Getting a website designed and built can be a lengthy and draining task for any business owner or marketing team. With such importance given to our ‘digital shop windows’, it’s amazing all of the simple yet vital things that can be so easily overlooked or forgotten about as we concentrate so much focus on overall design or the major function attributes.
Below is a list of simple yet important things every website should have to ensure a better customer journey and user experience, which ultimately leads to increased sales.
It’s surprising how many companies don’t include their key contact details in the header of their site when their main conversion is for someone to get in touch. You want to make it as easy and obvious as possible for visitors to contact you, so make sure your phone number and email address are clearly visible within your header area. If space is limited, include contact icons such as a phone and envelope that link out, or include your Contact page as a navigation option. Email addresses should be clickable from all devices and phone numbers should be clickable from mobiles – this not only helps with user experience but is also trackable within Google Analytics. More info on this can be found here.
Featured Images and Their Messaging
Most websites are built with the facility to have a prominent image/s just under the navigation bar on all pages. This is the main area of attention when someone first looks at a page, so you should view it as large, free advertising space. Use it to showcase your products or convey your key messages! The example below shows how Focus Clinic, a leading laser eye clinic, has used their featured image area to shout about one of their USPs around great results. Focus used this space for that key message as it’s not always the first thing you think of when looking into laser eye surgery, yet it is such a huge factor to consider. Displaying this particular message here allows Focus to make this factor more prominent in potential patient’s minds.
CTAs (Click through action / call to action buttons)
How easy is it for someone to enquire / buy / find out more on your website? It should be as easy as one click. CTAs are the perfect way of encouraging visitors to do something on your site, whether it be to get in touch or view another page so make sure your site uses them on relevant pages.
Great content is by far the most underrated way to boost your website in terms of better user engagement and experience, increased leads and, of course, increased sales. Can a visitor easily understand exactly what you do / what you sell from your website pages? Good quality copywriting and messaging should be a vital part of any business. It adds so much value to not only your digital presence, but your brand image also. Clear messaging and good, succinct copy can also make a big impact on the impression your visitors get of your business. Research from the Nielsen Norman Group showed that users tend to rush through website pages and often only read a quarter of the page text, so your writing needs to be clear and focused. Make every word count.
Clear Navigation Structure
How easy it is for visitors to find what they’re looking for? Do they have to click through multiple pages to get to where they want to be? It’s so important to have a clear navigation structure on your site. You want visitors to easily find exactly what they’re looking for within 1-2 clicks, ideally. Any more than this and you’re entering the danger zone of ‘I give up’-ness.
Unique Selling Points (USPs)
If your business doesn’t already have defined USPs, it’s worth spending some time figuring them out. Your USPs are the reasons why customers should choose you over your competitors.
- What do you do differently?
- What are the great contributing factors to your service?
- What do your products have / do that make them great?
Once you’ve figured these out, make sure that your potential customers can see them! Display them throughout your site in relevant places to help people see why they should choose you.
Footers and Quick Links
It’s not always possible to list every key service or product group within your top level navigation structure. Footers are great for displaying important standard information without taking up too much space on your main pages. Things like accreditations, social buttons, contact details and quick links to key pages can all be listed in a website’s footer area.
I’m always disappointed when I come across a website with poor quality or irrelevant, overused stock images. Your website is often the very first point of contact a potential customer will have of your business, so make that impression an excellent one! Pixelated images or completely irrelevant or overused stock images will not wow your audience. Invest in a professional photographer or illustrator to create your business its own library of unique images. Alternatively, take a look at lesser known image libraries such as Pixabay and Death to Stock.