We’ve reached week 2 of the Build A Better Website series already. This week we covered navigation, being credible online and the importance of good copy.
DAY 09 – ABOVE THE FOLD
This is a common term used when talking about a website. ‘Above the fold’ means the part of the page you see on screen before having to scroll.
Essentially it is the area that fills the screen when you visit a website. The content shown will depend entirely on the person’s screen size which means you need to carefully consider what you add to that valuable part of screen real estate.
“Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.” – Jakob Nielsen
People no longer want to trawl around a website looking for the information that they desire, they want to find it instantly. If it looks like your website isn’t what they are looking for, they will be outta there and quickly on to your competitor.
It is good practice to include the information you want to definitely be seen as near to the top as possible. However, you must find a balance and not try to fill it with everything, as that would compromise the usability.
The information you display in this area could be anything depending on your website goal; navigation, logo, contact information, a special offer, a signup to your newsletter. Anything that you want people to see and take action on should be above the fold.
DAY 10 – SIMPLIFY NAVIGATION
Your website should be easy to navigate – no one wants to go on a treasure hunt looking for information. Take some time to plan out your navigation; while doing this put yourself in your visitors shoes. What are they coming to your website for? Does the navigation names make sense to a first time visitor?
Structuring your navigation a certain way may make perfect sense to you but it may be totally alien to others. And that just frustrates your visitors, leading to a bad experience on your website.
Important things to consider:-
Don’t overload the menu – Keep your main menu streamlined with just the main sections and important links shown. You don’t have to add every single page of your website to the main navigation.
Use categories/sections – If you do have a large website with lots of pages or products, make use of categories. Breaking up the website into sections will make it easier to find what you are looking for.
Clearly label – It’s vital that you use names that people understand and will know instantly what to expect when they see the link. Using an obscure name for the navigation link will just confuse visitors. They are likely then going to leave your website thinking that you can’t provide what they need.
Frustrated visitors rarely turn into paying customers, so make an effort to create a simple navigation system.
DAY 11 – BE AUTHENTIC
Today I’m going to talk about being authentic and how it can improve your website and business as a whole.
Authenticity whether online or offline is something we should all strive for, no one likes fakeness or being sold something that isn’t the real deal.
It can be easy to see other people doing things a certain way and want to emulate that yourself but the problem with that is it’s not you.
You must be you and celebrate what it is that makes you unique. People buy from people – real people. And as consumers, we are becoming savvy to fake sales techniques. We want genuine.
How can you be authentic on your website?
Show the real you – people don’t want a faceless organisation, especially when looking for a service. Adding an about page to your website with some info about you and a photo, or a page with your staff profiles can make your business or blog seem more legitimate. Show your personality with your audience and share your story.
Don’t be someone you’re not – This can be applied to the way you communicate through your website. Write your content and blog posts in the way you actually speak. If you speak a certain way during normal face to face conversations but choose to write differently on your website, people will think something is a bit off.
Be transparent – If you can’t do something and do it well, don’t add it to your website. It is likely going to turn round and bite you on the ass and you will get a reputation for not being able to do the job or do it properly. People generally tell more people of a bad experience than a good one.
DAY 12 – WRITE EFFECTIVE COPY
If you want to be taken seriously online and sell your goods, you need to craft your website copy effectively.
Notice, I say ‘craft’ because writing good copy is an art form that needs creativity and a healthy dose of trial and error. It’s not about getting something up and thinking “that’ll do – it’s super vague but at least, it’s something’’. That is just now going to do you any favours!
When I speak to small businesses about their websites, they usually tell me that their site “doesn’t do anything for their business”. It doesn’t generate them leads or sales and they suggest that it is pointless having one. After some discussion and a look over the website – more times than not, it is down to the text (or lack of) on the pages.
Your website is a perfect opportunity to sell yourself, your products and services and show your expertise. Effective copy can hook people in and keep them on your website longer, making it more likely that they will take action. Whether that’s reading and sharing your blog post, taking up your services or buying your products.
Quick tips for writing good copy
- Know your audience
- Keep it simple
- Convey the benefits of your product or service
- Show what’s in it for the customer
- Have a call to action
- Check your spelling
DAY 13 – WHAT’S YOUR ACTION
Today I’m going to talk about the call to actions on a website. If you aren’t sure what they are then read on and I’ll explain.
A call to action is something that you want the people to do when they visit your website. Now this could be anything depending on what your goals are.
You may want people on your email list so your call to action would be a newsletter signup box. Maybe you want people to sign up for your latest course so a signup form would be the call to action. Or you may want people to contact you to take up your special offer product or service.
Whatever action you want to be taken has to be featured prominently on your website.
Typical locations for a call to action are:-
- Along the top of the page
- In the sidebar of your blog
- After each blog post
- In the footer
What makes a good call to action?
- A nice eye catching graphic
- A focused goal
- Text that is enticing
- Clear instructions on what you want people to do – sign up, call, join, book
- Simple steps to complete
DAY 14 – ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY
As consumers, we are growing ever more wary of giving our trust and hard-earned cash to just anyone on the internet. We have grown savvier about shopping and seeking out services online, which means businesses need to show that they are trustworthy and credible.
How can you build credibility with your website?
Show you are real – One of the easiest ways to show you are a credible business is to show that you are a real person. You can do this by having photos of you and your staff. Share your story. Tell people about you. Share behind the scenes photos of projects, meetings and events.
Be contactable – Are you hiding your contact information? There’s nothing worse than going to a website and being interested in working with them, then finding it’s impossible to contact them. Make your contact details clearly visible and give people a guide on the best way to get hold of you.
Have a professional design – If your website looks professional with a modern design it will instantly give you more credibility. It shows people that you have invested in this side of your business and crafted it to be a welcoming space to find out more about you.
A website that looks like it was last updated in 2002 is going to throw your credibility out the window.
Show you are an expert – If you are in business, it’s highly likely that you are knowledgeable about what you do. We want to buy things from people who know more than us. So share your expert knowledge on your website.
Get testimonials – Are you awesome to work with? Yes? Then make sure everyone knows it by politely asking previous clients to give you a testimonial. Adding them to your website is a great way to show people that you deliver results.