Web design is my passion, so when I see a poorly thought through website that I know is hindering a businesses opportunities it makes me cringe a little bit inside. Sometimes it's just the smallest of tweaks that could make a small difference to the user experience, sometimes there is a complete redesign that is required. Either way, the perfect website doesn't exist but I want to outline 5 key areas that could be effecting your business.
I've just briefly touched on this but here's a little more substance. Your website is the usually the first impression you give to someone. It is your digital business card and a portrayal of you as a business and as professionals. A poorly designed website can have such a negative effect that people will mentally blacklist you, avoiding your business at all costs subconsciously. Anyone can design a website these days with all the free tools (nothing against free tools) but what they don't come with is a wealth of experience in user experience on website interaction - it's often just a poorly formed template with simple features.
Think about it yourself, if you landed on the website on the left would you want to give them your money? I doubt it. However, if you landed on the website on the right things might be a little different. That is why it's important to note that, although a better designed website will cost more money up front, you will get a far more effective money making tool in the long run. Making it a real no-brainer.
OK so this is a bit of a buzz word but it basically means that your website looks correct on any device, any shape, any size. It responses to the user, giving a similar experience on mobile as well as on a desktop PC or laptop. Why is this important? Humans are creatures of habit and familiarity - if we are in Debenhams (other department stores are available) and we see a toaster we think might come in useful on your kitchen side on a lazy Sunday morning, you might want to be a savvy shopper and have a quick check to see if there are any deals online or any other stores that offer the same product cheaper. If you find a product cheaper on another website but when you go to that website the site doesn't load correctly and the buttons are out of focus and off screen you aren't going to make the purchase. Friction has been added to the buying process and we need to remove all the friction points to ensure a smooth conversion process whether that is downloading your e-book or buying a shiny chrome toaster.
If I land on a website and the earliest update is from 6 months ago, my first thought is going to be 'oh they must be out of business'. Old content is stale and is extremely off-putting to new and returning customers and doesn't give them any quality assurances. Also, it is exactly what Google is NOT looking for when it decides who's website is going to appear at the top of search pages. From and SEO (search engine optimisation) perspective, Google wants to see regular, fresh content being added to your site that is relevant to your business and your audience. The more your audience engage with it the better. Have you got an Inbound Marketing Strategy (don't read until you've finished this article!)? Having a IMS can have such an astronomical effect on lead generation and sales that it shocks me when I see people not pushing this relatively easy to maintain strategy.
When I see that someone has gone to great lengths to drive traffic to their website only to be faced with a missing Call-to-Action (CTAs) I really feel for that business. A call to action is where, for example, on your home page you have a clear statement and then a clear and contracting element that is intended to make the user action something ie subscribe or add to basket. CTAs need to stand out from the page and draw the users eye - there is no point writing a lovely bit of content about how good you are at creating meal plans when you forget to include a cleat call-to-action on how people can get more information. Don't forget to include these at points on your website where you've just provided a solution to a want or need!
Is this day and age, trust is a hard thing to come by. Online, it is even more difficult. This is why your website should aim to uild trust from the moment someone lands on it. All the above factors aid int he trust building process but you can also aplify this with things like customer testimonials of case studies and examples of your work. The attention span of your website visitors is dwindling by the day and at the first sign of mistrust they could disappear.
There is a lot you can get wrong with a website that can cost you time and money in the long run. Having a high quality site that is responsive and has a clear path for the user with a CTA to collect leads then you're well on your way to improving your websites value. Your website should be one of your most valuable assets, if you feel like it isn't living up to its potential then get in touch, we have a range of packages available to suite all needs.