Written by Erin Gleig
We all know that the Web is a competitive market space. However, there are some simple corrections you can make to your website to increase and retain customers. By following some basic principles on how people navigate your website, you’ll be able to keep your audience happy, and let’s face it – happy customers make more happy customers!
Where is the…?
Most people are comfortable navigating their way through a web page if it’s built right. Websites that don’t make any logical sense frustrate the viewer. Poor navigation will make you lose your audience. Easy navigation encourages your audience to stick around.
Don’t drive your audience nuts! Logical, simple navigation will make your viewers happy.
Show your personality
As Aarron Walter states in his book Designing for Emotion, more people sign up for a service, stay on a site, and buy more stuff if a site creates a pleasurable experience. Designing for emotion is good for business. When you show your personality, you build trust.
- Showing that there is a real person on the “other side” of the website increases relatability and interaction. People want to engage with other humans, not robots.
- Build a brand persona that maintains your company’s core values. Reflect the characteristics that support your brand promise.
- Creating a personality for your website will improve customer retention. Your audience will be able to identify with it and will enjoy a positive emotional response. They’re happy! Happy customers are good for business!
Build a brand persona that maintains your company’s core values.
Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is the most important part of your website. It directs users to make an action, which improves your conversion rate. CTAs should be clear and to the point. The placement should make sense to the viewer.
- Perform A/B tests to see where you get the best performance for your CTA.
- Your text should describe why a user should click a button.
- Colour also plays an important role in your CTA; the psychology of colour is a field of study unto itself. Choose your colour carefully as it will mean different things to different people. For instance, red symbolizes power and the action to stop. It also can signify war and aggression, which can turn your audience off. Careful A/B testing can help you choose the appropriate colours for your target audience.
Keep your website consistent
While the concept of consistency may seem fairly straightforward, often businesses deviate from their branding, creating confusion for their consumers. Consistent branding builds trust, it’s easier to recognize, and it makes sense to the viewer. Branding is also a long-term endeavour — don’t change your branding annually because you are tired of it. Your audience is just becoming accustomed to your branding when you may be getting bored. Tough it out and stay consistent. You will reap the rewards.
If I view a website that is not responsive on my phone, I leave—immediately. It drives me nuts. It’s amazing how many websites haven’t redesigned for mobile. In 2015, 51% of the Canadian Internet traffic tracked by comScore was mobile, while 49 percent was tied to a computer. You still need to have your desktop version of your site, particularly for e-commerce websites. It’s interesting that while consumers will often research via a mobile device, they still go to their desktop to make the final purchase. While this behaviour is changing to completely mobile, you should still supply a desktop option for your customer.
Make it fast
If you have a slow loading website you will lose customers. People have low tolerance for technology. Try to make your site load in less than 3 seconds. Any slower and you’re losing viewers. You can test your website through Google Page Speed.
Get some space
White space is like a breath of fresh air to the viewer. It makes it easier to read and to process information. Use white space to your advantage to gain customer retention.
Through simple changes in navigation, calls to action, design, and branding, your website can continue to make your customers happy. Personally, I love happy customers!
Erin Gleig is the owner of EMG Design, where she is a web designer and developer, based out of Delta, BC, where she helps clients build marketable online identities through Web Development, Maintenance, Logo Design + Branding for business.