It’s October… crisp, cool, and colorful! Perhaps some of you remember back in your school days there was a special week designated in the beginning of this month called Fire Prevention Week. It’s coming up again next week, but let’s get a head start on some “fire prevention tips” that Smokey The Bear might have forgotten to tell you about. I’m talking about the “fire hazards” on your website. It’s time to stop, drop, and roll out the problems that may exist on your website about which you might not even be aware.
Your company’s website is a doorway to your business. What is sometimes overlooked, however, is your website’s potential to be a tremendous marketing tool. But are you unknowingly permitting clutter and chaos to confuse, or even repel, potential customers as they attempt to use your website? Does your website have any “fire hazards?” Slow-loading pages, difficult navigation, and misspellings are just a few of the pitfalls you will find on all too many websites; they usually result in a customer’s hasty exit. What can you do to streamline your company’s website, boost its “user-friendliness,” and optimize its marketing potential?
Make It Usable – Sites that are difficult to navigate will lose a customer in no time. By providing visible links to the pages of your website, you are giving visitors an overview of your website’s content and choices. Also, remember to provide links to your home page and main sections (such as order form, contact page, products, and articles) on every page. To help customers avoid that feeling of being “lost” in your website, keep all sections clearly labeled. Offer a site map for the customer who may not immediately find what he or she needs.
Make It Readable – While you might feel that your website’s fancy Edwardian script may convey the spirit and soul of your business, your customer may find that it only conveys an eye-strain-induced headache…if they even stay around that long. Using web standard fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, or Tahoma can ensure that users on any browser or device will be able to clearly see and read your site’s content. Consider adding line spacing to make your site easy to scan and more readable.
Make It Colorful – The term “colorful,” in this case, does not mean “excessively or illogically colorful,” as that can prove repellant to your site visitors. The use of a consistent color scheme is crucial to the success of a website. Whether your website employs a color scheme that appeals to a certain demographic you are targeting, or if it simply uses the colors from your logo, they should be pleasing to the eye and consistent throughout the website.
Make It Correct – Outdated or obsolete information piling up on your website results in the slowdown of your site and the appearance of indifference. Keep all information up-to-date. Do not underestimate the importance of correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofread your website; hire a professional if this isn’t your forte. Carelessness in this area will not go unnoticed and may be interpreted (however unfairly) as the way you conduct business.
Make It Snappy – In a survey of 1,048 online shoppers, Forrester Consulting concluded that consumers become impatient when pages take longer than two seconds to load. 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Bulky images, slow-loading files, and extra-long pages will cause your customer to have to wait…and wait… for the pages to load. Chances are they won’t stick around. Work with a professional web designer who can assist you in the selection and use of graphics that are effective and quick loading.
The time to re-evaluate your website is now. The aforementioned “fire hazards” of your website aren’t going to clean themselves up. Is this an overwhelming task? Perhaps. This is where a consultation with a professional web designer can take your company’s website to new heights in effectiveness and your business to its greatest levels of productivity.
Bola Olonisakin is the Creative Head & Chief Online Strategist at GTechDesigns. Bola specializes in coaching entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporations in achieving the MAXIMUM PROFIT from their website by increasing visibility and using laser-focused marketing strategy. Download the Ultimate Guide To A Money Making Website to help you discover the 8 Tech-Riffic ways to PROFIT online at http://bit.ly/17beYnp. This post was originally posted at www.gtechdesigns.com
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