Is your website user-friendly enough?

Here, Stefano Maruzzi gives some tips on maximising your website's visual potential.

Last month I talked about the importance of a strong, unique domain name for your business’s website. But that’s just the start. Your website should have both style and substance, reflecting the professionalism of your company and showing prospective customers that you mean business.

We often judge a book by its cover, and this is particularly now true when we visit websites. Within a spit second we make up our minds about the quality of a website. How many times have you searched for a business online, skipping through websites until you land on the most professional-looking?

The first step is to perfect the design of the website. Think of your website as a shop window with an ‘open all hours’ sign on the front. Customers can visit whenever they want, so it’s vital that they are greeted with a user experience that is as good as it can be.

It’s important to design your website as if you were the customer. Remember that, when looking for a new service, we want to find the right information as quickly as possible. Details such as your location, operating hours and contact details should all feature prominently.

Keep your website simple to navigate by avoiding clutter. Cutting down on unnecessary information ensures that visitors can explore without getting lost.

Mobile now exceeds PC internet usage, so it’s certainly worth taking this into account when designing your website. We all know how frustrating it is when browsing a website that isn’t mobile-friendly; keep each page of the site similar to ensure a feeling of continuity as users scroll through on their phones.

You can then look at introducing features that will improve the user experience even more. For example, you could allow customers to schedule a visit to your brand new store. Making sure an entry with map details can easily be added to their mobile calendar will encourage the customer to stick to their plan to visit.

Adding interesting content will attract new customers to your website. Blogs about the industry your business operates in are a great way of differentiating your online presence from competitors. By providing thought-provoking comments you can create a buzz around you and your work, ensuring your business is talked about and more discoverable on search engines.

It’s also worth considering your email address as it essentially acts as your digital business card. Registering an email account that’s aligned to your domain name will create a sense of consistency, reliability and trust.

Stefano Maruzzi is vice president of EMEA for GoDaddy.

Further reading on website design

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