Improving your website: help, don’t hinder your website visitors

We have another five tips on improving your website to capture and attract more business.

by Richard Carter.

Following on from our seminar earlier this year including converting more visitors on your website and capturing more visitors to your website, we have another five tips on improving your website to capture and attract more business.

These tips focus on removing unnecessary barriers hindering your website’s visitors to maximise your website’s impact on your sales pipeline.

1. Ask for the bare minimum in website contact forms

Contact forms can be a useful way of getting potential customers to contact you, but make sure you’re only asking for the very minimum amount of information you require. Too many fields in your contact form gives your visitors too much work to do, and could mean they don’t complete the form, meaning a missed opportunity for you.

As a minimum on most websites, we would suggest you only need to ask for:

  • A name
  • An email address or a telephone number
  • A space for the customer’s enquiry

Sometimes, though, receiving less enquiries is good if you can qualify them before they reach you. As an example, on our own website we have a budget field to ask potential enquiries for an idea of the size of their budget.

This helps us decide if we can reasonably help the client, and gives potential clients an idea of the size of typical budgets we work for. It also means we can respond with a proposal more tailored towards their available resources – a win-win all round!

Some clients won’t know their budget yet: that’s fine. Others don’t want to divulge a budget: that’s also fine (it just makes it harder to work out if we can help them!).

2. Is your website’s content relevant to the audience?

It’s worth revisiting your website’s content on a reasonably regular basis (every 6 – 12 months is a good interval for most small websites). Use this content audit as a way to check that:

  • The products or services you offer are up to date,
  • Check your contact details are still valid!
  • That any content is targeted to the correct audience: do you use too much jargon or too many abbreviations, for example? Keep your language as simple as you can whilst reflecting your expertise

3. Do you cater for mobile/tablet devices?

People browse the web in different ways these days: with the rise of the smartphone and availability of mobile broadband, having a mobile-friendly website can be essential to catering to your visitors and providing the best experience possible to them. And by making your visitors’ lives easier, you help yourself: they’ll be more likely to contact you, or buy your product.

In particular, if your website makes use of contact forms or requires your visitors to enter other types of information, a good mobile friendly website would ensure that entering data is not unnecessarily time-consuming and frustrating to do on a smartphone or tablet: remember that user’s keyboards are smaller and they are more prone to make errors.

4. Do you provide a consistent experience?

Consistency is key online: ensuring that your website is presented in a consistent, branded way helps to build trust with visitors who may never heard of you before. By presenting a consistent, professionally designed website to your customers, you’re also associating your business with those key identifiers of reliability and professionalism.

Just take a look through Web Pages That Suck – a key element of many of those websites listed is that the styling changes drastically between pages, and that the navigation between pages doesn’t remain in a consistent position on the screen.

5. Make sure your website imagery is up to scratch

When selling virtually – whether it’s a product or a service – imagery is important. People like to see who they’re dealing with, and what they’re buying.

One example we used in our seminar was from peachandbear.ch, a Swiss children’s clothing store. With children’s clothing, one thing that many parent shoppers look for is the quality of seams in clothes (as a poor stitch can cause irritation to the child). So, having high quality photography of the clothing – and the stitches in particular – is key.

And if you’d like a little help implementing any of the above on your own website, we can recommend a nice web design agency to help!