Have you reviewed your own website?

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Having a website is one of the great marketing tools for your business.  Day and night it’s working for you by enhancing your brand and letting people know about your business and what you do. You might even be selling things through your website so you’re effectively making money while you sleep!

But have you thought about how easy your website is to use?  Have you taken a step back and imagined coming to your website as a customer and seeing what they see?

It’s a worthwhile exercise.  Every website should have a goal – whether that’s to sell something, generate an enquiry or provide information.  Whatever you website’s goal, you have to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to reach that goal, otherwise they’ll just give up and go elsewhere – probably to one of your competitors.

When you look at your website, consider it as you would consider any marketing material:

  • There should be a headline or something which grabs your visitors’ attention – whether it’s your low prices, your ability to save them money or your high quality workmanship, you need to be able to grab their attention within a couple of seconds.
  • Once you have their attention then you need to keep it by giving them something of interest.  Perhaps a small amount of text about some of the great features of your product or service – but keep it short, because you don’t want to bore them!
  • Once you have their interest, you need to make what you’re offering desirable.  Try building upon your promise in the headline of low prices, or quality workmanship, or life changing advice.  Make them want to find out more and make them feel that they NEED this thing!
  • Finally you want to give them an action and make it easy for them to complete this action. If it’s a phone call then make your phone number easy for them to find.  If it’s to buy something then have a big button for them to click in order to buy it.  This is the final stage,  so whatever the goal of your website, this is the stage where they reach it and you have to make it obvious and easy for them.

You shouldn’t have anything that stops them from reaching this goal.  A pretty design is a nice thing to have, but it shouldn’t distract from your visitors’ goal and it shouldn’t be so complicated that they can’t reach that goal.

If you have flashing images, or an animation, or a splash page (an image that appears before your users can get to the main website) then you’re making it more difficult for your users to reach that goal.  Always think about your users – not about what looks cool or clever.

Many websites look fantastic with great animations and images but trying to use them is a nightmare.  Don’t let your own website fall into that trap and always consider your visitors and their needs.