It’s easy to become complacent with your website, but just because you have one doesn’t necessarily mean it‘s working as well as it could be. You should treat your website like any other marketing tool. It should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it meets the strategic needs of your organisation, and more importantly the needs of your users.
So take a step back and try to determine how well your website is performing. This is not all to do with how much traffic your website is receiving as this will largely be down to tools such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It is all very well getting visitors to your website, but it’s the experience they have when they get there that really matters. Does your website provide a worthwhile and frustration free experience every time? Are users able to find all the information they need quickly?
The three key things to bear in mind when assessing your website are design, navigation and usability. A well designed, quality website will ensure your organisation is perceived as both reputable and credible. It needs to be visually appealing as higher expectations and a more competitive marketplace mean users are likely to be driven away by poor design. It is important to always remember that your website must align with your brand identity and personality.
You must ensure that users are able to easily navigate their way around your website. Time is of the essence as if they don’t find what they want within a few clicks, they will become aggravated and look elsewhere, meaning you could end up losing a potential customer. It may even be worth considering adding an in-built search bar to your homepage, to make it even easier for them to find what they are looking for.
Keep content to a minimum as nobody wants to read long continuous blocks of text. It is also a well known fact that users tend to skim pages of a website rather than read them in their entirety anyway as they won’t have the patience. You are far better off giving them a clear and succinct description of your offering. A selection of good quality images will also help to create a more positive user experience.
A successful website will keep users coming back time and time again. The beauty of a website is that it isn’t fixed like a printed brochure which means content can be regularly updated to keep it current and fresh. It will also promote customer loyalty as people are more likely to return if there is something new to see.
As it is often difficult to assess your own website objectively, it would be a worthwhile exercise to ask others to test it for you, as these are the opinions that really count. Your website is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have available to you and in order to reap the benefits, you need to make sure you are always getting the most out of it.