When we are asked to design a website, the majority of our clients are very concerned about the look of their homepage. They want to showcase as much as possible of their company and forget about the message they want to send to their potential client. If there are to many different propositions on the homepage, it will take the visitor to much time to discover if he has landed on the right website. and don't forget, you have about 0,8 seconds to convince him before he bounces (leaves the website without any action). On the left you see the best example of a clear message on the homepage, and this also happens to be the most popular website on the whole internet... It shows a form with only one field, a button that says search and some humor in the button next to it saying "I'm feeling lucky". But now think about what you expected before you landed on this page. You where looking for information on the web, you needed some help to find this so you went to google with only one goal... fill in the search form and find the website that offers you the information you are looking for! And isn't this exactly what this homepage does? Of course not everybody has a clear "one trick" proposition like Google, so take a look at Amazon and see how they are doing. Ugly website isn't it. But again it does the trick and it does it very well!! The overload on information you get on this site has only one goal, getting you away from the homepage as fast as possible. It forces you to go search a product (prominent search bar on top) or to click on one of the many offers they make. Don't have clue what you are looking for, see the "What Other Customers Are Looking At Right Now" section to find the most popular products. So next time when you have 5 minutes left, have a look at your homepage and imagine you are a potential punter looking for a specific product/service you are selling and ask yourselves the following questions:
- Is it clear what your website offers
- Is it clear what your main products/services are
- Is there a clear navigation structure
- Do you give the visitor the information he expects to find
Thanks to Peter Ros from Admium for the inspiration for this post
If you ask people if they are happy with their website performance, 9 out of 10 people will start talking about the amount of traffic they generate to their website. And in most cases number 10 will tell you that his nephew is responsible for the website and that he thinks it looks great. And this is where it all goes wrong. In general the success of a website is measured by the amount of traffic of a website. The same phenomenon is seen in social media where people collect followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook. It is the general opinion that if you generate enough traffic, your on-line strategy is successful.But in our opinion the real value of your on-line presence is measured by the conversion rate. Meaning how many people who visited your website actual grabbed the phone, filled in a form, inscribed for an event, downloaded a PDF or whatever other goal you set to make this visitor a customer. A big part in turning visitors into customers is the visitor experience. In most cases he came on your site after a Google search,a click on a link in an e-mail or tweet. And from the moment this visitor lands on your website you need to make things as easy as possible. You want to direct him as fast as possible to the information he is looking for and present him this information as good as possible. If a visitor has to search how to navigate to other pages, has to fill in forms that ask to many irrelevant questions or there is no call to action, it can make the difference between a new contact or a lost visitor. So next time you look at your website, don't think about what you want to have on there, but think about what a potential contact expects to find and how you can help him as fast and good as possible. Ensure a smooth user experience, from the moment a potential client clicks on a link to your website until he dials your number and everything in between. The second thing you should start looking at is when you have set your goals for your website (inscribe for that newsletter, order a product, etc.) is which visitors you attract. If you have a local company, there is no use in attracting all kind of foreign traffic. So make an ideal client profile and match this to the visitors you attract. This will result in lower trafic ratings, but in much better traffic quality and a better conversion rating! So in the future when somebody asks you how successful your website is you can say, 1 out of ... visitors becomes a contact/client!
Lime just launched the new website for Scape Design. James Basson from Scape was very clear in the fact that he thought that a picture says more than a 1.000 words. So our task was to give the image material a prominent role in the design. Using 2 different page templates for more or less copy and big images with thumbnails to start a light-box showing all images did the job. The second challenge was to have James, who is an excellent landscape designer but no techie, to update and maintain his website. By implementing some specific back-end features in an already very user friendly CMS, James was capable to fill the websites with content without any problem! The best thing is to have a look for yourselve at: www.scapedesign.com