” (the bit at the bottom of the page before you start scrolling). But people scroll now, thanks to mobile phones, so don’t pack the top of your pages with information. Spread it out, give it space to breath and the site will become more manageable.
9. Lead generators
Let your website work for you! Don’t just let it act as a digital business card and lose people the second they leave your site. Entice them into joining your mailing list or signing up. Give them something of value so that they want to join you.
10. Be responsive
Don’t forget mobile! The majority of people are now using their mobile phones to consume all of their online information and visit your website, so don’t forget to ensure that all of your pages are optimised for a mobile sized screen!