No matter how professional your company is or how strong your services are, a poorly designed website could cost you more than you think. A website that is hard to navigate, hard to understand its purpose can cost you in the long run. The website is your physical store. It has to look good. If you go into an offline store, and there is clutter all around, unprofessional employees, out of stock merchandise without an automatic cash register, your customers are walking out of the door.
Now lets translate that to your online store
Clutter on your website (no call to action, no clear purpose as to why the site is up)
Unprofessional employees (no form or method to contact the site owner. If a form exists, no one replies)
Out of Stock merchandise (claiming to sell products or services with no way of buying. No buy links)
Nowadays, your website may be the first thing that consumers see before making a purchasing decision. People are turning to the Internet to find products and services now more than ever.
If you’re unsure if your website is up to the standards of consumers, there are several telltale signs…
Why your Site is a Mess
Bad Functionality: It’s important to ensure that all your links, videos, and graphics are running smoothly at all times. In some cases these issues may be unbeknownst to you, but make sure you’re proactive and get a problem repaired as soon as possible.
[Tweet “When was the last time you viewed your site as a visitor and checked for errors? “]
Often we just log right into the back end of a site, work on any maintenance, log out, and never see what the customer sees. Take the time to go through all links. Even if you have software that checks for broken links, nothing is like the human eye.
Professional User Experience: Consumers want websites that are easy to use yet still provide eye-catching options. For example, a simple link that directs them to a product isn’t as pleasing a link highlighted in blue, with a beautiful picture and a product description beside it. The next time you put a PayPal buy button on your site, use a graphic instead of a plain link. If you are using an optin form, use a button instead of just “Subscribe here”.
In addition, service information and products should always be easy to find. Obscure, hard-to-find information is a disappointment to consumers as they want to find things as quickly and as effortlessly as possible.
Categories: Your website should be designed with categories for each product and/or service you offer. This not only helps your site look cleaner, but it also ties into the user experience, making it simpler to find information. I would not want to go to your site and see dog food in the same category as kids body lotion. Get into the back end and create those categories. Then add them to your menu for ease of navigation.
If your products and service information is scattered sporadically throughout your website with no order, then your site probably needs an overhaul.
Font Size, Text, and Search Boxes: Outdated text, hard-to-read fonts, and websites without a prominently placed search box all plays a part in a poorly designed website.
Your site menu should not look like this…no matter what
Read more about Choosing the Right Colors for your Site
If your website isn’t designed in a user-friendly way, you run the risk of not only losing potential paying customers, but also current customers as well.
Consumers do research before they make purchasing decisions, whether in-store or online. If your website isn’t designed with the customer in mind, these consumers can easily move on to a similar business with a better website.
The competition is there online, don’t think it is not. If there were no competition, you would not be in business. Word gets around easily online, especially via reviews. If someone has a difficult time on your website, there is a good chance that this information will be shared with others. Most people don’t return to a difficult website, including, in some instances, current customers.
Keep them coming back with these simple tips.