Creating a website that people will love requires a careful balance of design and functionality. Not only has it got to look good, but it has to flow and work as expected.
Nearly every website is unique its own way, differing in purpose and content. The common goal between all of them is to achieve a following, sales or leads.
Here are five strategies to help your achieve you build a website that people will trust and buy from again and again.
Know Your Audience
Your website needs to look and flow beautifully, however just because one thing works for one person, it doesn’t mean that it will work well for someone else.
Look into who your customer base is so you can build a site that responds to their specific needs.
Do a thorough analysis of what type of content your customers would be interested in. Use analytics to look at what time of day they visit the site and what they engage with the most.
Design and Functionality
The design will attract people to your website, and functionality will keep them there.
Keep your design simple and with your end goal in mind. Make sure that your customer can find the information they need without having to click through lots of pages. Consider how you are going to encourage the customer to make a purchase, fill out a form or request more information.
Use social proof to reinforce your value by using client testimonials, reviews and “as seen in” logos.
Don’t Fear the Fold
‘Above the Fold’ is a term borrowed from newspaper industry to reference what you can see on the page without scrolling downwards. With changing screen sizes and faster load times, does ‘above the fold’ matter anymore?
There are times when you need to embrace the ‘above the fold’ rule, for example when you have important information that needs to be in an obvious place. If it can be seen straight away then you are more likely to see better engagement.
With phones and tablets giving us screens of different sizes, users are becoming more accustomed to scrolling down for more information. Some businesses include information such as navigation and logos above the fold, but feature less information to entice customers to scroll down.
Keep it Quick
A slow website could have a dramatic effect on your customers’ experience and subsequently, sales.
Research by Bing on O’Reilly Radar found that a less than 2-second delay in page responsiveness reduced customer satisfaction by 3.8 percent and an increased loss of revenue of 4.3 percent.
Invest in your hosting, only include essential elements on your page and enable caching and, compression.
If we have undertaken an action we need to know the result. When a customer has completed a transaction or filled out a form, present them with a clear message that states the action has been completed. This can be as simple as ‘Your order has been placed’ or ‘Your message has been sent’.