You only have one shot at making a first impression. Is your website fitting the bill?
In a matter of seconds, your user can either fall in love with your site or navigate away.
Setting your business up for success starts with a functional, attractive and user-friendly site. Here’s how to do it.
Consistency reigns over all aspects of your site. From color, to copy, to images and beyond.
Before getting started, decide on an overall theme. Your theme should embody the spirit and message of your brand.
It includes a color palette, font, voice, images, style, design — every nook and cranny of your site.
Consistency gives users an intuitive, trusting emotion. As they click through pages, they generally know what to expect and won’t be bombarded by an entirely new design and interface per page.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a consistent style design. It signifies cohesivity across your page and ultimately, your brand.
Imagine if each page had a different color palette and design — your user might anticipate an equal measure of variance when it comes to your service or product.
Make Your Site Responsive
Over half of online searches come from mobile devices, which is huge incentive to make your site mobile-friendly.
A responsive site ensures a seamless experience for users, whether they’re working on a desktop, tablet, mobile device or laptop — your site is anywhere, anytime, for the user.
Make Your Logo Visible
Studies indicate top left corner, for ideal logo placement. The reason being, it is whether user vision goes first.
Regardless where you decide to place your logo, it should be visible and prominent. After all, users should associate your product/service with your brand, not some Joe Schmo, they stumbled across on the internet.
If your logo isn’t visible, you’re missing out on a key branding opportunity.
No one enjoys reading word walls — especially when they’re on the hunt for specific information. Make your content easy to read, by making it skimmable.
In other words, users shouldn’t have to read each and every word, to get the gist of your business.
Text should be visually and “readably” appealing. Consider bolding important phrases or employing the use of bulleted lists (but, use sparingly.)
Users seldom read a site word-for-word, but they still want the option to dig deeper, if they so choose.
You should litter your site with calls to action! But, you need to do this tastefully, so you don’t scare your users away.
An appropriate CTA on your home page might be a free download to your eBook or audio recording, in exchange for their contact and email information.
On a product page, you can include a CTA to schedule a phone consultation or contact form to learn more information. Show your user the value of your product/service, then make it easy for them to take action.
If a user has to search for your contact form, they’re more likely to lose interest and patience before eventually stumbling upon it.
Keep It Simple
How often have you navigated to a page, only to find it cluttered with images, icons, fonts, colors, videos, blocks of text and generally just too much? When it comes to your site, stick to the “less is more” mentality.
Aim to give the right amount of information, so the user understands exactly what you do and how it is relevant to them, but still leave opportunity for them to reach out.
For example, if you offer career consulting services, don’t give all your expertise away on your site. Otherwise, your user has no incentive to seek your service — you’ve already given it to them!
Simplicity is also key in design. Your color palette doesn’t need eight different colors, more like 3-4. You may think extra bells and whistles will make your site appear more advanced or innovative, but for a user new to your brand, too many “extras” may distract from learning about your business.
How do you feel when you navigate to a new site and pop-up boxes, autoplay videos or site music immediately bombards you? Let your brand speak for itself, without the added fluff.
Connect Your Social Media
Social media is vital to the success of modern day businesses. If you have active social media accounts, link them to your page. They add a layer of connectivity between you and your customers, while also adding credibility to your business.
While we’re on the topic, a few words about social media: for starters, keep your content varied per platform.
That is to say, what you post on Facebook shouldn’t be identical to LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. The content can be the same, but find a way to repurpose it or give it a fresh twist.
Know which platforms are relevant to your customers. Using the same example as before, if your business is career consulting, LinkedIn and Facebook may be pertinent sites, while Twitter and Instagram are less relevant to your users.
Offer A Search Function
Sometimes users are simply too impatient to peruse your site and find what they’re looking for — they want answers right now.
Cater to this need by offering a search bar, where users can easily input keywords or phrases and navigate to exactly what they’re looking for.
At the same time, if your site does not offer what they’re looking for, that will be easily understood, thus eliminating unnecessary frustration and potential “bad-mouthing” of your brand.
A final word of advice: always be adaptable. Nothing is set in stone — changes can always be made. Think of your site as a living, breathing entity; it grows and changes, as your business does.
These are just a few of the many ways to optimize your site for greater user-friendliness.
Thanks for tuning in this week! We’ll be back again soon with more content marketing goodness.