Don't Let Your Website Drive Away Traffic
JULY 11, 2011:
Judy Matysik, Vice President of Client Services, Content & Design
Website Design And Development
I'm this close to breaking up with my bank.
Why, you may ask? Did they raise your credit card rate? Hit you with an exorbitant fee? Deny you a loan?
None of the above. They changed their website.
If It Ain't Broke ... Just Improve It
I consider myself reasonably tech-savvy, for a woman of a certain age. And my bank's old website did need some refreshing. But it was user-friendly and easy-to-navigate. Now it isn't.
Websites need constant review and content updates, and often the navigation and design can be improved. (Full disclosure: Since my employer, Priority Integrated Marketing, does website design and development , I'm definitely in favor of site enhancements).
But if you're thinking of a website refresh, don't transform a site that is simple and intuitive to something that is frustrating and confusing. Here is some advice if you're considering a website redo:
Consider the user first. Not what your manager thinks is trendy or cool. Not what the CEO wants to trumpet on the home page. The user. Find out what your customers, members or visitors want to do on your site and make it obvious and easy, with as few clicks as possible.
Be consistent. Keep the logo and navigation in the same place on interior pages and use consistent colors, fonts and content placement. Visitors shouldn't have to rediscover where everything is each time they click to another page.
Don't let the marketing get in the way. Of course you want to promote products and services on your site. But make sure promotions don't obscure features like the online banking login or navigation. Users shouldn't have to scroll "below the fold" to find the most-used links.
For more tips, read Brian Bierbaum's blog on website best practices
If your website is putting up barriers, you could be driving away business. And if users find your site too difficult to use, there are plenty of competitors out there who will be happy to snap them up.
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.