3 Elements of Your Company’s Website That You Should Rethink
First impressions are incredibly important. It doesn’t matter if it’s an introductory client meeting, a job interview, or a first date. The way you are perceived in the first few moments of meeting someone new will have a profound impact on your relationship going into the future.
This is no different in the online space. In case you have not noticed, people have notoriously short attention spans when surfing the web. HubSpot alludes to this phenomenon with what they call, “the blink test— the 3 seconds users have to orient themselves on any given web page before they click ‘back’ in their browser.” You only have a few precious moments with which to truly capture the visitor’s attention. Thus, your homepage should be dually optimized to both facilitate the achievement of your sales/marketing goals, and to avoid people quickly x’ing out without meaningful engagement.
With that in mind, I’d like to review a few homepage elements your site may have (or lack) that could be impeding your ability to accomplish your online goals. Of course, none of these suggestions are a “catch-all” solution that will suddenly make your page an “e-hot spot,” and not every solution will work for every type of business. However, they are certainly worth consideration.
Auto-Play Videos- Have you ever clicked on a website at 8:30am only to be unexpectedly bombarded by a wall of sound? If you haven’t, let me tell you, it is less than enjoyable. Sites with videos that automatically start when the site loads are often at the bottom of the class when it comes to “the blink test.” If a person made it onto your website, odds are they will know how to press play on a video. While is it possible that a visitor will quickly find the “mute” or “stop” button, you are still raising the barrier of entry for enjoying the rest of your site.
Flash-Heavy Content- The primary problem with sites supported by Flash, as the HubSpot article I linked earlier notes, is that such content cannot be read and indexed by search engines. Any positives you gain from the aesthetic qualities are immediately countered by the loss in page rank. In addition to this issue, Flash is not supported on smart phones and tablet devices. With about ten percent of all web traffic now coming via smartphones and tablets, you cannot afford to have a non-. mobile friendly page. In fact, the late Steve Jobs once “wrote an open letter calling Flash, ‘a proprietary battery hog that was ill-suited for modern mobile devices.’” Ouch.
There’s Only a Generic Contact Form- A generic “contact us” tab at the top and bottom corners of your page isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly not the best way to engage potential customers. I’ve come across far too many websites that fail to list a phone number, which again, raises the barrier of entry for potential customers to engage with your sales team. Failing to have a phone number or physical address on your site can also make your business feel less legitimate to a discerning prospect.
In addition to a generic contact form, feature something along the lines of a “fill out this form for a free white paper.” There, you can ask for things such as the recipient’s role, their biggest challenges at work, etc. These sorts of questions will allow you to follow up with more targeted marketing materials, as well as determine if your company’s products or services would be a good fit and worth pursuing.
Do you agree with these issues I have with business homepages? What other features, or lack thereof, drive you crazy when you visit a company website?