Everyday your potential and current client are visiting your website with high expectations. The eyes that fall on your site want a certain experience while visiting it.
The simple fact is, it’s no longer acceptable to simply park your website.
Today’s audience are smart, savvy users who are looking smoothly journey through your website and easily find the information they need. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your financial firm a great user experience means a great chance to get a new client.
Branding 101 says: The success of any brand relies on what your customers think and say about your company. Just one bad website experience can leave potential customers with a a bad taste in their mouths. The result of this experience usually leads to an abandoned website that never gets a visit or even worse they spread the word and business suffers.
The morrow of the story is for your website to thrive you must make sure certain principles are deployed that help your users get the most out of their visit.
A Successful Website
Making sure your visitors have a great experience while on your website is the number one mission. And, just like anything else, every successful site starts with a solid foundation. At this stage the two principles you should be focusing on are as follows:
Principle #1: Preparation
As with anything else in business the more you’re prepared the better chances of success you’ll have. The preparation stage gives you a good base to jump off from for site to move forward. All important decisions will be easier throughout the process if you have a solid grasp on certain non-technical things like:
- Your ideal customer personas
- Developing an appropriate content plan
- Having your Keyword Research done
- Setting short- & long-term goals for your website
When you get these points complete your thoughts and assumptions start forming into user experience plan.
Principle #2: Maintenance
After the foundation is set it’s all about maintaining. Technology moves at a quick pace in today’s world and staying up-to-date is important to keeping customers coming in.
In the end, maintenance is really all about understanding what user trends have changed throughout the time your website has been around and what your website goals are. Your website goals will change as your business and time evolves. If you can stay on top these factors you’ll easily maintain your website.
After building a base and building a maintenance plan, you can quickly start creating a better user experience for your website visitors. If you’re looking for a great experiences here are 10 tips to keeps in mind.
1. Success Based on Experience
Building your brand through your website is a balance between delivering a great experience while providing useful information. If you start with focusing on the experience side of things you’ll have time to create the information your audience wants.
Creating the best possible website experience for your business will grow your brand in the eyes of your customers. If you want your website to do just that here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
2. It’s A Relationship Building Life
The first tip is more about the mindset you have towards your website rather than a concrete tip. As a small business, a website is a great way to start relationship building with a potential customer. You can do this in a variety of ways start by asking yourself:
- What is the most important information you want the viewer to see?
- Does the navigation make it easy to get around on the website?
- Is the layout & design of the website easy on the eyes?
- Do the colors and element of the site improve or take away from it?
Remember when a user first visits your website your business is making an impression and it’s a form of customer service. It’s your first step in building a relationship with your ideal customer and you better make sure you’re taking your best foot forward.
3. Design for the User
Knowing who your visitors are will make designing for your website much easier. Think of it as a marriage between what your website is about & what you user will do while on your site. What will help them reach that goal in the easiest and fastest way possible.
The famous saying ‘the customer is always right,’ is a great way to approach the flow of your website. Keep in mind what your customer wants & revolve your design around that.
4. Less Is More
Go onto your website (or any website) and count the number of steps it take to complete any important task. These can include contact us, check out flows, menus availability, etc. Now look for ways to cut back on the amount of steps it takes as fast as possible.
If you know your customer & what they want from your site you’ll know how to do this. By taking the time to make the navigation easy for your customer the more positive experience your end user will have.
5. Loading Times
Your website only has 3 seconds if it doesn’t load within that time your prospect will leave. With such a limited time to hook your visitors it’s important to understand where you stand.
You can do this by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It will test your site’s speed as a whole and by the individual page. The site will give you an idea of how fast your website is and if it’s not up to par Google will give you tips & suggestions on how to speed your site up.
Website success in today’s world relies on whether or not your website is mobile-ready. the number one thing to take away from this article more than the others is to take a mobile first approach when preparing your website.
A couple of factors that influence this is that one, Google has placed an emphasis on mobile-first website by placing a priority on them when indexing sites. And two, 80% of internet users visiting your site do so using a smartphone you’ll want to make sure your website is ready.
7. White Space
Nothing turns visitors off more than a cluttered website. You should have an inviting and relaxing experience when a visitor first encounters your homepage.
Aesthetically organizing your content cleanly will provided enough white space that will make your site easy on the eyes and your viewers will thank you.
The make or break moment for any website is the content that’s provided. Your content be focused on providing valuable information your ideal customer is looking for.
When creating your content work to make it:
If you’re always focusing on your customer and creating your content for them your over all user experience will work out fine.
We’re all busy, are time-stressed and lack the attention that we had in the past. The last thing we want is to visit a website that’s hard to read and long paragraphs that negatively impact our website visiting experience.
Design your website’s content so it’s easy for your visitor to scan will help you get your message across to your users in a quicker time. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Keeping the important information as near to the top as possible.
- Use headlines & subhead for more clarity
- Use visuals where ever possible to further communicate your message
- You can even bold the important point you want your audience to know
It’s all about doing anything to make it as easy as possible for you audience to find the important information you want them to.
Who doesn’t love a great story? Since the dawn of time we’ve been telling stories and should be no different.
There’s something about following the hero’s journey through all obstacles on the way to ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.’ At it’s most basic level a great story has those three things: a hero, at least on obstacle & some goal at the end that the hero is trying to get.
When it comes to your website if you were to break down elements of a story it would look something like this:
- Hero – the user
- Obstacle – the problem, pain point or information they’re looking for.
- Goal – the solution that adds value to the user’s life.
If you focus on designing your website around that basic structure of a story you’ll not only provide your user with valuable information but you’ll be building a connection with them.
Working to create a great user experience saves a lot of headaches in the long run for both you and, more importantly, your audience. Giving them a memorable experience that’s easy to navigate and easier to read will instantly put them in a good mood. Putting them in a good mood will only increase the chances of them becoming customers.
Are you looking for a new website or a re-design of an old one? It’s easy to purchase a web design package by visiting my product page!