You’ve checked your links, tested on different browsers, and settled on the perfect tagline to get your product’s message across…
…But something else to keep in mind when preparing your website for launch is how every element of your site will affect its users’ happiness.
According to on an intensive study by user researcher, Pamela Pavliscak, a high happiness rating correlates to a high likelihood to return and to recommend.
Happy users feel confident, comfortable, and curious when exploring your website. They interact with the site, and they’re more forgiving on the off chance that, despite all your preparations, something does go wrong.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your new parallax scrolling landing page looks if users can’t figure out where they’re supposed to go, how to get there, or why they should care about getting there in the first place.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a marketing website to help make your visitors happier and more satisfied and more likely to buy.
Successful marketing website designs are:
- Is your website’s messaging clear? Make sure your web copy is concise, honest, and to-the-point: what, exactly, does your product do, and how does this benefit the user?
- Is it jargon free? Don’t rely on industry-specific jargon, abbreviations, etc. in your web copy. Just because understand it, doesn’t mean your users will.
- Do you have a clear call to action? What action do you want your users to take on your page? Can you be more descriptive or provide more value than “Sign Up” or “Learn more”?
- If your contact information easy to locate?
- If a user has a question, do they have a way to submit a question. Also, if you will have people visiting your office, is your location listed?
- Are your images unique, high quality and meaningful? If you use stock photos, have you done a reverse image search to make sure competitors aren’t using the same image?
- Does your site work on different screen sizes? Is the site designed differently for different screen sizes if they will be using the site very differently?
- Ease of navigation: Links should be easy to find, easily recognizable as links and descriptive (that is, a button should explain what will happen upon clicking rather than simply reading “click”).
- Custom error messages: Broken links and 404 pages are some of the easiest ways to lose users. Make sure to create custom error pages that cohere with your company voice, apologize for what went wrong, and direct users back to your homepage or to other relevant content.
- Is your site fast? Users will move on if they have to wait too long for a page to load. Get an idea of how your site ranks from Google Pagespeed Insights
- Double-check all links, both internal and external, to ensure that they all lead where supposed to. Tools like moz.com and http://www.deadlinkchecker.com/ can help you locate these easily.
- If you have ads on your site, try to ensure that these ads provide minimal annoyance for the user: few to no popup (or sneaky popunder) ads, no ads with immediate playing audio or video. Not only is this annoying, it makes your website look like spam.
- Is your site accessible? Test your site’s accessibility for colorblind individuals, individuals using reading machines to navigate the internet, etc. This means everything from ensuring that your site doesn’t rely on color alone for effect or meaning, that all images have appropriate alt-captions, that forms are displayed in a manner that can be read by machines, etc.
Above and Beyond
If you collect information about your users or require them to log in to your website, use that information to address them as individuals rather than faceless credit cards.
Company location and contact information, references, past clients’ logos, actual employees’ pictures, etc. should be easy to find. In addition, credibility-enhancing copy (such as case studies describing past successes, white papers demonstrating your expertise in the industry, etc.) can build your company’s professional image as a serious contender for a user’s business,
If you do collect sensitive information, make sure your connection is secure and that you can prove its security by showing relevant certificates (e.g., “verified by Visa”).
For these kinds of considerations, just think about the way you’d treat someone you care about in the real world—with helpfulness, honesty, openness, trustworthiness—and then ensure that your product website is set up to ensure the same kinds of interactions with customers.
Happy web design gives users just enough freedom—within helpful guidelines.