Practical Ways To Create A Website Your Users love
Creating a website is a huge milestone for new and seasoned business owners alike. It’s a time of both excitement and tension that requires loads of energy and a ton of commitment.
But often, amidst the sheer amount of new things you find and learn, it’s all too easy to get distracted by the “bells & whistles” and forget the real purpose of why you’re creating a website in the first place.
Obviously, you want to create a website your users love + keep coming back to.
To do that requires a lot more thought and planning than putting a few fancy pictures together and some wise words to sell your services and products.
You need to put yourself in the shoes of the people you want to serve + dream up the best experience ever making sure that each click of the button, each image and piece of content you direct them to is intentional, relevant and useful FOR THEM.
I’ve also created a checklist which you can download below.
DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST
Enter >> Practical ways to create a website your users love.
And there’s no better place to start than at the very beginning…
Know what you want.
Knowing what you want your website to do for you is the first step to creating a successful online space. Start by setting some specific website goals and create a plan to fulfill them.
You could find yourself pushing back deadlines, facing unexpected dilemmas and incurring additional expenses.
Focus in on the people
who are most likely going to use your website and consume your products and services and create a great experience for them.
Don’t try to please everyone. For a start, it’s impossible and instead you’ll end up pleasing no one.
Create an intuitive layout for your users to easily navigate their way around your site.
Don’t try to teach them a new way to use your website. We’re all busy in our lives and could do without the extra learning curve.
Remember that a new visitor is a complete stranger to your work. So, your first goal should be to turn that stranger into a friend. It’s much easier to get friends to buy your stuff after all. Encourage them to sign up to your email list so you can transition that relationship into one of friendship.
Don’t push the “sell” on their first visit. No one is buying high end mentoring on their first visit. Think of it as a date, ease in and take your time.
Think of each page of your website as just one step in a process with just one call to action. When the user is finished consuming that page it leads them to another with just one call to action and so on until, very soon you’ll have them doing the thing you wanted them to do, the big picture goal.
Be Patient. Don’t feel like you’re missing opportunities by only offering one call to action per page. Understand that a user is preoccupied in their own life and are already consumed by their own internal dialogue of choices.
“What am I going to make for dinner tonight?”
“What should I wear to the party tomorrow?”
“Should I go to the store now or in the morning?”
The more they have to think about ‘making a choice’ the less likely they will.
Make sure every element is aligned to the purpose of your website. A good example of this is the Facebook Social Plugin you see on some websites. Unless one of your goals is to gain more of a Facebook following, there really is no point? You see the text that’s circled? It’s a direct link away from your site. I’m assuming that one of your goals is to keep them on your website for as long as possible amiright?
Don’t add things (like the Facebook Social Plugin) simply because all the big guns use it. Their goals are not the same as yours and who knows, it might not even be working that well for them? Be courageous and carve your own path.
While we’re on the subject of Social Media, make it easy for visitors to share your content by adding social share buttons. Of course everyone should know how to copy a link and share it but again, this is all in the spirit of making things dead simple.
Now brace yourself because this one might sting a little…
In fact, I don’t even believe they belong in the footer or sidebar with a few exceptions which I’ll get to in a minute.
This practice undermines your entire plan. What you’re really offering is an opportunity to leave your site and never return. It’s actually a huge problem because it’s more than likely they’ll become consumed by their own notifications and leave your fan page without even following you! I could go on forever about this but I’ll save you the lecture and instead call you to make the decision, what’s more important, a ‘LIKE’ or an email subscriber?
The exceptions of course are “Share and Follow” buttons that don’t take users away from your site.Use descriptive labels for your menu items. Not only does it help your users find what they want faster, you’ll also get some extra love from the search engines as it helps them better understand what your page and website are about.
As I mentioned earlier, they’re already consumed with their own life and if they can’t figure out what to do next or understand your menu items within a few seconds, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Make your website available on multiple devices. It’s no secret that mobile users have taken over the internet and they’re doing everything from browsing social media sites, checking emails and online shopping. Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is no longer an option, it’s an obligation.
Don’t overwhelm your mobile users by squashing everything from your desktop version onto the small screen of a mobile device. Mobile users are different beings altogether. They’re impatient and want information in the blink of an eye. I assure you, if you strip it back to what’s important and give your buttons and links the room to breathe, your visitors will love you for it!
Make your pages visually appealing. While we’re told that content is king, we humans are pretty shallow creatures. We judge almost everything on visual appearance first.
Don’t believe me? Just monitor your thoughts and feelings the next time you visit a new website. If it’s outdated, it’s likely you’ll jump to the conclusion that the content is outdated too. If your website is visually appealing, only then will your visitors decide they want to consume your content.
Choose a legible body font. The body font is the font you’ll use for the main content of your site and because it’s used for blocks of text, it needs to be easy to read.
Don’t overlook the font size of your body font either. Although most modern websites use a font between 16-18 pixels, there are still too many others who are losing visitors because it’s too hard to read their content.
Embrace white space. It’s a beautiful thing! Let your words and graphics breathe. When used well, white space lets the users eyes and brains rest so they can process the information you’re giving them.
And finally, don’t hit your visitors with everything you’ve got all at once. Remember the “one page, one goal motto”. They WILL follow the path you layout for them. Trust that.
The bottom line is…
Improving the experience your users have on your site will not only increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, it will also improve sales and conversions. And we all want more of that!
Don’t forget to download your Checklist below to keep you focused!
DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST It’s your turn now. Tell me in the comments below which of these website tips you’ll take action on or share any other practices you think we should know about.
Have you downloaded The Essential Website Planning Checklist yet?
I invite you to go ahead and do than now.
Discover what it really takes to build a website that actually works to meet your goals.
GET THE CHECKLIST!