Good web design needs to work for the user first and foremost. The average web user spends less than a minute on a single web page, and only has time to read about a quarter of the text on a page. Here are my top four points you need to get across to your site visitor in this crucial amount of time in order to maximize your chance of closing the sale.
1 – Who you are
This should be simple and to the point. A good way of telling your customer who you are is by using a well placed logo, your business name and your slogan. Ideally your name and slogan should also tie in with the product or service your business is offering. I like Roto Rooter’s slogan for this: “When your drain is being naughty dial 444 40 40”…
2 – Where you are based
This information should be visible on all pages, as it extremely important. If customers come to your location to purchase your product or services then they need to be able to find you. An address with a google map link is a great way to do this. Alternatively if you serve customers at their location, the areas you service should be specified. Imagine a Pizzeria based in Johannesburg getting an order for delivery in Kimberly… It’s not going to work.
3 – What you are selling.
Regardless of whether your site is an ecommerce site or not, your small business’ web site’s main goal is to make a sale. Customers browsing need quick and highly visible information to inspire them to make their decision. High quality images of your product or service, unique characteristics that set you apart, and special offers are all great ways to push the user to taking the next step!
4 – How can they buy it.
Getting your potential customer to take action and make a purchase /send through an enquiry is the ultimate goal. This needs to be as easy to access as possible. No one wants to click through multiple pages in order to find the contact form or purchase page. One of the first things a new visitor should see on your site is the option to contact you. Prominent placement of “Contact Us” and “Buy Now” buttons is essential.
Good web design should aim to guide the user seamlessly through each phase in the process, from informing them of who you are and what you are selling to completing the goal of making a purchase or enquiry. Analytics should also be used so that user behaviour can be monitored and adjustments can be made. It’s not easy to predict how your visitors will interact with your site, but keeping things clear and simple and making informed adjustments based on analytics can help take the guess work out.