When creating a website, it is easy to lose focus of what really matters: the experience for your customer. You’re likely to be creating a website for their benefit – so why is it so easy to forget their interests? The following seven tips will help you understand the things your customer will expect, want or find interesting, when it comes to website design.
Website design is crucial to the customer experience, and (unfortunately!) most noticeable when it is particularly bad. The last thing you want to happen is drive a potential new customer away or leave them clicking through irrelevant pages with no interest to the user. So, when it comes to navigation, create a layout that is easy to understand, and it will never get a mention; which is exactly what you want.
Clear call to action
Every website is created for a specific purpose. Whether your website is built to inform, sell, or gather enquiries, it is imperative you make sure your customer knows where to click – without having to look very hard! Action phrases or commands such as ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Buy Now’ are part of your story and if a visitor has trouble finding their purpose on your website: you’re doing it wrong.
A clean, functional layout
When it comes to web design, less is often more. The very last thing your customer wants to see when visiting your website, is an overwhelming splattering of content and imagery. After all, humans are creatures of habit and will always lean towards aesthetic structure and clarity. Keep your design clean and modern, allowing for a clear journey through your website for potential and returning customers.
Want to find out more on designing a state-of-the-art website? Check out our Guide to Designing Websites in 2019.
Photo / video hero banner
The first thing your customer will see when landing on your website, is your hero banner. A hero banner is a large or oversized web banner image that is pinned to the header section of a webpage, usually towards the top of the page.
A good hero image or banner leaves a lasting first impression and can set you apart from your competitors. Get it wrong, and you could lose a customer. Get it right, and you could be on your way to a quick conversion with many happy returns. What’s important here is that you don’t overdo it. If you have a video showing off your products / services, or some professionally taken shots that really sum up what your business is all about, this is their ideal new home. Add some short and sweet copy detailing your point of difference, along with a call to action, and there’s a clear path for the visitor to follow.
The contact form is one of the most important parts of your online presence. It offers a simple and reliable way for visitors to get in contact with you – and cement that call to action.
If your website relies on the user providing their information, whether it be simple details or several fields outlining the service they require – you don’t want to complicate this process by requesting too much personal information. If your customer-to-be is presented with a large form with potential for completion to take over a minute, you risk losing them forever. A clean form with only a few compulsory fields, ideally 3 – 5, is perfectly acceptable. Another tip: don’t use multi-step forms unless you absolutely must, or it is the norm for your industry.
If you are an expert in your industry, why not share knowledge with your customer base? Not every site needs a news or blog section, however if you can offer an up-to-date archive of relevant and interesting content, it will go a long way to impressing potential and existing customers, humanising your brand as well as offering a large range of SEO benefits.
Before you deep dive into blogs, it is worth seriously considering how much time you will be able to put towards your content. If you are unable to add new material at least every week or two, your page will be at risk of looking stale. So, if you and your team have the time to write a few blog posts on a regular basis, that’s fantastic – and if not, it’s best to focus your energy elsewhere.
Social media integration
Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn, most businesses are on social media these days. If you offer a service or product that people are interested in, it is worth growing your fan base in a social media environment. This will keep people informed and interested in your brand and allow your business another avenue to keep in touch with your customers.
It’s not imperative to have links to your social media on your website, but if it is something that you do keep up to date, be sure to make these available to site visitors. You never know, they may be keen to follow all that you do on an additional, personable platform.