Many of us are guilty of it – creating bells-and-whistles websites that look amazing yet fall at the first post when it comes to doing what a website is there to do: generate business. Often it’s because key information and benefits are tucked away in an almost invisible navigation at the foot of the page. Or they’re camouflaged in a laid-back navigation right at the top which risks being confused with the browser task bar. Or they only appear on secondary pages, not the Home Page. Or the phone number is difficult to see. And so on. As a result, critical information that sets a business apart from the competition can be easily overlooked. Lazy customers won’t click past your Home Page. Or even bother to scroll DOWN your Home Page. So it’s vital that all your key information is easily and obviously accessible from the Home Page, preferably above the ‘fold line’ (a term that comes from the days of direct mail) which is the first thing customers see when they click onto your site.
Sometimes a good old-fashioned linear navigation bar with drop-down sub-navigation is your best bet with graphic roundels depicting your most important benefits. This way customers get to see the key messages / pages immediately. Also, a reasonably obvious telephone number, preferably with a hyperlink that allows people viewing the website on a mobile or tablet to call you simply by clicking. Plus a powerful call to action providing an easy-to-complete alternative means of contacting you – by contact form or email.
It’s also important to make sure that any benefit graphics / roundels link to pages which give the customer more information. For example a graphic that says ‘free delivery’ needs to link to a page that talks all about delivery.
Miss it out and you miss out on sales.
Customers are lazy. They want all the information laid out there for them to see – right there in the big plate-glass store window which is your Home Page – not hidden away at the back of the store where they could miss it, even if they DO decide to walk into your shop.
And just like a physical store that’s laid out to ensure the customer is tempted at every step, your website needs to do the same. So cut out clutter that gets in the way of the customer’s smooth journey through your sales message and towards your enquiry or ordering process. Make sure that everything is in the correct order – a natural order, something that even the laziest customer will recognise as being easy and fuss-free. Insert a friendly ‘chat’ widget so customers can ask you questions. This kind of thing is a great loyalty-builder as it positions you as a helpful ‘real person’ that wants to create a relationship with the customer.
When it’s your own website it’s so easy to find yourself unable to see the wood for the trees. It can look fantastic. It can look professional. And you could have spent an arm and a leg on the web design and copywriting. But is it failing to do what it’s primarily there to do which is to generate enquiries and sales from the laziest customer?
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