Website Navigation Is Key
Selling online – its simple right, that's why there are so many websites out there doing it. Wrong. Whilst there are so many websites out there to choose from, if you look at them closely, you'll see that a lot of them are actually making the same mistakes which can make or break when it comes to converting browsers into buyers or leads into sales.
Your 'prospect', or customer, needs to find what they want, and they need to find it quickly as lets be honest, how patient are any of us If we can't find something within a couple of clicks.
So, how do you achieve this on your website?
Firstly, you need a top-level menu bar – or a hamburger menu.Put simply, your main products or categories need to be laid out clearly - at the top of the page (also known as above the fold – the section of screen you see without having to scroll down) - for the user the moment they land on your site. Think about yourself as a website user, if something is very clearly spelt out right in front of you then you know you are looking in the right place for what you want to buy, or find out more about, and you aren't going to have to trawl through a lot of irrelevant pages just to get to what you need.
So, your user has now located what they want to buy, the sale is in the bag – or is it?
Lets say you sell vegetables, and your user has landed on the vegetable category of your website. They no doubt have a decent idea of the vegetables they want to buy but of course, there are probably a lot of varieties. At this point, your search facility is invaluable.
You have a couple of options to make it really easy for your user to navigate to exactly what they want. Firstly, a simple keyword search, for example, tomatoes – gets your customer to exactly where they need to be.
What if you can't sum up your products in a simple keyword though? This is where a predictive search can be also prove invaluable. It lets your customer start typing in a sentence or some keywords they think might be relevant then will present them with a list of product matches to choose from.
So now, you are a lot closer to completing your sale – but what if you customer has some questions they really want answering before they 'convert' – or as I like to say go from being a browser to a buyer?
This is where you need a sticky header. Put simply, your website header scrolls down the page as your customer does and ensures that your ways to get in touch are one click away at all times:-
- Click the phone icon to call you
- Click your email address to mail you
- For more in depth enquiries, a link to your contact page so they can submit the contact form
Earlier in this article I mentioned above the fold – your 'key real estate' when it comes to your website. Think of this as the front cover of your book in a bookshop. What do you see as a rule on a book cover? A picture, a title and the authors name. Think of your homepage above the fold section in the same way. To maximise your conversions this section of your website should follow the same 3 key points idea:-
- Image – a great high quality image of the products or services you sell, for example, if you are a sportshop and want to sell more tennis racquets, your banner image could be a tennis court with some tennis racquets
- Title – connect the banner headline to the image of what you are selling, the human brain will then start to connect the image you used to the wording you used
- CTAs – your call to actions – what do you want your customer to do – View Our Range Now, Book A Demo, Shop Now – make it easy for your customers to start this action in one click
Don't throw everything at your scrolling banner section though, 3 or a maximum of 4 banners is enough – you don't want to scare customers away with too much information or a lot of 'noise'. If something looks too complicated or busy then your customer will probably find another site with much clearer information that looks a lot easier to navigate through.
Last, but by no means least, this final tip is probably one of the quickest wins you can get on your website. The breadcrumb trail, the small sub navigation bar that shows how a user got to where they are – the path they followed if you like. Its often forgotten about however is such a simple tool for allowing user to 'retrace' their steps if they took a wrong turn on the buying path and want to track back a page or two without having to start the whole journey again.
So – why do 6 seconds matter so much?
You have 6 seconds to hook in your customer from when they land on your site, and the smallest thing that may seem like nothing can actually have a huge impact on whether you convert the customer or not.
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