Every day, without thinking, we make a basic assumption that anything you could possibly imagine can be found on the internet. There was a time when simply having a website alone would give you a step up over the competition. But over the years the internet has transformed from the wild west into a thriving metropolis. The side-effect of this growth is that it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
In this fast moving environment, your customers need to be “wowed” by your website or they may just check out the other guy. And it only takes seconds for them to make that decision. Your biggest competitor is just a few clicks and keystrokes away. Here are a few simple steps to make your homepage stand out above the competition.
1. People are Visual
Even though people come to your website to get information, using text alone will not hook a customer. Good design in a website will utilize large visuals that make the user feel invited or excited to see what you have to offer. Image quality will also play a major role of capturing a customer’s attention.
Try using a large hero image at the top of your page. If you don’t have your own photo to use, stock images can easily be purchased off the internet for a fair price. An image should be interesting but also tie into your business model. If you’re a real estate company don’t use an image of flowers. Make it relevant.
2. Get Rid of the Clutter
It is vital that your website be easy to navigate. If users can’t figure out where to click or what to click first then they can easily lose interest. Most people have an attention span of less than 10 seconds before they move on. Your site should be designed so that all the information a person needs is easy to locate.
Many sites today are using a single column site. This allows users to scroll down the page and learn about your company as they do. Navigation menus should be clean and straight forward. Being able to find information quickly is key. You don’t want your customers clicking around for too long and being redirected all over your site. Lead them to what they already came to find.
3. Typeface is Actually Important
You might assume that the font used on your site doesn’t make much of a difference. The truth is, your font can change the entire feeling someone derives from your site. Times New Roman will cause your site to look outdated while using a fancy font like Brush Script will make your site hard to read.
Words on your website should be easy to read with a touch of flair and design. As with your images, your typography should match the design and feel of your website. Some fonts can feel very professional while others give off a more creative feeling. There are hundreds of fonts you can choose from and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Decide on 2-3 fonts that compliment your design and stick with those.
4. Know Your Audience
As with life, you simply can’t please everyone. As great as your website might look, someone out there is not going to like it. Trying to appeal to too many users is where businesses get into trouble. If you attempt to appease the masses, your website will look messy and unorganized. Start by knowing who you’re selling too.
Once you know your target demographic, your website should be focused on meeting their specific needs. Having the right color pallet is largely important. If you are marketing to senior adults, a website that is too vivid or bright will turn them away quickly. Branding is even more crucial. Your brand graphics and logo should match your overall website look and feel.
5. Content is still King
Most of these tips are designed to declutter your website. However, your customer is ultimately visiting your site to get information. Having too many words will cause a customer to have information overload. While too little information will leave them scratching their head. So what’s the right amount?
A good website can communicate its goals in roughly 2500 words depending on the number of pages. Each page can have 350-500 words. The trick is that these words should be important. Tell your customers exactly what they want to know. Be clear and concise while still remaining informative. Technical jargon can confuse some readers depending on your industry. Spell things out in layman’s terms.
While these tips can be used wisely, don’t get too caught up in the details. Ultimately your website is yours and should represent you and your brand. Don’t be afraid to be creative but be aware of how your creative decisions will be interpreted by your customers. For more information on making your website great, or to get a quote for building a custom professional website, visit us at www.firelightinteractive.com/project-overview.