When you plan and design your website – it seems to be all about you: your business name, your business products, your business services, your business location – it’s all you you you! But like any child – and your site is your child - you nurtured it (planned the site), raised and educated it (designed and wrote the content) and now you married it off – (you published and launched your site) and now it’s living on its own in the big bad world. Your site and its content is now at the mercy of strangers; you can’t explain to viewers why your site acts the way it does or talks the way it does.
How can you ensure that your site will be the class king and not the class clown? Site success begins in the planning stage. Just about everyone recognizes the critical content-SEO connection that drives traffic to your site; but like a brick and mortar store, if the store is disorganized, lacks promised merchandise or is hard to maneuver, no one will stay in your store long enough to buy and no one will return. Whether you have a site or a store, the old business rule holds true: the longer someone stays in your store, the better chance she/he will purchase something. In order to ensure that the visitors to your home page stay and visit subsequent pages – you must plan your site for maximum positive user experience!
How do you do that? Follow these 4 simple rules of website design to maximize the user experience – or simply remember the three Cs and an F:
Font: Use a font and font size that is easy to read. If your target market is older people or children consider a larger font. Don’t forget to keep your font choices to a minimum of two or three different fonts: perhaps a different font for headers, body text and emphasis.
Homework: Try different font choices on a draft page and then ask friends and clients to give you feedback.
Color: Your color pallet includes background page colors, font colors and separator colors. Choose a color pallet that matches your logo and talks to your target market. Study similar business sites – what color pallets do they use. Then ask yourself: do you want a site that is easily recognizable to your target market or do you want a site that radically different than the main stream and maybe more memorable?
Homework: Create two to three different page setups with different backgrounds, fonts and separator colors and then ask friends and clients to give you feedback
Content: When writing content - remember - state your message quickly. State upfront who you are and what you offer. Keep your content upbeat, on-point and on-message. Don't forget keywords. Don’t forget to update your content at least once a year.
Homework: Begin by writing down everything you could possibly want to present and explain in a WORD document, then edit, edit edit. Once you copy your text to your site, you will see how it looks and “reacts” to the website page, the color pallet and the graphics around it. Remember you can always and should always revisit your site on a regular basis and update, edit and modify your content.
Contact: Enable your visitors to contact you easily and hassle-free with a contact form or a contact button on every page.
Homework: Create your form and/or button and then ask friends and clients to try it out and give you feedback.
Always remember – your site ain’t all about you – it’s about your customers, their user experience and how they interact with your site and ultimately how they will interact with you!
Want to know more about building and branding your small business? Contact me today. Make today the day you and your business work together.
Sign up for our Business Newsletter, simply click Contact Us and get all the insider tips on branding and marketing straight to your inbox!