You go to a website to find yourself on a flash landing page with music blaring with no idea of how to navigate the site, and then you leave. We’ve all been there. And don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of websites out there that can pull off this look. They’ve mastered their user experience, taken care of the kinks and it “works” for them. But to the thousands of websites out there that haven’t taken those steps, this post is for you.
There are several basics that every website should have. Now, that doesn’t mean they need to be plain and boring, but they do need to be easy to find.
First things first is an easy to find and easy to use web address. A URL with random dashes and made up words is going to drastically hurt your search traffic. With all the competition out there, don’t throw another road block in the way of your potential customers.
Another obvious point is that your website should clearly define who you are. There’s nothing worse than visiting a website, searching through its pages and walking away with an unclear understanding of what the company does. It’s the ultimate red flag that your company’s website isn’t doing its job. Have a clear description of who and what you are – it will have a radical impact on your visitors’ attention span. The same also goes for your website’s navigation: if I come across a website that’s impossible to navigate, I will promise you I’m leaving the site immediately, and I guarantee your visitors would agree.
Finally, the mother-ship of must-have’s on a website – easy to find contact information. If you have made your contact information impossible to find, or worse, haven’t included it at all on your website you are basically telling your visitors “we hate money.” Why else would you drive away traffic? It’s the most basic of pages but by far the most important. Put your phone number in your footer or top corner of your website where it can easily be seen. Make yourself visible and easy to contact, and if you decide you aren’t up for being contacted you may want to rethink your entire business plan.
Chances are that most of your visitors landed on your website intentionally, so make sure their experience is a peaceful one. No one likes visiting websites that leave them more stressed out when they leave than when they arrived. Remember, most people are there for the content that’s on your website, not all the flashy-goodness that comes with it.