Website design can be pretty amazing, but when it comes down to it, it has to do what the visitor wants it to do. Think about what it is like to be a new user at your site. In fact, many times it is worth asking for input from others about your site’s usability even if you have to pay someone to critique it. I look at business website design as an extension of that business. It needs to be worth taking your time to go there.
When it comes down to it, doesn’t everybody want two things from a site? You want to find what you are looking for, and you want to find answers to your questions. Why else would you be on that site? If your customers want something different than these, of course that’s something your business website should have because the site is for the purpose of engaging and converting customers, right? But most of us want these two things:
The Ability To Find What You Are Looking For
Maybe it is having a search box at the top of every page. Maybe it is internal links to every logical page one may want to go to. Certainly if some link goes to a sold-out item or product you no longer carry there should be a link to some alternatives so the searcher has options. I think the best business sites are simple to use and full of useful information that brings me back for more.
If I can’t figure out how to navigate a site, it doesn’t take long to decide I want to go to a competitor and find what I am looking for.
The Ability To Find Answers To Your Questions
If I’m shopping online, there had better be good product descriptions that are easy to read. Reviews are nice, too. Links to user manuals and a forum where issues are discussed and people share what worked for them? Golden.
Frequently asked questions merit pages on a business site. The answers could link to helpful content, too. And contact information? Every page, right where it’s easy to see with a link to email a question I can’t find on the FAQ page. Are you like me? Your customers are.
Service providers and B2B have similar needs. We need to be able to use the site to get what we are interested in. If the site doesn’t provide that, it doesn’t matter how high it is on the search engine results because there are a lot more options lower down in the rankings. Does your site need a checkup? Start by asking if it has these two characteristics.