Getting visitors to your website is only the very beginning of the process of gaining a customer. Actually, it’s the second step, the first step is convincing them to click into your site to begin with. But once they are there, that’s where the real journey starts!
If your site doesn’t deliver a great experience for every visitor, you’ll have an even more difficult time convincing those visitors that your products or services will. It all starts with improving the visitor’s interaction at every level of your site.
Focus on Your Site Architecture
The architecture of a website covers many aspects of a visitor’s interaction and experience on your site. Poor site architecture leads to poor results from both search engines and visitors. Here are a few architecture issues to consider:
- Make sure search engines can reach all key landing pages of your site within a few jumps from the home page.
- Make sure your navigation clearly indicates the products and services you offer and uses keywords that mimic how the visitor thinks of those products and services.
- Ensure all pages are easy to find from the navigation. Not every page needs to be in the navigation, but the trail to all content needs to be crystal clear.
- Make sure your site is fast. Keep pages slim and download speeds fast.
- Tweak your site for mobile performance, not just desktop.
- Eliminate broken links or anything else that disrupts the visitor’s experience.
- Write unique content for each page that adds value to the visitor.
Provide Calls to Take Action
One of the single biggest frustrations users often experience is not knowing where to go next or how to get to the information they want. Site architecture ensures that the back-end machinery works well, but the front-end messaging has to be fine-tuned as well.
Here are some messaging and call-to-action issues to address:
- Don’t make your navigation do all the work. Use content to show visitors the path toward their goals or other information they may need. Navigation is a backup, not the primary way visitors get from page to page.
- Link to related content in your content. You can’t get every bit of messaging on a single page, so link to pages that provide more detail and value to the reader.
- Use calls-to-action to support your primary and secondary goals. Visitors need to be told what to do next. Don’t be afraid to spell it out for them.
- Provide value to keep the visitor engaged. At some point the value of your site will wear out. If you haven’t convinced your visitors to become a customer by then, you likely won’t. Keep pointing the way to the conversion but link to more value for the visitors that aren’t yet ready.
Focus on Conversion Optimization
The next step in having a usable website is improving the conversion process. While the focus of this is often on the shopping cart and e-commerce portions of a website, in truth, conversion funnel often begins the moment a visitor lands on your site.
- Know what your visitors goals are and find the best way to help them achieve those goals.
- Test different conversion options. There always might be a better way, including how you use images, forms, buttons, etc.
- Provide soft-conversion goals. Not everyone is ready to make the big commitment. If you can get them to make a small one instead, you will earn more chances to get a bigger commitment later.
- Nothing should be sacred. It doesn’t matter how much you like something, test it. If something else works better, let it go.
Your visitors are on your site, not for your benefit, but for theirs. Which means you have to do everything you can to keep them interacting with your site, and guiding them to the goals they came to achieve.
Being “user-friendly” doesn’t exactly sound sexy, but you’ll get way more action from a site that meets your visitor’s needs rather than your own.