You know how to run a business.
Do you forget the rules when it comes to your website?
But what do your customers think of your website?
Is your website doing any of these things?
You wouldnt run your business like this, would you?
Imagine you are strolling down a back street. You find an empty shop window and a door ajar.
There’s a sign in the door that says “Welcome to my shop”. It might also say “I love what I do and I’ve been in business for 15 years”.
It looks like a shop, but you’re not sure what it sells. So you walk inside.
Once inside, you are struck by bright yellow walls. The ceiling has flashing neon lights on it. You look up for some time, studying the swirls of colour.
When you finally look down, you see various goods in boxes spread apparently randomly around the shop. It appears to be a shoe shop, but you’re not sure what sort of shoes.
Behind the counter the sales assistant is busy on her iPhone. She doesn’t look up when you come in. You shout over, but she has earphones in.
You’re after a pair of mens shoes, but you can’t find them. Instead you pick up a pair of lady’s shoes for your girlfriend, but there’s no price on them.
While you look at the box of shoes you notice it’s on a carousel. Suddenly it slides away and is replaced by a different box. Were those the specials? You’re not sure.
By this time a customer is at the counter. The sales assistant is so slow. You have better things to do.
You give up and leave. Outside the shop you realise its located in a small back alley. You marvel that anyone finds it in the first place.
You make a mental note not to come back.
Sounds ridiculous? There’s a good chance you could pay good money for a website that does just that.
Many businesses pay for a website version of that shop
It’s vital for a website to anticipate what a visitor is searching for. To place as much information out there as possible. Many websites have no real keyword research behind them – how can they with little or no content?
It’s like locating your shop in a tiny back alley where no one will find it.
Many websites do not tell the visitor right away what their selling proposition is. They do not convince the visitor why they should stay beyond their 15 second internet attention span.
It’s like a shop with no signage or an empty window.
Bright colours and backgrounds lead the eye to them. You will see many websites where colour or graphics lead the eye away from the site content. While they do this, the 15 second counter is ticking.
Many sites are not designed around the way a user will navigate them. There’s a journey from not being convinced to buy, to finding just what they were looking for, to being convinced it’s right for them.
To ignore this is like having your goods spread around in boxes on the floor, and hoping they’ll sell on their own..
A surprising number of sites are hosted on slow servers, or use large images or videos that take a long time to load. It’s like having a slow sales assistant. Visitors don’t like it (nor does Google). They leave.
If you find a product you may like, you might wonder how big it is. Or what it’s made from. Or some other detail you care about. The website owner knows this information, but has failed to predict you might want to know it. They have not realised that information will make the difference between you purchasing or not.
It’s like a sales assistant with an iPhone always plugged in.
If you do stay on the site, often you will not be prompted to buy at the point where you have almost made your decision. Maybe there’s another similar product that fits the bill. Or perhaps what’s holding you back isn’t really an issue.
It’s like the sales assistant who doesn’t try to sell you anything.
It is also common to see rotating banner images (image sliders) with either no added meaning or value, or worse with an important selling point. (while they may look good, image sliders are ineffective).
It’s like having the specials box rotate away from you just when you find it.
Good web design is vital
There is so much more to getting a good website for your business than first appears.
But good design is not well understood by many web designers. It isn’t about putting up a web page and a few buzzwords like SEO and keywords.
It isn’t surprising that many businesses do not understand good web design. Many are lead to believe what they feel looks like a nice web page is good for their business. But that isn’t true.
Good web design is all about marketing. It’s about selling, It’s about attracting the right customers who are more likely to buy from you. It’s convincing potential customers that your product is right for them.
The internet offers far more scope than a traditional street store. It offers many tools for tracking your customers and enhancing your site that you cannot get in a street store.
Sadly many businesses end up with a website that is the equivalent of the shoe shop in the example above. Not only is this a poor investment for you, it’s also missing out on a huge opportunity if done right.
Learn what it takes to get a good website design and how much you should spend.
What sort of site will YOU get?