Have you ever visited a website that was more monstrosity than masterpiece? I have, and their pain-in-the-you-know-what checkout process made me so frustrated, I vowed to never buy from them again!
Now, I have to ask you a tough-love question: Is your website in danger of becoming a hairy-scary-monster like that? For example, are you cramming more stuff into it, without taking out the old/outdated/unnecessary stuff? Or, is it so disorganized that your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for? It’s possible that your website has been troubled all along, but this sort of thing can also happen over time as your business changes and grows.
So, say your website is looking a little furry, burly, and unkempt…if you want to attract and retain more customers over the long haul, you’re going to have to groom it! I mean, really, if your website resembles a hairy monstrosity that ratchets up the stress levels of your visitors, they might stay once, but will they come back a second time? Probably not.
Tame Your Monster…err, I Mean, Your Website
- WELCOME: What do they find upon arriving on your home or landing page?
If the answer is a discombobulated pile of information, you’ll want to streamline things so your peeps have a clear path of action. If hairy-scary pop-ups are scaring your visitors off, you should probably ditch those. (Sorry, I know you want to grow your list, but there are better ways to do it than accosting new visitors with a pop-up before they’ve even had a chance to read your tagline!)
Overall, your home or landing page should greet them cordially, tell them about your biz and anything else they should know, and point them in the right direction(s), so they can find what they’re looking for.
- NAVIGATION: Is your menu organized in a way that makes sense to your audience?
If it takes a sleuth to decode your link names, a search warrant to find a link to the shopping cart, or a private investigator to unearth your contact information, your visitors won’t last long enough complete a purchase, inquire about your services, or anything else.
Therefore, keep your nav menu links organized and in a logical hierarchy, so visitors can easily find whatever they’re looking for. And make it easy for them to find other links they might be looking for, like to your Facebook page, your shopping cart, or your list of recommended service providers.
- PAGES: Are your web pages neat and tidy, free of distractions?
If you’ve got a few pages that are over-stuffed and cluttered-up, first pare down any less-than-essential items like widgets and affiliate links that aren’t being clicked on; then, get rid of old or out-of-date information.
If you have a huge amount of content crammed onto one page, consider breaking it down into two pages (for example, break down your “About” page into two separate pages, one for your bio, the other for your media kit and speaking info). Also, place major components, like buy-now buttons, opt in forms, e-mail addresses, etc., in an easy-to-reach location on the page – that way, if, for example, your customer is already keen to buy, he/she can jump right to the meat, instead of being bogged down by a lengthy list of details.
Think of your website like a real storefront or office (no hairy-scary monsters allowed)! Decide how you want visitors to feel when they walk in, what impression you want to make on them, what you want them to notice first, and so on. Then set about creating (or making over) your website to be that pleasant environment where your peeps love to hang out; reading, conversing, connecting, and buying from you!
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!