For a website to be successful and profitable, it must be easy to use. It may seem like an obvious requirement – but often user-friendliness is forfeited for complex design and fancy functionality. If a website is difficult to navigate and it’s hard for your visitors to get what they want, it’s likely they won’t spend time or waste effort trying to figure it out. For this reason it’s incredibly important that your website is designed with your users in mind.
Survey your current users
It’s important to start with your audience. After all, these are the people who will be using your site. Whatever your personal opinion may be, if it doesn’t line up with theirs, it isn’t going to help your website to produce results for your business. There are a number of ways you can determine how your customers want to interact with your website. Studying analytics, assessing competitors and outright asking current clients via market research are great places to start.
Consider your objectives, and your visitors’ needs
Your website must deliver on two levels. Firstly it needs to deliver information or satisfy a need for your visitors in order to then produce results for your business. Consider the primary function of your website – for your users. Is it simply a source of information? Is it a form of entertainment? Does it enable them to book an event or buy a product? Then think of the desired outcome for your business. Nine times out of ten it will align – for example, they want to purchase a product you sell on a regular basis – and continuous sales revenue is your objective. Sometimes you’ll need to work harder to get what you want – your website simply provides information, but that information must encourage them to do something external, such as pick up the phone, or make a visit in person. Matching up your goals with those of your clients and figuring out how you can make it as easy as possible for them to get what they need (and do what you want) is key.
It’s the simple things
Often the simplest things go unnoticed and neglected – causing extra hassle for your visitors. For example, including contact details in a prominent place on every page ensures they can get in touch easily, without having to root around for your phone number. If you’re an e-commerce store, make sure that key information that could influence a buying decision such as shipping costs and delivery times are easy to find.
This is the latest in our Beginners’ Guide to the Web series. For more information on transforming your online presence for profitability, why not get in touch or browse our services?