Right now lots of small businesses are getting ready for a return to business as usual.
But, none of us know what business as usual is going to be.
We do know that Coronavirus has changed things and with change comes opportunity.
If you’ve not done so already, now is a great time for some website reflection and redirection. To help with this, below are five areas of website design and content to consider for improvement.
1 – Start With Clarity
The home page will be the main entry point for most users. This is the most prominent visual part of the website design and provides the introduction to your business. Start strong. Customers need to know four things:
- What you do – The sector, service, product.
- Who you do it for – Customer type.
- Why you’re special – Brand difference.
- How you can help them – What’s your offer.
2 – Plan Pathways, Provide Directions
Websites allow the user to go wherever they want. This means they can miss vital information or come off the path we want them to take (get lost).
We need to put our customer hats on. What does the buyer want/need to know at a certain point? What is the next logical step? By planning user journey’s we design and create content that flows. A joined up narrative of service features and benefits.
When the user comes to an information crossroad, give them directions (like links or big buttons). Position these signposts strategically. Place them at decision points in the text.
Strong signs or calls to action at the top and bottom of the page are also highly effective.
3 – Give It Structure
Many visitors will default to using the main site navigation to orientate. The navigation labels (names for sections, categories, pages) need to make sense to your audience. Chances are, the people using you site aren’t experts and your filing system might not make sense to the uninitiated! The answer is to keep it as plain and simple as possible. Think about your interactions with customers, how do they describe your products and services? How do your competitors name things? Work out the most common and practical descriptions and use these.
4 – Write Less, Write Better
When we get down to the detail copy, or text, is the most important website content going. The key with text is to write only enough. And, only enough needs to be high-quality. High-quality means you cover off the main points succinctly. No waffle, no textual ornamentation. Write as if you’re speaking the words. Respect the customers time and attention. Believe me, people will not read long pages. You’ll lose them.
5 – Make Contact Easy
At any point, your visitor may decide it is time to get in touch. Bingo! We don’t want to miss this opportunity. On every page, provide multiple contact options. An easy setup is to put the main points of contact, tel, social media, email etc into the website header/footer. The footer is often best as we don’t want a heavy header.
Sticky contact icons are another good choice – these are the little buttons that appear at the top/side and stay in the same position, floating over the page.
Pop-up chat boxes are an increasingly popular choice. These can be at best distracting and at worst off-putting. Use with caution!
Give It A Go
Improving the website design and content can work wonders for conversions (turning a browser into a buyer). Why not take just one of the suggested areas and make some changes. See what happens.