Designing a website for your trenchless business is no easy feat. Not only do you have a wealth of information to present to visitors, but you also need to consider the role of optimization, the principles of modern web design, and how you’re going to appeal to visitors and keep them on your site long enough to provide necessary information and encourage specific actions.
It’s a tall order, to be sure. The unfortunate truth is that you’re likely to make several common mistakes along the way. Here are a few you’ll definitely want to avoid.
1. Unclear Goals
Your customers don’t necessarily need to know your goals when it comes to your web design. They do, however, need to be your focus since you are designing your website specifically to interact with new and existing clientele. If you want to provide a good experience for visitors to your site, you need to have very clear goals going into the process.
Naturally, your main goals are to attract new customers, promote your services, and make sales. How do you go about doing this? You first need to create a site that integrates your brand and features practical elements like service descriptions and contact information. Additionally, you have to make it attractive to your target demographic and provide intuitive navigation.
Your core goals should force you to ask pertinent questions, and they should drive every decision you make. When you’re putting together the navigation or page layouts, you must ask yourself: how does this serve my goals? Clear goals lead to actionable design directives.
2. Too Much Text
Not only do you want to avoid information overload, but if you present an abundance of text in bulky blocks then you can intimidate, irritate, and generally deter visitors. Do your best to provide necessary information in a concise manner and make sure to put the most important information above the fold (on the top half of any landing page).
From there you can make the content more visually appealing by adding graphics, videos, and even white space. This format is a lot more attractive and digestible for viewers.
3. Tricky Navigation
A few years back, drop-down menus were considered anathema. For some reasons, it was assumed that visitors would not be able to navigate without a prominent menu bar at the top of each page.
These days thinking has changed. Now hamburger menus (so named because the three stacked lines look like a burger in a bun) are much more de rigueur because they help to streamline the appearance of a site and cut down on the visual clutter. The good news is, nobody seems to be having a problem using them to navigate.
4. No Call to Action
You want something from the people that visit your site. You want them to sign up for a mailing list, contact you directly, write a review, or otherwise support your business. Consumers are not mind readers, so you need to make your expectations clear with calls to action (CTAs) that are concise, targeted, and prominently visible.
You might be surprised to discover just how persuasive your CTAs can be. If you use the right language, you can do more than tell consumers what to do; you can also tell them how to feel.
For example, instead of using a generic CTA like “create an account” you should present a targeted CTA like “create my account”. What difference does a single word make? A world of difference. It makes your CTA personal and speaks to the customer’s perspective.
You may also want to specify a time frame. Instead of “contact us” or “make an appointment”, you might want your CTAs to read “contact us today” or “make an appointment now”. You don’t want consumers to navigate away and forget about you, so make your expectations clear.
5. Outdated Design
There’s no getting around the fact that technology is advancing at break-neck speeds. You don’t necessarily have to overhaul your website annually, but you should make minor updates as necessary and consider a major re-design every few years if you want to continue to attract new customers.
A good example is the growth of responsive web design. Before smartphones and tablets became such a popular method of web browsing, this wasn’t an issue. Now consumers are shopping with their phones and don’t want to scroll, swipe, and resize every page to make a purchase. They want the site to automatically adapt to their mobile device.
In addition, layouts that were considered attractive a few years ago are by now looking very outdated – trends have changed. When you maintain your site, update often, and plan for remodeling every few years, you have the best chance to keep current customers happy and attract new business.
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