When it comes to website design and functionality, there are myriad options and levels of complexity to choose from. However, no matter how large or small your budget, here are the top five things you absolutely need to get right when you undertake a website redesign.
1. Engaging Home Page. If customers are not immediately intrigued by your home page, chances are they will immediately navigate away from your site without a second thought. Using color strategically, incorporating exciting photography and visible callouts and presenting a clear picture of what your company actually does are key elements of an engaging home page.
2. Clear Call to Action. What is the main goal of your website – to sell product, build a long-term prospect database, provide a clear picture of your brand, show customers which stores carry your product? Whatever the goal, your website should display prominent communication on every page that allows customers to accomplish that one goal.
3. Properly Packaged News Coverage/Media Information. First, this means providing media coverage (intended for review by consumers) and media resources/contacts (intended for use by media) in separate sections of your site. Consumers want to see what media say about your product; media want to know how they can reach your corporate experts (see our recent post on media rooms for details on creating one).
To ensure an attractive media coverage section, provide visual elements (mastheads, cover pages and media logos) so big hits are easy to recognize. Pair each visual with an excerpt from the news story and link the visual component to the full story (hosted online or in PDF format) that opens in a new navigation window.
4. Intuitive Navigation. If you have a clear call to action in place, this is simple. Visitors to your website should be able to accomplish key tasks within 1-2 clicks of anywhere on your site. While viewing the news coverage section, customers should see a clear link to buy your product or find a store that sells it. From the products page, customers should be able to easily locate customer service contact information, shipping and return policies. Think like a shopper when building your new site.
5. Collecting Customer Contact Information. Visitors to your website are already engaged and interested in learning more about your company, products or services. Make it easy for them to stay connected with a clearly visible email sign up forms, a link for creating an account, or links to social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and company blogs).
Need help developing your new website? Contact me at Kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com.