We live in a highly digitised society where websites are the new business cards. In fact, your website will most likely be the first and maybe even the only aspect of your business that your customers interact with.
Making sure your website is as effective as possible is, therefore, key to gaining and retaining customers.
So what factors make a website successful?
1. Easy Navigation
Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. With so many websites, products and services at the tip of their fingers, consumers these days want to be able to access the information they need quickly and with minimal clicks.
Having obvious and easy to use navigation points on your website is key to making the user’s experience a positive one. A clear and concise menu is a fantastic way of allowing users to navigate your site stress-free. The menu icon should be displayed in an easy to find a place so that users can easily open it and see what’s on offer.
Make sure all navigational text such as ‘Contact Us’, ‘Menu’, ‘Blog’ and ‘Our Locations’ are all clearly visible. Having these fixed at the top of the website is always good as users can easily flip back and forth as they wish.
2. Don’t Try To Reinvent The Wheel
When it comes to website navigation, there’s no point in trying to break the mold. People are creatures of habit and they will respond best to the principles they know and understand. Clear and recognizable signs and instructions are the best way to go.
For example, this website selling ASC’s floor cleaning machine uses very clear navigation buttons. At the top of the page, you can see a clear breakdown of different site areas to browse, from “About Us” and “Services” to “Machines” and “Contact Us”, the navigational elements are positioned in a prime location at the top of the site for easy access and understanding.
Their two main call to action buttons are also clear and concise. “View Products” and “Speak With Us” are both widely used terms that are easy for customers to understand.
Though it might be tempting to come up with fun and creative ways for users to navigate your website, simple tried and tested methods usually have better results.
3. Simple But Effective
Don’t overcomplicate things and overload users with too much information. Keep things concise. If you have lots of information to provide, consider having short blurbs with a “learn more” or “more info” drop-down option for people who want to read on.
This will allow interested users to explore the matter further but will not overwhelm casual browsers at first glance.
This principle also applies to video, images, and graphics. You, of course, want to interest users with engaging imagery but less is often more. Again, you can provide one or two videos and the offer a gallery option with more content for interested parties.
Keep the visual style and tone of writing on your website consistent throughout. Make sure there is a uniform of colors and business logos and use the same navigational system on every page too. This will improve your branding as well as your website’s usability.
5. Interesting and Interactive
Although you don’t want to overcomplicate your website, you do also need to make sure it’s interesting and interactive. Videos are a great way to achieve this and are also a great way to convert customers.
In fact, customers are 64-85% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. Video also boosts information retention.
When we hear something, on average we retain about 10% of the information by a later date. But seeing something accompanied by relevant imagery allows us to retain, on average, 65% of that information.
How many times have you clicked off a website or abandoned a purchase mid-way through the transaction because it was too slow at loading? Don’t lose customers over something as simple as website speed.
Invest the time and effort into making your website work as efficiently as possible.
7. Product-Specific Landing Pages
A landing page is a stand-out page created specifically for a particular marketing campaign. The landing page is the first thing a potential consumer sees when they engage with your product or service.
If you are selling or promoting different products or services, you should have a separate landing page for each one.
Like the rest of your website, keep your landing pages simple and easy to navigate with a clear call to action. Whether you want users to sign up for a free trial, buy a product or join your mailing list, you should make your desired outcome clear and easy for the site visitor to achieve.
Interesting and interactive websites that are easy and simple to use will keep customers engaged. Making the website easy to navigate will allow customers to find the information they want and make their necessary purchases faster.
This will increase your ROI by improving your brand, increasing website engagement and speeding up the sales cycle.
Craig Evans is a finance fanatic and tech junkie based in Sydney, Australia. I like to impart my knowledge and share insights on the latest business industry news, marketing, and leadership tips.