With apologies to Leo Tolstoy, the Anna Karenina principle applies to websites as well, in that good websites are all alike (with prominently featured contact information on the homepage, a quick, compelling and clear marketing message, appealing graphics, and easy navigability), but every bad website is terrible in its own way. Moral of this story? Don’t throw your business in front of a train-avoid the following three mistakes and you’ll have a website that at the very least serves your company effectively with conversion-friendly design.
1.) Broken forms. Sounds easy enough-but when was the last time you checked to make sure your website was fully functional, with no error messages or forms that don’t collect information the way they were set up to? Nothing is more frustrating-or says you don’t care-than a site forms that doesn’t work. Don’t wait for customer complaints-plan website checks into your weekly schedule.
2.) No phone number, no email, no address. Unless you’re Greta Garbo and “vant to be alone”-avoid playing coy with your customers. Put your phone number, your physical address, if appropriate, and your email address at the very top of your website. Don’t make your customers click on a contact link to get this info, or force them scroll to the bottom of your homepage from their smartphones in search of how to get in touch. Annoyance is not the emotion you want to impart to consumers. No matter what your service or product, think simple, easy, convenient when it comes to your website’s design.
3.) Too much, too fast. Ever sat next to a stranger on a plane or a bus, asked how they were doing, and received a long, scary monologue in reply? Let’s face it, too much information in response to a polite question from a stranger is creepy, and too much text on your homepage has the same effect. People visiting your website for the first time don’t want an endlessly scrolling page of content. The top half of your homepage should only convey what you sell, what makes you special, and what they need to do to get in touch, readable in seven seconds or less. The bottom half of your homepage should have a few SEO friendly paragraphs, but make sure it’s well formatted, effectively integrated into the visuals of the page, and less than 500 words. You’ll make a great impression, and inspire customers to find out more.