How to Get the Leads You Dream About: 3 Simple Reminders to Present your Best Possible Site
In today’s world, it’s hard to get anyone to fully read a website or article they find on the internet. We have all become world-class “skimmers”. This term describes those who only want that golden nugget of information they seek, that nugget being what drove them to a particular site in the first place. In fact, you’re probably reading this looking for some golden nugget of your own.
With that in mind, now that you’ve got your very own skimmers landed at your doorstep, you must take precautions to avoid these basic web design faux-pas that will send your potential leads scurrying.
#1: Design is 100% User Oriented 100% of the Time
Take a minute to think about how exactly your visitors are going to be consuming your content. These people are the ones interacting with your site firsthand. To keep things basic, here are a few things to keep in mind that will improve almost every type of visitor’s user experience:
- RESPONSIVE DESIGN
- Resist the flashy
- Homepage + long copy = 2% success rate
We’ve all had the hair-pulling experience of trying to navigate a website on mobile that DEFINITELY was not made to be on mobile. The endless zooming, awkward images, and unruly text columns are downright offensive in this day and age where 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (http://www.c1cweb.com/responsive-design-websites/)
According to Google’s Mobile Playbook, 61% of consumers will not return to a mobile site if they had issues interacting with it. Additionally, 40% of mobile consumers will head on over to a competitor’s site instead.
Resist the Flashy
You may think those slide-out forms and rotating homepage images are kitschy, however it is wise to approach those with extreme caution. Your homepage, or website for that matter, should not operate like a Prezi presentation. Pulling out all the bells and whistles will detract from your main content and leave visitors overwhelmed.
Homepage + Long Copy = VERY Gray Area
Your homepage should not read like a brochure, and your website as a whole should function more as an app. The homepage should entice, invite, and provide just enough information to bring in those who are in the beginning stage of the buyer’s journey. Long copy has its place, however, the homepage is rarely one of them.
This does not necessarily mean homepages that stick to short copy end up having better conversion rates. You must figure out what you want and need to convey on your homepage, then you must figure out the most effective way to go about doing that. In a statement from an article on quicksprout.com, “It’s all about persuasion. […] If you can convert someone with one word, then one word is all you need. But if you need more words to get your message across, then you should write more copy.”
# 2: Templates Are Taking Over, Don’t Let Them Kill Creativity
Nowadays, designing your own website is made almost too easy through the use of platforms like Wix or Weebly. The beauty of these platforms lies in their ability to enable the everyday business owner, with little to no coding knowledge, to get a website up and running fairly quickly. However, their beauty is so widely known that homogenization of websites is a real concern.
Seeing multiples? (https://www.friday.ie/journal/why-do-all-websites-look-the-same/)
This screenshot captured by Mary Collins of www.friday.ie depicts a common layout: Large graphic, small header, minimalist navigation. While templates ensure important features, such as navigation menus, are in a functional spot where a user’s eyes would assume them to be, a website should serve more as just an online billboard. Catchy quote here, small graphic there, phone number down at the bottom. This is fine and dandy if you’re looking to make a trip to your site unmemorable.
Now, trying to grab your users’ attention by blasting them with bells and whistles isn’t the solution to this. (See tip #1) Custom layouts require strategy. They require an analysis into what your users really expect to see and interact with on your site. Do not be scared by this. This is the basis for functional creativity.
# 3: Tailor your Forms
A call-to-action should be on almost every page of your website. A call-to-action is what initiates a deeper interaction between visitor and website. This is what connects a user to your offering. This is where LEADS ARE BORN.
Many of these calls-to-action result in a form requesting contact/billing/other necessary information. Think of these forms in the context of a first date. Make a bad first impression and you more than likely will have a sub-par experience and a low chance of a second date. These forms must nail their first impression on the user, or else the user can decide to “excuse themselves to the restroom” and never return again. Thanks non-confrontational web environment.
The design for your site’s form depends heavily on what you’re asking. This will help you determine how to ask for it. Are you offering an e-book? Are you trying to build your contacts database? Make it convenient for a user to tell you what you need, so be sure to only include what is necessary at that particular stage. However, this does not mean you should strive for short forms in order to get more conversions. Long forms do have their place, but for starters it is always beneficial to keep a user’s willingness to share in mind when designing your forms. A solid redesign of a bad form can increase their completion rates exponentially.
Lastly, with respect to responsive design, you MUST ensure your forms are optimized for mobile users. A stunning desktop form layout can be an absolute clunker on mobile. A user on mobile should not have to squint, scale, or bend over backwards to complete the form. In fact, according to a study done by HubSpot, it was discovered that when they shortened and optimized forms viewed on mobile devices, their prospects increased by 5X.
Ultimately, your website and its success depends on a solid user experience. Designing or updating your site with these three simple tips in mind will help put your conversion rates right where you want them to be.
- Constructing a Website. Digital image. Advantages of WordPress Website Development Service in Surat at Onlyweb. Blogspot, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.
- Responsive Web Design. Digital image. How Important is Responsive Design? Cyprus Web Design, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Dec. 2016. <http://www.c1cweb.com/responsive-design-websites/>.
- "The Mobile Playbook." The Mobile Playbook. Google, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016. <http://www.themobileplaybook.com/en-us/>.
- Patel, Neil. "How Much Copy Should You Write on Your Homepage?" Quick Sprout. Quick Sprout, 8 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.
- Use of Templates Makes Wesbites Look Alike. Digital image. Web Design Trends: Why Do All Websites Look The Same? Friday, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <https://www.friday.ie/journal/why-do-all-websites-look-the-same/>.
- Call to Action Using a Form. Digital image. Income: How Pros Make Money Online. Income, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <http://www.incomediary.com/get-more-optins>.
- DeKrey, Will. "Beyond Responsive Design: How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users." HubSpot. HubSpot, 8 June 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.