For many businesses, a website is the first way that a customer will look at you – even if it’s just to find your hours of operation or address. Going the extra mile will make your customer’s time on your website more enjoyable and more productive and not to forget the first impression that you want to leave them.
Here are a few tips:
1. Don’t go overboard with information
Tip: Keep it simple
Many business owners include dozens of pages about the company. However, unless you are in the business of providing information for people, or your research has shown that including lots of information will draw visitors to your website, it is probably better to keep it simple.
Only create pages that are absolutely necessary and will help achieve your website’s purpose. Do not add anything to your website just because all your competitors are doing it. You need to make sure every little bit of information or detail you add to your website reflects your purpose and is tailored to your specific target audience. Anything else is just waste.
2. Make it easy for your customers to contact you
Tip: Use a contact form.
Many business owners prefer a simple “email me” link that visitors can click to email them. However, a contact form is still the best way for customers to reach you.
The “email me” link uses the default email client on the user computer (ie. Outlook) – it opens a new email message and automatically inserts your email address in the recipient field. But what if your visitor’s computer does not have an email client properly set up (such as using a public computer) or maybe your visitor prefers Gmail, Hotmail or other online email services. Under both circumstances, the “email me” link will more likely frustrate your visitor.
Not to mention, the “email me” link is an open invitation to spam as it exposes your email address to spiders and bots.
Contact forms keep your email address hidden from online scavengers while allowing for your customers to email you with ease. Also, you can customize a contact form to collect any additional information you need, such as contact number, company name, etc.
3. Be accessible anywhere, anytime
Tip: Have a mobile version of your website
A mobile website means your customers can access your information on the go, anywhere anytime.
4. Show visitors you care about them
Tip: provide supplemental information
Customers like to research their options before committing to a purchase, so it is important that you provide supplemental information that complements your website’s primary content. For example, if you are selling products on your website, try to include information such as product manuals, warranty information, manufacturer details, and sizing charts. This will make your website an invaluable resource that visitors will keep coming back.
5. Keep it organized
Tip: Find the balance between supplemental information and information overload
Simply ask yourself, “What can I remove to make my website easier to use?” Keep information accessible and not obtrusive and don’t be afraid of white space, or space on your website that is not filled with content. White space increases clarity and gives your website a fresh, clean look.
You can try organizing information with headings and bullets – when look at text, people’s eyes naturally fall first on headings and bulleted lists. Many web users are not inclined to read large blocks of text, careful use of headings can help them quickly scan and navigate your website.
6. Look Professional
Tip: Have a credible design and don’t forget to browser-sniff
People are graphical and like pretty things.
It’s all about whether your website “feels” trustworthy, up-to-date and professional. You might also want to avoid using pop-ups, frames, sound, custom mouse pointers and technologies that require users to download uncommon plug-ins.
In addition, you’d be amazed at how differently your website appears in different browsers. Make sure you take a peek at your website in as many browsers as you can. Some of the more commonly used browsers include Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.