There are many well-designed features that make for an effective website, but these can differ depending on your industry and target audience, so don’t be fooled by that shiny new thing that Apple have added to their website recently. It doesn’t mean it’s instantly a must have for you. Rest assured, however, that there are features that all sites can benefit from and we’ve listed a few helpful ideas to help you out.
Replace the typical slider image at the top of your page with video or animated backgrounds, which are supported by simple clear messaging and calls to actions. This makes it clear for you user to read and understand what you have to offer, whilst the video demonstrates your product or service without having to rely on multiple slides, which stats show users rarely click through anyway.
If you don’t have videos, consider using just one feature image or create a single image showing multiple products, as this will be a much more effective way of showing your customers what you have to offer straight away, rather than relying on them clicking through 5 slides, which they won’t do. We’re just that lazy nowadays.
Testimonials, when done right, are a great way of showing users you’re actually trustworthy and that people like what you’re offering. But all too often these look forced, something along the lines of
“Product x has changed my life, I couldn’t live without it” – John
Avoid this by giving your testimonials substance. Show a picture of the user or their company logo, show users where they come from, mention the item or service they purchased and link through to their site. Highlight the benefits that your product provided. Rather than just saying how awesome it was, show your customers why people think it’s awesome, don’t tell just tell them yourself. Take Xero as a premium example of connecting real life people to your testimonials https://www.xero.com/uk/change/stories/
You know your product or service is good, so much so you can write pages and pages about it – and you have, it’s plastered all over your site. But why should your users believe this? People know websites are trying to sell their products and services, so of course they’re going to mention all the positives, but have you actually demonstrated it?
This is where case studies come in, as they demonstrate how a product or service helps. Allowing your website to detail the product(s)/service(s) a customer has chosen and how they have used it.
In your case studies you want to include personal profiles, pulled quotes to highlight key features, multiple testimonials within the content, along with images of the businesses using service. All this helps enhance your original claims and provide substance to your site. Headscape have a great breakdown of how they tackled National Insect Week at http://headscape.co.uk/casestudies/national-insect-week/.
We’ve seen it many times you’ve got shiny new branding and the site is looking good 😉 …but wait a minute! There are old images from the original site being used!
This is trap a lot of people fall into, they’ve gone to the trouble to update the site, but they overlook the images, text content, external links and your social media site, which all lead to your old sites’ branding, ruining all of your hard work. With a lot of clicks to coming from other sources, you need to make sure your site is consistent throughout.
So next time when you’re planning a site update consider all those external sites your site is branded on. Twitter, Facebook and Google business listings are some of the ones at the top of list.