Have you ever seen a person and thought, “Wow! He or she is REALLY attractive!” Then the person starts talking and is so arrogant, crazy, clueless or obnoxious that you’re all, “Wait, false alarm, the attraction is gone.”
Well some websites have the same effect on people. I’ve gone to some beautifully graphically designed sites, only to discover that their content is a giant hot mess, and I can’t find a thing.
On the other hand, I’ve visited some HIDEOUS sites (Ahem, Craigslist) that get the job done. I’m able to find what I need in seconds but I have to force myself not to hide my eyes.
So let’s talk a bit about what it takes to keep your site from landing in the “Wow, this site is awesome! Oh wait, no, never mind.” category.
1. Display all of your contact information prominently on your homepage.
Or not so prominently as long as it’s somewhere on your landing page. Put it in the footer if you must, but for the love of all things holy, do NOT put it in a graphic. There is nothing worse than wanting to call a business, looking it up on your phone and not being able to click the phone number. My short term memory is shot, I don’t want to have to memorize your phone number and type it into my phone keypad. The same goes for email and physical addresses. In the wise words of one of my favorite meme stars Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
2. Don’t bury your product information.
I do not want to click 94 times to get details on your product specs and pricing. I also don’t want to chase the the info around an obnoxious homepage slider. Just list your products and give me the deets quickly please.
3. Make it sexy AND well organized.
While I cringe each time Craigslist loads, I do come back. And there’s another site that shall remain unnamed that is a nightmare content wise, but it’s so beautiful that I still peruse it from time to time. Your goal? Gorgeous AND well organized. Lean too far away from either option and you’re tempting customers who have a 3 second attention span, to leave (myself included). You want their money, so find a happy medium.
4. Don’t ever unceremoniously dump people on the landing page of your mobile app when they find you through search.
Hate. That!!! And it happens to me about 42 times a day.
“Oh look! I Googled and found EXACTLY what I need! Happy dance!” Click the link: “This isn’t what I… Ugh, are you kidding me? AGAIN?”
Google search has also started penalizing sites that do this, so it’s bad for business in addition to being wretchedly bad UX.
5. Optimize your site.
Even if I adore your product, I’m not going to wait longer than 5 seconds for your site to load. In fact, 5 seconds is an eternity. Check out stats on extended load time bounce rates. Even hundredths of seconds count! Make 110% sure your site is optimized for the quickest load times possible across devices.
6. This goes without saying, but make your site mobile friendly.
There are tons of ways to go about this (native app download banners on the site if you navigate to it via phone, mobile web apps, responsive web design), just pick one and make it happen. The number of mobile only internet users is rising significantly every single day. You can’t ignore the phenomenon, and if you try you’re going to get left in the dust and experience massive financial and customer satisfaction repercussions. Take a deep breath, pick a method and make it happen.
Put this it all together and what do you get? A website that is fabulous looking, easy to navigate, cross device compatible and full of well organized content! You also get happy customers, more money in your pockets, and you keep your website from becoming “That Guy.” Good stuff!