So you know all the cool stuff you’re trying to do out there on the interweb – you know, your social media strategy featuring clever use of Vine, the motion graphics illustrating your organisation’s service offering through stick figures, and of course those hilarious use of animated gifs.
Well, it all equals to zero if all they do is lead people back to a website they’re going to hate.
Said simpler: If your website sucks and is a stranger to good usability, everything else you do doesn’t matter. Consumers won’t warm to you. Your business won’t grow. Your time and money will be wasted. So fix it!
Harsh? Maybe. But you need to crawl before you can walk (let alone run) and you need to get the basics of good usability before going the extra mile with software development.
Understand your users
Before you even start a project like building your site, do your homework and find out who your audience is. Common sense, right? Unfortunately, many site owners often struggle to grasp this concept, instead creating a site experience users ‘love’ by focusing on the things they (as site owners) actually care about.
In essence, they build their website backwards.
So, in order to create a site experience users love, take the time to identify their needs, wants, desires and points of annoyance – you know, the things they actually care about. Because it’s impossible to create a site your users will love if you don’t know them.
Keep it simple
So many websites focus on the fancy bells and whistles of web design before establishing a solid foundation for the messaging and the conversions they’re looking to build.
Unless you’re Facebook or Reddit, users don’t navigate to your website because they’re on a leisurely Sunday stroll through the green pastures of the internet. They come with purpose, or perhaps more accurately, a need or want. They’re looking for new shoes, they’re looking for a low-interest loan, their iPhone died and they’re looking to upgrade. The same applies for the features needed in a bespoke solution.
As a site owner, you need to determine what your customers’ needs and wants are, and provide them with the most relevant solutions and information they need to solve them. That’s it! Simple, right?
If they want to go on an expedition searching the depths of your website for gold, great – their already invested. But for those who are merely prospecting, give users exactly what they want and nothing more.
Feed your audience
To win your audience’s favour and keep them coming back to your site, you need to offer them an incentive. A little something for their efforts.
Now this doesn’t necessarily have to come in cake or chocolate format (although that would probably work). What I am talking about is fresh, dynamic content they can consume, comment on and share. For example, useful blog posts, webinars, video trainings, infographics and more.
Everyone likes going to sites they enjoy visiting and finding new stuff that has been posted. The more you give users to sink their teeth into and engage with, the more they will and the more they’ll seek out your site in the future.