When you visit a website, you’re looking for something, right? Think about the last website you visited: Was it easy to find that thing you were looking for? Now think about the people that visit your website. What is their experience like?
By considering your customer’s perspective of your website, a good design can put all your key website elements in the right place. This helps your potential new customer easily find what they are looking for, then pick up their phone to call. (And maybe even leave a great online review for your business, too.)
While it’s essential to have the fundamental elements on your website, their presentation needs to be considered.
THE REQUIRED ELEMENTS
Much of your website traffic will be coming from customers looking to communicate with you. Whether by email, phone or in person, the information that helps them accomplish this is a top priority. Placing a prominent “contact us” link at the top of your website is sometimes a great way to go. Another option is to simply put your address, phone number and hours of operation right in the top header of your home page. Additionally, you might want to use a map on your website to help people better understand your location.
The more specific information you can have online about what you sell, the better. A huge number of searches now happen on mobile with the intent of “in the moment” product research. This may even lead to customer conversions while they are in a competitor’s store.
Keeping a current product catalog online can be a lot of work, but is worthy of the effort because of its value. This is especially important if your demographic is a bit younger and more web savvy.
Give a quick snapshot of your business for people interested in learning a little more about you. Keep in mind, if people are looking at this part of your website, they are likely close to buying. Make sure you put in a little marketing effort here to help close the deal. Make it brief but include things like business history, philosphy relevant achievements and location. Customer testimonials are good, too!
Icons linking to your Social Media channels
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are awesome ways to help foster a direct line of communication between your business and the public Your website should prioritize Social Media by installing a quick link widget into the footer or header of your website. So no matter where you customer goes on the site they’re always a click away from connecting to your Social Media channels.
Putting it all together with design
Look at design and layout of your website as an opportunity to infuse some of your business’s personality into your website’s look and feel. But heed this warning: design is where it is most critical to keep the customer’s perspective in mind. Too often business owners want their website designed in a way that works perfectly for themselves while failing to consider how it will work for their customers. The following things must be kept in mind during the design process:
Mobile functionality is king
This has to be top of mind at every stage of design. While most modern designs are mobile functional, it’s worth taking second looks at the ones that do it best. Responsive design techniques are refined and improved regularly. Your old ‘responsive design’ might be OK, but it’s probably not optimal. As a general rule – if you haven’t updated your website in over five years, you probably need a redesign.
Keep it simple
You may have noticed that this article really pushes the need for priorities. With that in mind, consider putting only the most crucial information on the home page. After that, it becomes really dependent on your goals and objectives.
Build for speed
By keeping things simple and prioritizing mobile functionality, you’re likely on the right track to a fast-loading site. Google uses page load times as factor in determining your search rank. So a slow website will not only make people want to leave your site – but it will probably prevent them from finding your website in the first place. Bottomline: Your site needs to be fast!