You’ve been putting off a web redesign for far longer than you care to admit. Now the numbers demand it: Your conversion rate is falling faster than Miley Cyrus’s reputation in a public opinion poll. Yeah, that bad.
The good news is yours is not a terminal condition. At some point, all websites need a refreshing sprucing up and doing so can bring new life to what had become a stale outfit. Now, the bad news: To enjoy the success you hope for, your next web redesign must go far beyond colored buttons, dozens of stock photography images and salesy text no one outside your company cares to read.
But please don’t tell me conversions are your ultimate goal. Show me by making the following points a priority during the redesign of your site.
1. Think sales second, customers first. Sounds silly, right? But consider this: If a department store creates a beautiful storefront display that gets hordes of people to enter store, but few make a purchase, would you say they were successful?
That’s what happens when you think only about getting prospects to the site without devoting the effort to keeping them on the site. User experience (UX) is the essential element missing from the majority of under-performing websites. At its core web design UX is about making it easy for prospects to do what they expect to do when they visit your site.
Making it happen: Ensure your contact information is clearly visible at the top of all pages, making it easy for prospects to discern how best to contact your business. Consider killing the main page slider, since they are often confusing, making it tough to decipher any one given product or service and negatively influencing bounce rates. Also make sure calls-to-action are as clear as possible, refraining loading them up with text and fancy colored buttons.
To grossly oversimplify the whole UX process, keep in mind that less is almost always better than more when redesigning a website. Below is a great example of a nice, clean, easy-to-navigate site:
2. Understand that SEO is not the goal. Make no mistake: I’m a fan of SEO. But I’m an even bigger fan of profits. Many business owners are rightly welcoming the influence of content marketing, SEO and the like, but without clearly understanding these elements are a means to an end, not the end goal.
For example, the web is littered with sites ranking well in organic search but that cannot crack the desired rate-of-conversions nut. Often, though certainly not always, the culprit is the site looks better to search engines than to people.
You must look beyond just getting found (i.e., by robots and people) and emphasize the on-site experience.
Making it happen: It all ties back to UX. Don’t overload site visitors with options: Limit the number of choices (i.e., products, services) shown per page to avoid confusion and frustration. Make certain prospects can easily find what they are looking for by linking to other pages on the site with similar, relevant information. Also, the look, feel and tone of all content on your site should be illustrative of what a potential client would expect to encounter from a company in your vertical.
3. Realize that content is everything. The content-is-king silliness is thrown around more than frat-boy humor in the content marketing space. Thinking in this manner is a leading cause of websites being riddled with incoherent but plentiful words and images. Don’t fall into this trap.
Understand that content is everything, encompassing the entirety of the experience a visitor has on your site. Instead of thinking “Content is king,” adopt the “Content is the lifeblood of my website and my business” mindset. While the concept might sound foreign to some, consider this: When someone visits your site, are words, images and such all they encounter? No. Those are simply bit players in relation to the overall experience a prospect has on your website.
Content comprises the entirety of the experience a visitor has on your site, from fonts and text to code, design, ads, images and so forth.
Making it happen: Make clear, concise copy a priority. Use images of “real” people at your company instead of stock photography. Include only as many items in the main navigation as absolutely essential. Consider adding videos and podcasts to drum up engagement and increase time-on-site. What’s more, see all elements of the site as temporary, continuing to tweak them as more information regarding performance becomes available.
Follow the steps above and redesigning your website should prove to be a worthwhile experience. By keying in on the aspects of website most likely to drive performance your business is able to make conversions a ready-made byproduct of a successful website.
If your company needs help with a web redesign, get in touch with us.