In an increasingly digital-forward world, underperforming websites aren’t just an inconvenience—they’re barriers to success. After all, your website is akin to your first impression with prospective customers. In the same manner an elevator pitch must sell your business in a matter of seconds, your website should share the same intentions.
But what makes a great website? How can you invite visitors to stay a while instead of clicking away to check out your competitors?
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The key is to make it easy for them. Nobody is inclined to browse a website that is confusing, hard to navigate, or slow to load. But there’s more to user-friendliness—in particular, these four key elements ensure a website is welcoming and accessible for all:
The average person has a low attention span, so it’s essential to get your point across quickly and effectively. If valuable content on your site is buried or structured in a way that is hard to read, visitors will get frustrated and leave.
Your website’s structure plays a significant role in user-friendliness. How pages are grouped and labeled can make or break a visitor’s experience, especially if they are looking for specific types of content or answers. Make it easy!
3. Plain language
Using industry-specific jargon can confuse visitors, so be sure to articulate your message in a way that is understandable to the intended audience. Remember: Your ideal customers aren’t experts in your field and will need some hand-holding.
4. Clear actions
If your conversion rates have room for improvement, consider how your website’s calls to action are driving visitors to the next step in your client booking journey. Make it clear what they need to do next, giving visitors multiple ways to get in touch and complete their intended action for visiting your website.
Consider each of these areas as you review your website for opportunities to improve and enhance the user experience. Otherwise, you risk losing potential customers who may have booked if only they had been able to find more information on your website.
To stop leaks in your sales funnel, business owners should perform quarterly website audits to identify opportunities to add more value as well as weaknesses to address.
An audit does not need to be a weeks-long process. It can be as simple as checking in to see if any content is outdated, update your portfolio, and review analytics to see if there are optimizations or opportunities within your pages. You should also use this time to confirm that there are no broken links on your website.
If you’re not sure where to start your audit, consider the most common mistakes business owners make and whether any are present on your website:
Presenting yourself as the main character
Here’s a hard pill to swallow: Your website visitors don’t care about you. They want to know that you can accomplish what you say you can, and not much else. Keep that in mind as you develop and structure your website. Avoid basing your messaging and design on your needs and understanding. Instead, step into your ideal client’s shoes and position your brand’s offerings as a solution to their biggest pain points.
Not providing continued value
Many professionals treat their website as a brochure, providing visitors with a high-level overview and next steps. But static information won’t paint you as an expert or keep leads coming back for more. By adding value in the form of blog posts, tips, and other educational resources, your prospects will see you as an advocate for their needs and feel more inclined to reach out.
Forgetting to check multi-device usability
Most people use smartphones to browse the web nowadays, yet there are still many websites that are not designed for versatility. You cannot predict how someone finds your website, so it’s best to ensure that it’s easy to navigate on any device. Make sure to visit your site on your computer and mobile phone to see how your content is presented. If possible, check it out on various screen sizes, browsers, and operating systems to look for inconsistencies and other issues.
Being mysterious with pricing
When a prospective client lands on your website, they are there to evaluate whether you’re a fit and decide if they want to reach out. If the information they need for a purchasing decision is hidden, they may assume you’re outside of their budget and choose to not put in the work to reach out. Be transparent about your pricing and process, providing them with everything they need to know before inquiring. If you’re not comfortable revealing all of your prices, offer a starting rate as a simple qualifier.
Not considering visual appeal
Websites are all about communicating a message, but don’t lose sight of how design impacts a user’s experience. If certain colors make it hard to read or text covers up images, it can feel overwhelming and lead visitors to look for answers elsewhere. It also creates accessibility issues for users with vision impairments as they won’t be able to experience your website visually. When in doubt, keep it clean and simple.
While your booking rates rely on external factors like the quality of your offerings and your sales skills, your website serves as the primary entry point for your brand experience and must serve to generate inquiries and interest. Otherwise, those amazing offers and impressive selling techniques won’t make a difference!