When creating a website, it’s easy to lose focus on what really matters: the experience for your customer. Impressions matter, it takes about 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, and 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 features your customer will expect, want, or find interesting when it comes to website design.
1. 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.
2. Photo/video hero banner
The first thing your customer will see when landing on your website is your hero banner. 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.
3. Easy navigation
Website design is crucial to the customer experience. The last thing you want to happen is to drive a potential new customer away or leave them clicking through irrelevant pages. 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.
4. 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 will always lean towards aesthetic structure and clarity. Keep your design clean and modern, allowing for a clear journey for potential and returning customers.
5. Contact form
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 calls 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. A clean form with only a few compulsory fields, ideally 3 – 5, is perfectly acceptable.
6. 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 across social platforms. This will keep people informed and interested in your brand and allow your business another avenue to keep in touch with your customers.
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.
Joe McCord, General Manager, Digital8