Top tips for designing and optimising your website!

When someone lands on your website, they will form an impression very quickly -  in a digital age when we want everything 5 minutes ago, you really need to grab the attention and inform your visitor a lot faster. Here are some pointers to consider when designing your website landing page and beyond.

When you begin to build your homepage, you want your visitors to know what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. And you want this right in the centre of the page - if potential customers have to search for this, they will leave the page. It needs to be in clear and concise language - you want visitors to know exactly what to do and where to go next.

Don't be vague - if they are not able to work it out, they will leave - and you want them to stay!

So what is it that you want them to do? Make an enquiry, buy a product, sign up to a listing - the end goal for every business is different but the process is going to be the same. You need to work out how to get them from the front page right through to a conversion. Work backwards if this is easier - before they can buy, book or sign up, they need to know what is on offer.

So - on your home page, you need to move your visitors directly to where they need to be to get this information. You need to have a ‘Call To Action’ button near the top of your homepage and near to your brand message. This way people will know what you do, who you do it for and why you do it - and if they engage, and will then be directed to further information straight away.

Don’t add too much content to your homepage

It's tempting to add lots of content on your homepage - but cluttering it up with too much text is off-putting, people don't have time to read great reams of information, save this for your About page, or for a blog. On your homepage, you need to grab your visitor’s attention immediately so just tell them what they need to know and in the simplest terms possible.

Too much text puts people off!

The next thing to think about is your navigation buttons.

Keep the number of these down - maybe 5 or 6 maximum. Keep the end goal in mind - your ‘shop’ or ‘enquiry form’ are must-haves for your main navigation - leave ‘further reading’ and ‘useful links’ for elsewhere on the site. Consider what is important on this page, there are pages that are more useful in the first instance than others.

Adding a search bar is a good idea - particularly if you have lots of pages and/or information on your website. It saves so much time for the customer - if they can't find what they are looking for on your website, they will leave to find another site and you lose a potential customer.

Social media buttons can be helpful

But you don't want people to leave your website before they have done what they came to do. However, social media is a good driver in keeping customers - if they like what you have offered them, you want them to engage with you on social media platforms so that you keep them informed and up to date and everything you do - this encourages repeat custom. Also, even if they don't buy from you on their first visit, appearing in their Facebook feed, or on their Instagram pages keeps you fresh in their minds. It's almost remarketing made easy.

A note of caution here though - only add links to the social media platforms you are active on. It's no good getting them to follow you on Twitter if you rarely tweet - it will just be something that takes them away from your website with nothing to engage them when they get there.

Moving on to the design of your website - good design sells.

If someone lands on your homepage and their first thought is that it looks badly laid out with the wrong fonts, colours and images, they are subconsciously going to feel that you run your business the same way. A professional looking website gives you a professional feel too.

There is no perfect website - it needs to be a reflection of YOU and a tool to engage customers that are right for you and your business. But there are some guidelines to be aware. Use good quality images for a start, think carefully about your layout and what kind of font you use - you want this to be easy to read and also easy to look at - bright blue writing on a bright yellow background will not win customers!

CC Digital can help with making sure you have a website that is right for you, right for your business and has all the elements of turning your potential customers into repeat customers!