Having traffic directed to your website is essential to your success, but what happens when all those people arrive? It’s crucial to focus on written content and search engine optimisation (SEO) management but the look and feel of your site is also critical. This can be harder to quantify than concrete SEO results but studies have shown that people form a first impression in the blink of an eye. This is little time to read the content but plenty of time to have a favourable or unfavourable response to your website and brand.
Visitor’s eye view
It could be that your website had great images and impact at the time it was created, but styles change quickly, so a well-designed website from even a few years ago may now look dated. Take a close look at your site from a visitor’s perspective. What do you see? Does the imagery capture your attention? If so, does it tell the right story?
Are your pages sized appropriately? Do they load fast enough? Even just a few seconds could be costing you business. Even if your site escapes all these pitfalls, it might still look dated when viewed on a phone, tablet, or widescreen monitor. Make sure your site is optimised for all the major browsers, in all formats. 60% of all internet traffic is from mobile devices, so if your site isn’t optimised for mobile users, that’s 60% of your visitors who could have a negative experience on your website. Read here for more information on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
The design of your site must match the personality of your brand. Imagery, language, font, colour and layout should all be very precisely aimed at your target demographic.
Looks Do Matter
By 2018, an estimated 84% of communications will be visual. From eye-catching photographs to videos and infographics, images are critical to capturing the interest of visitors long enough to convince them of the benefits of your company and your products and/or services. Keep in mind that visitors quickly leaving your site don’t just hurt your sales. As people quickly bounce back out of your site, your SEO could also suffer, which could result in less traffic.
Does Your Landing Page Land Flat?
Immediately upon arriving at your landing page, access what initial impression a stranger would have. Within less than a second, visitors should have a clear sense of what the website is for. Make your offering clear, make it shine. This process is usually easier for online retailers. Product pictures should be highly visible and compelling.
Creating effective landing pages for companies offering services can be more challenging. Without the option to photograph products, many service companies end up with ineffective websites. Generic images of happy office workers accompanied by too much text are common. More recently the trend has been for service companies to build slick sites with image sliders and dramatic colours that make the site look modern and professional. Unfortunately, these slick websites often fail to reveal any significant information about the company.
Remember, your website is not an Easter egg hunt. Most visitors will quickly leave unless they have reason to stay and explore, so provide them incentive to click and discover more about what you are offering them.
Make Your Case
What’s your USP? Whether it is low prices, wide selection, more experience, better shipping or return policies, or superior customer service, be sure to state your case proudly and concisely. Make sure visitors don’t leave your site without knowing what is about you that’s different.
Finally, make it easy for visitors to become customers. If it’s difficult for visitors to do what you want them to do, something needs to change. Functionality is key. Don’t put them off by asking for too much information, don’t conceal your best offers or most attractive features. Always have them one click away from booking that consultation, purchasing that jacket, picking those dates.
While building a better mousetrap and SEO services will help lead the world to your door, only a modern and effective website will be able to turn that traffic into revenue. Make sure your company’s website remains a positive part of your company’s image and growth.