Visitors are looking for utility. A website can feature a beautiful design, but if the site is not resourceful for your visitors, then you’re likely losing an audience. Whether you’re trying to elicit emotion through creative writing, sell a beauty product or feature up-and-coming bands, your website will only increase in viewership if the average visitor gains utility from it. We’re here to help you determine if your site is resourceful for your audience.
Think of your visitors as guests in your home. You want them to have a good time and enjoy themselves so they come back again. If someone needs to use the restroom, you carefully explain its location in the house. Similarly, you’ll want to make your site easily navigable for your visitors.
Organize your content or products with a top-level down structure. If a site focuses on beer and wine reviews, those two items should be listed separately in the menu. Then have the drop-down menu from each list the different varieties. For example “Beer” would have IPA, Porter, Stout and Sour as sub-menus, while “Wine” would have Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay listed.
In addition to making your home easy to navigate, you’ll also want viewers to be intrigued by your design. Are you a minimalist who loves black and white or an eccentric artist with love for bright colors? Have fun putting your unique spin on your site’s design.
You can ensure your design and readability with services like Simbla. The design is more than color choice. Good design relies on easy navigation, an intuitive flow and a responsive layout. If you’re not well versed in coding and design, a service like Simbla gives you a professional look and a streamlined process.
Another example of seamless design, Nitterhouse Masonry’s site lists comprehensive installation guides for the most common DIY home projects. By guiding viewers through the process, they educate and prepare them to know the exact scope of the project and what materials will be needed. Then potential buyers can seamlessly make a shopping list, so they don’t wander the brick-and-mortar store confused. By giving the buyer more confidence that they can complete the project, Nitterhouse increases the chances that buyer will convert to a sale.
Customers can also order online for increased utility. The clean menu lists their “Hardware Store” section. There, customers will find an easy to navigate menu listed by department. Fast, simple and convenient, Nitterhouse’s site makes finding the right product seamless.
Lastly, their “Find a Dealer” map makes it easy to find the closest supplier to you. Often, businesses simply list dealers by town, address and phone number. The problem is that if a customer is not familiar with the area, they have to spend time Googling all the addresses to find the closest dealer. They’re more likely to get frustrated with this process and leave your site. Nitterhouse’s map is quick: You input your zip code and you can visually see how far away each distributor is and click on their map markers to get the additional information and directions.
Site Load Time
Milliseconds can be the difference between visitors staying and bouncing. Readers can be that picky, and a slow loading time will make readers hit the road.
Mobile readership continues to grow each year. With mobility comes spotty service and weak wi-fi connections. This situation makes site load time even more crucial. Tools like Pingdom make it easy to test your site’s load time from varying spots in the world. Then, you can diagnose any problems and fix loading issues.
Site load time also affects your Google Search ranking. Slower pages fall to the bottom of search results.
If your content is a regurgitation of others’ ideas, then you’re not adding much utility for viewers. Make sure you’re saying something new about a topic or consolidating various ideas into a more concise and reader-friendly package.
Clunky sentences and bad grammar can mask inventive ideas. If you don’t have time for an online grammar course or the money to hire an editor, consider services like Grammarly. Grammarly detects grammatical errors in a more sophisticated way than most word processor’s grammar checks. Grammarly shows you where the mistake is, why it is incorrect and how to fix it. No judgment and quick turnaround time. Don’t let your ingenuity get muddled by bad grammar.
Wine.com uses immediate support and an easy-to-navigate site in addition to quality content to make the wine-buying process fun for customers. If you’re not knowledgeable about wine, you can quickly pull up the chat window that appears when you land on their homepage. There, you can speak with a wine expert.
The site allows you to search through four different organizational structures for wine: by variety, region, their featured wines and gift ideas. They’re immediately able to capture varying audiences. This well-organized, quality content helps make navigating through the eclectic world of wine easy and fun.
By keeping their website simple and direct with an abundance of quality content, Wine.com helps customers enjoy an efficient ordering process.
Save Your Code
Don’t throw away any unused code. Sites like Codepad allow you to store discarded code. That awesome design you spent hours on — the one the content team decided at the last minute wasn’t a good fit — may come in handy for future use when your company decides to go back to their original idea.
You can also interact with other developers and learn new codes you may want to add to your site later. If you are a freelance developer, Codepad is a great way to make connections for future development opportunities.
Do you offer a product that is intimidating to beginners? Consider offering immediate support for confused customers. A simple chat window that pops up on a corresponding page is a good way to connect and answer questions.
While consumers prefer an immediate response, you can also set up a chat window to respond when you are able. Engaging with readers gives them a more emotional connection to your offerings.
Mind Body Green is a great example of connecting to visitors right away. Their homepage features all new articles, with a design that provides utility for their most avid readers. Every day the homepage is refreshed with a new catalog of content, which gets readers wanting to visit often.
For the more casual reader looking for a specific lifestyle topic, the site’s main menu is prominently — but not overbearingly — displayed on top of the homepage. Mind Body Green’s content team located the main topics readers come to see and made them easily accessible, ensuring a high level of conversion.
Mind Body Green offers membership and workshop programs as an additional source of revenue. They cross-brand experts with their corresponding areas of interest.
For example, Caley Alyssa offers a “28 Days to Yoga Bliss” course for $39.99. That price is much lower than the average monthly yoga studio package. Mind Body Green doesn’t just offer this service, leaving non-paying visitors feeling excluded. Caley Alyssa is also a content creator for the site. By crossing different genres — beauty and yoga — she can hit varying audiences. Mind Body Green benefits from the SEO and visitor boost by the article Caley wrote, and they also generate revenue for the sale of Caley’s yoga program.
Like guests in your home, you’ll want your site’s visitors to leave with positive thoughts concerning your brand. Provide them with utility, whether it be entertainment or a useful product and make their experience seamless. They’ll come back wanting more.