Got a (Business-)Killer Website?
8th August 2016 /// Posted by Jennie Lin
With billions and billions of websites out there, we know how hard it is to capture audience attention and keep traffic flowing – but is your website killing your business’ growth? Here are nine must-have features on your website you need to attract customers… and keep them!
1/ Looking good
As they say, first impressions count! If your website looks plain and unprofessional, visitors will be less likely to stay on and read on, no matter how great your business or your product might be.
Do a little bit of research and find out what’s popular. Usually a clean, minimalistic approach is the safest and most appropriate, although this varies depending on your audience.
If you’re a retailing business, bad photography is almost always a deal-breaker. Invest in hiring a professional photographer to take great product images for your site. And beware free stock photography – these tend to get repeated across websites, so often it’s better spending a little on paid images to make your business stand out from the rest.
Everyone hates not being able to find what they need. Make your navigation clear, obvious and easily-accessible. If your website has categories on categories on categories, it’s probably a good idea to consider breadcrumbs to help your visitors avoid getting lost and keep track of where they are.
Make hyperlinks obvious too – with different colours and a different font or text style – so that your visitors will know where to click! Another good rule of thumb is to be careful what you underline: everyone presumes underlined text is a link!
In an age where mobile is king, how could you not jump on the mobile-friendly bandwagon? Just take a look at the stats and you’ll realise that a huge majority of online traffic comes from users on mobile devices. The modern visitor will have no patience for sites where you’ll have to zoom in and out in order to read or select options – and will often leave in search of more accessible websites.
Don’t drive free traffic to your competitors. Use Responsive Web Design (RWD) to ensure that your site automatically resizes and rearranges itself according to the size of the user’s screen.
The typefaces used on your website will be just as important as the content you choose to place on it. All your text should be in an easy-to-read font, a good size, and well spaced apart. If you’re unsure, try out this Golden Ratio Typography Calculator!
Also think carefully about the colour of your text and the background it’ll be placed on. Make sure there’s a high contrast between the two.
Studies in 2009 have shown that 40% of customers will only wait 3 seconds for a web page to load before leaving – that was seven years ago. If anything, visitors have only grown more impatient since then.
Clearly, the speed at which your website loads is a very crucial factor in attracting more visitors. It also determines how high you rank on search engines like Google: making sure your website loads within two seconds will keep it at a higher ranking. You can use tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix to keep track of website performance.
Any visitor to your website should be able to identify exactly what its purpose is within the first four seconds of arriving. Is it an creative portfolio? An online store? A blog? Make this obvious with a clear headline and by placing important brand information or pictures “before the fold” – that is, at the top area of the page before scrolling begins.
7/ Click on this!
Determine what the ultimate goal of your website is and make it obvious to the customer. If you’d like them to purchase your products, feature them on your home page and place the ‘purchase’ button close by.
Make sure the button is accessible, well-sized and eye-catching. It will attract the attention of your visits and direct them towards the action you’d like them to take.
Is your contact information up-to-date? Prospective customers or clients should be able to contact you easily and through a variety of ways, as everyone is comfortable with different methods of contact. It’s best to have a dedicated contacts page, with your company’s details as well as a simple form they could fill in that redirects to an email address. Make contacting you as straightforward and effortless as possible.
Tell the stories of your happy customers and build trust with prospective ones – reading feedback from others will help sell your product or service and reassures new customers!
Adapted from this article in Van Hove Design.