10 THINGS YOUR WEBSITE NEEDS NOW (I)
When professional web critics say a website is bad, they aren’t just talking about the design; there are many other elements worth considering besides the aesthetics of a website. Beyond looking pretty, a website must be customer-friendly and compelling enough to help convert visitors into customers before qualifying to be called ‘good’.
To ease you through the process of defining and evaluating how good your website really is, here is a list of essential features for an effective web design.
A clear description of who you are.
When someone stumbles on your website, their first 5 seconds on your homepage is spent trying to decide if your website is worth staying on. This is why you want to have as clear a description of who you are and what you do within reach. A clear description means stating your name and itemising a summary of your products or services right there on your homepage.
First impressions really do matter a lot, and you want to be sure you make as good an impression on a visitor as you best can muster.
“Tell people this is the right website that they have been searching for”, “…[A clear description] will attract the visitor’s attention immediately within 2-3 seconds, and encourage them to stay on your website longer.” – John Zhuang, Winning Interactive.
“Design is not what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”- Steve Jobs
Easy-to-navigate web pages
To give your website visitors an optimal experience, your page navigation is a key factor that determines whether or not you end up converting visitors into customers. To do this, you must have a well-structured site map that will help guide your visitors to the specific information they need and are looking for.
Simple, easy-to-absorb website address
Avoid complicating matters for yourself and your website visitors. Ensure that your website address is one that can be memorised or recalled easily such that it can be easily typed. You also should endeavour to avoid the use of dashes or numbers as much as possible as this may hinder smooth SEO. Know which domain best represents the image/identity of your brand.
Noticeable contact information
Getting in touch with your customers or getting them to contact you is a key factor to consider in evaluating the statutory effectiveness of a website design. Therefore, you should make sure to place your contact information in a conspicuous spot on the homepage as well as other key pages on your website.
It is important to note that the best spot for your contact information is somewhere around the top-left or top-right corner of your homepage as well as in the footer, sidebar or top-right corner of every page to foster visibility and accessibility. Also be sure to diversify the channels of reaching you – phone, e-mail, social media handles and/or a contact form should feature in your considerations, as this helps your customers to reach you on their own terms.
Reviews and testimonials.
Before deciding to transact business with you, every customer has that inner struggle of contemplating or imagining what the experience would look like and what to expect as an outcome. Showcasing honest reviews from others will go a long way in helping them decide faster, as the reviews from others will surely be an encouraging nudge. It also helps make your brand, product and service more tangible and realistic, thus enhancing trust.
Hearing the views and opinions of actual people about your product/service helps visitors decide if the product/service meets their needs.
Find out the remaining Five (5) features in the Part Two of this post.