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Sometimes you have to pause and go back to the basics. It’s not unusual for websites to get cluttered as the years go by with content and page additions, messaging updates, etc. In addition, your brand and offerings often evolve, as do search engines’ algorithms for serving up your site. You need to make sure that any paid advertising or SEO efforts to drive traffic are successful.
Your potential client or customer will decide in seconds if they are going to stay on your page. Here are a few tips to make sure they do:
Clearly define your brand and message. Step back for a moment and make sure that it’s obvious to the user right away what it is that you do. They need to know what you are offering and why your franchise is the one to get it from. You can check your page’s bounce rate to see whether people are leaving your page too quickly.
Create a visual hierarchy. The site should be presented so that visitors don’t have to do any work to figure things out. Use headings and bold-faced text to help users skim information to find what they need.
Improve calls to action. Make sure calls to action (CTAs) are simple and clear. Examples include “Buy Now,” or “Download Our Free Guide.” Once you determine your CTA, place it within the menu bar, but make sure it stands out, design-wise. Consider reverse or completely different colors from the other menu bar buttons. Place the same button in another position above the fold, and again at the bottom of the page.
Simplify navigation. Make sure that it’s easy for users to move down through each page and between pages on the site. Don’t try to be too cute or clever with navigation, as you risk losing your consumers to confusion. Label things clearly and have content created strategically and presented logically so that users can move from one point to the next.
Optimize images. Consumers also can get frustrated if a page takes too long to load. Use online tools to compress images so that load times are quick. Check out googlesitespeed.com to see how your current site is fairing; low speed time can affect both users and Google search rankings.
Provide hot links. Eliminate any additional steps or clicks for the user that you can. Make sure all links to phone numbers, emails, etc. are hot links.
Your goal is to attract and engage customers from the very first second they land on your website. These tips will help you begin to improve the online experience for users, and a better online experience means more conversions.
Lora Kellogg is president and CEO of Curious Jane. With 15 years of experience and a portfolio of top brands, Curious Jane is a leading ad agency specializing in franchises. Lora and her team work with Franchise Times' top 500 franchises and emerging franchises to grow sales, increase traffic, build brand awareness and generate leads.