There was a time in the not too distant past when companies did not feel obligated to have a company website. There was not a full grasp on how important the “internet super highway” was going to be, and besides, everyone used the Yellow Pages. Things have changed, of course. Now, websites are a sign of legitimacy. A poor website is like a clammy handshake. A website that is difficult to navigate or one that has several broken links will not keep potential customers interested for long. Are you not sure how to improve your website? Here are five points where you can start.
Important pages should be readily accessible and should not be hidden away in drop-down menus that do not make sense. One of the best ways to test your website’s ease of navigation is to have someone unfamiliar with your business and your website try to find different things your customers would be trying to find. Do they encounter problems? Your website visitors will likely encounter the exact same problems, and they will not have you sitting there to guide them. Navigation should be easy, intuitive, and accessible to someone who has known your business for five years or five days.
Content for the Masses
The navigation of your website may seem 100% sensible to you because you have been immersed in the creation of your website and, of course, you live and breathe your business. The same holds true for the content on your website. The images you have selected make perfect sense to you. The verbiage reflects exactly how you speak within your company walls. The trick is, nobody else may have any idea exactly what you are showing or what you are talking about. Again, it is advantageous to show your website to a family member or a friend who will be seeing everything with fresh eyes. Do they feel the content is too filled with jargon? Do they have questions about why certain images are there? These issues need to be taken care of, because other website visitors will have the same questions.
We have been focused on this issue heavily since last year, when Google announced it was starting to penalize companies who did not have mobile-friendly websites. A responsive website means that you do not lose any images or content regardless of the screen size you are using. The website is just as user-friendly on a smart phone or a tablet as it is on a desktop computer. People expect this type of design now, so if your website is not responsive, you are at a disadvantage in more ways than one.
Broken Links = Broken Relationships
That might seem a little melodramatic, but let’s face it, if you are on a website and half of the links aren’t working, you probably are not going to stay there long. It can be tedious, especially if you have a lot of cross links amongst pages (which you should do, by the way), but testing those links before launching a website, and periodically after the site is live, can make a big difference in how people perceive your site.
Calls To Action
We have seen a lot of stats about what has happened to the human attention span in recent years. The most common stat cited is that the human attention span is roughly equivalent to that of a goldfish. Not only does this mean your content should be interactive, engaging, and interesting, it also means you need to actively guide website visitors to take the actions you want them to take. Rather than having them guess, make sure there are clear calls to action in as many places as possible. Do you want them to go to an e-commerce section of your site? Make sure you offer “shop now” buttons (or something similar) on every page. Do you want them to fill out an RFQ form? Make sure you link to that RFQ form as often as possible without becoming obnoxious. Assume people have no idea what you want them to do, because they probably don’t.
Building a new website or improving what you already have can be daunting. Feel free to call us for a quote or to ask us any questions. We are happy to help!