13 August 2018
We all know our businesses, our products and our services inside out but visitors to your website don’t necessarily have the advantage of this knowledge. If they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly then they’ll move on and that certainly isn’t good for your business.
So, it’s vital you design your website from their viewpoint. Put yourself in their shoes and it will ensure you give your target audience what they want.
Here are some key elements to keep in mind as you consider the structure and design of your website.
Visitors can be fickle. They will move on to a competitor's site without thinking twice. Your exact approach to navigation will depend on your particular business but it should be as simple and as easy to follow as possible. Does your product or service have a specific path that you want visitors to understand? Make sure key areas are easy to find and that they can be found from different directions.
Have you ever landed on a website and been unsure what to do next? Was the site too busy? Was there inadequate information? This impacts on the overall user experience and, vitally, it impacts on how visitors see your brand. Have a clear structure to your site so users know what to do from the moment they arrive until they want to either check out or make contact with you.
What is the benefit of using your business over the competition? Show them why they should buy from you. Your product or service might not be unique, but your business is different. It’s your job to explain to your customers why you’re unique and how that is of benefit the customer.
The human attention span is short and it’s getting shorter by the year. We want instant satisfaction. If your site takes too long to load, you can be almost certain the site visitor will leave your site. There are many ways to ensure your site loads as quickly as possible, including optimising images, enabling caching, having lean code running it all and investing in better servers.
People want to know who is behind a website. It adds a level of trust that isn’t there if the people who own the business remain anonymous. About 51% of people say that thorough contact information is one of the most important factors on a website. Offer multiple ways to contact you and be transparent enough to list the names of the key people in your business.
Visitors expect a logo to also function as a link back to the home page of a website. Most know you can simply click the logo and use it as a home button. If your logo is a hotspot then it reduces the number of clicks and enhances user experience.
The main reason people go to a website is still to gather information. Although the way content is served is changing (more videos and visual graphics) people still want to learn. Figure out how to provide unique and helpful content and you’ll stand out from the competition.
Working out what users want isn’t always easy but it is worth the effort. Keep in mind that what they want today may not be what they want tomorrow. Ask your current customers what you’re missing and continue to improve and evolve your website. If you always seek to put the customer first, they will turn to you over your competitors.