A Hot Date… With Your Website
Picture the scene. You’re at your local watering hole – be it bar, café, or coffee shop – and you take a casual glance around at the clientele. Chances are, you have a ‘type’: some kind of defining feature or attribute on a person which you’re particularly partial to.
11th April 2014
Perhaps it’s long, golden blonde hair, or a charmingly crooked smile – whatever it is, there’s one such person across the room that’s caught your attention. As you make your way over, they catch sight of you approaching; and after a heart-stopping second, a smile slowly blooms on their face.
It’s a great story, but does that mean a happily ever after? Not necessarily. You see, it’s much the same story between you as a website owner and someone visiting your website for the first time: in effect, your product or service generally fits the user’s ‘type’ and their arrival at your landing page is essentially a signal of their interest. All well and good, and indeed, half of the SEO battle comprises of the user finding your website in the first place – but what happens from here?
Just as how romance films don’t end at the meet-cute scene; in the same way, you as a website owner shouldn’t be satisfied with the initial encounter. You might have the meeting in place, but your aim should be to go beyond that step: into having a courtship (A.K.A. conversion rate optimisation), several dates (A.K.A. figuring out quotes and service), and finally, progressing onto a relationship (A.K.A. a transaction). That cute-meet of the user encountering your website? Is only the beginning of your first date with them, and it’s your job to woo them into sticking around. Consider the following to avoid high bounce rate and your ‘date’ skipping out of the door:
Looks do matter…on your website, that is. In this era that bombards us with endless advertisements and incessant noise, our average attention span as a consumer has shrunk down to 8 seconds: that’s all the time we’ll offer when presented with something new. So it’s no surprise that website design is a huge factor in a user’s decision of whether they stay or go: looks, after all, make up a large part of first impressions. Make sure your design is true to your brand image, keep it clean and practical, and you’ll impress any prospective date. Love at first sight might not be a real concept, but you can make it something very close with some magnificently good looks.
A high user experience is a crucial step – it’s the key that prevents users from leaving your website to even enjoying their time spent on the page. Much like with your design, the importance should be placed on keeping things simple and clean for ease of use. Use bread crumbs (a navigational bar) to gently coax the user into exploring the rest of your site. Maximise your conversion rate optimisation by making it easy to enquire for a quote or a query.
Simple is the name of the game; don’t get into the complex stuff on your first date. No one likes the complicated, moody Lothario (at least, not for long).
Having wined and dined the interested party, here’s where you charm them with your wittiest conversation. Good looks are important, true, but once they’ve stuck around to hear what you have to say, you need to be able to show that you’re more than just a pretty face. Enter: your content.
Having regular and fresh content is the key to any user’s heart, and you need to be able to offer more than just a long-winded advert for your product. Make sure that your content on your blog or press page gives either genuinely useful or entertaining information. And let’s be honest: that good joke you have on standby? Is only going to work once. Much like that one-liner you trot out again and again, duplicate content gets stale – quickly. Avoid both Google’s wrath and boring your date, and you’ll soon find that they’ll come back for more.
Though by no means the definitive rules for the law of attraction, these are guidelines for preventing anyone interested in your website from bailing out too early. And if you find your offline life benefiting alongside your online, well, that’s just a bonus.