We utilize the following principles in all of the websites that we design. One way a small business can improve its performance is to maintain an outstanding Web site. To avoid having a Web site that turns off customers rather than attracts them, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do we have a web site? What is it used for?
Whether you are planning your Web site or already have one up and running, it is important to have clear concise goals. Is your Web site used for sales, information, customer acquisition, promotion or for other reasons? By maintaining your focus, you can deliver a more powerful message to your customers.
Is the content of the site fresh?
If you want visitors to return to your site, you need fresh content. Your Web site should be refreshed regularly with new images, product information, articles of interest and any other helpful items for your customers. Adding a “What’s New” section is one way to get your customer’s attention. Something as simple as seasonal or holiday graphics as part of your logo subtly lets your client know you care about your web site.
Is the site simple to navigate?
If customers have to search high and low to find a particular item on your Web site, chances are good that they will give up the chase before they reach the page of interest. Getting from point A to point B on your site should be as simple as a few clicks. If navigating to a page requires an excess number of clicks, your customer will get lost and frustrated. As a rule of thumb, try to keep all items within four clicks from your home page. Also, every page on your site should have a link back to your home page to prevent customers from getting lost.
How long does it take to download?
Because most Internet users are known for being impatient, there is no excuse for having a site that loads slowly. The biggest culprit here is usually graphic images. Avoid using large images on your pages by using small clusters of graphics. When testing your page to see if it downloads quickly, set a goal of less than 10 seconds.
Do we need a FAQ’s page?
If you notice that customers repeatedly ask you the same questions about your business, create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. If you use your site to sell products, consider answering questions about pricing, availability, shipping options, and your return policy.
Does the site make our business look amateur?
A sure sign of an amateur Web site is one that features all sorts of animated images, scrolling texts, sound files and flashing colors. Customers come to your site to learn about your products or service, not to see bells and whistles. By toning down the graphics and fancy technology, you will make your site more enjoyable for your customers and reduce your download time.
Do we have a No-Tolerance Policy for Errors?
To give your site the professional look it deserves, make sure you take the time to go through your site and search for errors and bugs. Be on the lookout for missing links that go nowhere or result in error messages. In addition, use the dictionary or a spell check feature before putting any articles on your site. Typos and poor grammar only can hurt your business, so avoid sloppy content at all costs.
Is it Short and Sweet?
Unless your customers come to your site to read lots of information, avoid writing long, rambling content. Write your articles so they are easy to read by using short paragraphs and bullet points.
Are we Accessible to our Customers?
In order to make it easy for customers to contact you for further information, list your email address, phone number, fax number throughout your site. Because some customers are still cautious about making online orders, you need to have other ways for them to order. If a customer can’t find a way to get a hold of you for more information, it is likely that they won’t stick around to make a purchase.
Can we use a Focus Group?
Just because you think your site is good doesn’t mean it’s lacking flaws. It never hurts to have other people try out your site and test its usability. Also, consider the idea of surveying a few of your customers to get their feedback. By listening to an unbiased person with a fresh perspective, you may find new ways to improve the quality of your Web site.
For more info please contact us at:
Your Design Studio
855 Bedford St
Bridgewater Ma. 02324