Six Website Navigation Tips for Small Businesses in 2019
Pop-ups. Flashing advertisements. Disorienting animations. Multimedia auto plays. That ever-present query imploring us to sign up for the newsletter. These are all some of the biggest things that annoy web users, but you might be surprised to find that the thing that consumers find most bothersome about the experience of using a business’s website is poor navigation.
Now, learning to make a website is covered by all sorts of educational processes from college classes to online tutorials, but as you either build, design, or tweak your business’s website this year, here are a few tips and best practices to help window film dealers improve your website navigation and your customers’ experience with your online presence.
1. Make It Mobile-Friendly
Designing a site so it can be navigated easily on a smartphone or tablet is one of the most basic things a small business can do to help itself in 2019. Nearly two-thirds of consumers report making purchases on their phones and nearly everyone (roughly 90 percent, according to Outerbox) use their phones while in stores and businesses to check out product or service reviews and compare prices. Building an intuitive and easy-to-navigate website that works well on both personal computers and mobile devices is one crucial step towards improving the customer experience and making more sales.
2. Consistency is the Foundation of a Small Business Website
Consistent navigation — not only in terms of what navigation scheme you land on, but also where it appears on every page of your website —not only promotes the utility of using your website, but it also increases your customers’ ability to find what they are looking for more quickly. The menu should be present and clearly visible on every page, with no diagrammable path to get them stuck without a way out or back to your home page.
3. What You Call Things Matters
One of the most annoying things about navigating any business website is a lack of descriptive accuracy to help customers find what they want to see. First, words and phrases like “solutions” and “services” just don’t mean anything for most people. Secondly and maybe more importantly, poor descriptive labels will come back to bite you in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Good descriptive labels use top-of-mind phrases to communicate with visitors and command relevance when search engines are looking for businesses like yours.
4. Contact Information Should Be on Every Page
If your small business depends on your customers making contact with you (and in the window film business, it’s important), it’s critical to let them know how. That information should be clearly visible, preferably at the top of the home page so that visitors don’t have to dig for a phone number or address if they want to get in touch.
5. Calls to Action Make a Difference in How Customers Respond
One of the most basic facets in marketing a small business website is commanding customers’ attention with a call to action, or CTA. A well-constructed and highly visible CTA is a clear invitation for the customer to take action in some way that engages with your small business: call, sign up for a newsletter, register for a service, make an appointment, download informative content, or (gasp) buy something. Whether you use a button, a link, or clear language, the CTA should be omnipresent and evident with every visit.
6. Learn to Use Analytics
Analytics may seem a bit intimidating, particularly if you’re using them for the first time, but they are invaluable sources for figuring out how your customers and potential customers behave on your website.
Navigation is one of the most underestimated facets of a company’s web page and poor direction and routing is a major turn-off for customers. Spend the time to bounce around your own website to see if you can plot a simple course through your content and the effort will be a major benefit to steering your customers in the right direction and your business towards better perception.