It’s a simple question to ask, but one very few organisations have a clear answer when I ask. The reason I ask this is because of the way web pages are designed. They are designed as pages – not as an entire website.
Most of us when asked to plan the website would first think of what pages need to be included (a homepage, about us, services/products, and contact us is the default). And so you sit down with a designer and a programmer and work out how to build each individual page, and when we mention “page” you probably mean customising templates for each section.
And I am not saying that is not the right way to build a website – in fact, I think it’s a very important aspect that needs to be thought about. However, where you are missing out in that methodology is the fact that you haven’t really given much thought to the user experience, the very heart of conversion rate optimisation.
Users come to websites to complete an action, not to look at pages.
So when you go to do next revision of your website, or if you are starting one from scratch, rather than design pages, plan on how people should use your website.
Ask questions such as:
- How will we announce to people the special offer our business has each month?
- Where will new visitors/potential clients go to find out about us and what we are about?
- Then – where do they go after that?
- How can someone make an enquiry?
- How can they find us on social networks? Do we even want that?
- What is the steps I would like them to follow to make a purchase? Where should they go to make it easy to use as well as informative?
- What should I blog about to encourage people to regularly visit the website?
- How will I monitor and track the performance and determine what needs to be changed next?
By stepping into that frame of mind and then have a discussion with your team, you will end up with a much better result.
What Inspired This Post?
Earlier today I was looking to have a discussion and make an appointment with a bank manager about a particular situation. I will not name any particular banks, but there were a couple where it was extremely difficult to find the local number of the branch, whether or not that branch offered the particular service, and whether I could actually make an appointment rather than spend time speaking to a call centre or wait in a line.
Many of the websites were pretty, informative, but severely lacked the ability to give me any direction. I think I’m pretty good at navigating around websites, and yet the simple process of locating the phone number for the local branch proved extremely difficult.
So please consider the experience of your website’s users. Test it on family and your friends (especially your Mum or Grandma) and then make sure they are having an enjoyable and useful experience.