Ever tried posing as a customer and navigating through your website? How long did it take you to find the information you needed? How many clicks? One? Three? Five?
Ideally, a visitor on your website should click only two to three times to get to the valuable information they may be seeking.
Why clicks count
Technology has advanced in such a way that information is more readily available. While this may be great, it’s also made people more impatient. They expect to find the information that they are looking for quickly and easily. If they can’t, they will immediately go somewhere else, and that may be to your competitor.
One of the most important pieces of information on your website is the contact details for your business.
If your business heavily depends on local customers who expect to reach you on the phone, make sure your phone number is easy to find. The best place to place your telephone number would be in the header of your website as it’s one of the first things that a potential local customer can see. That way, if they came to your website because they need immediate assistance, they can reach you fast.
In addition, simplify the process for those accessing your website on mobile devices. You can make your phone number clickable, so they can tap on it and call your business directly from their smartphone.
A second important piece of information on your website is your call to action tab and/or forms. Make it easy for them to find and do what YOU want them to do – to buy, to get an estimate, to schedule a strategy session, etc.
The goal should be to make the journey expedient and worthwhile. As the world of technology gets more sophisticated and the focus of visitors gets more targeted, an emerging (and effective) trend is to place little pieces of information along the way as your customer clicks page by page. It points at making the customer have a sense of progress towards the end goal for every click they make.
According to the tip: Is The Number of Clicks Really that Important?: Debunking the 3-Click Rule, the visitor may not even notice the number of clicks taken if each page they have to go through is engaging enough and builds on the information they are looking for.
Exercise 1: Go through your website and look for information that seems hard to find or feels like it takes too long to get. Write out a list of that information.
As a bonus, do the same exercise on both your computer and your smartphone. Over 50% of people now surf on a mobile device, and what is easy on a computer may be more difficult to navigate to on your phone.
How to make your users’ journey better
Consider the products and services that you sell. What problems are they solving for your customers? This is the type of information that they are usually looking for when they visit your site.
Introduce your services on the home page and let people take the first step towards the solution by clicking on your products or service details. The second page they land on should give them enough detail so they can either buy the product or respond to a call-to-action for a consultation. There may be a need for more than “a second page”, but think of the structure as a funnel. Potential clients come in the top, and as they exit the bottom they have inquired about your services or bought your product. What information do they need to have in order to make that journey?
If the meat of your services or products is buried beyond 2 clicks, can you improve their journey? Feature it clearly on your homepage or another important page, or add the page to the navigation menu. You could maintain it where it is, but make sure the pages in between have a little information building up to the final page.
Perhaps you have more than one ideal customer who each has different needs, e.g. you’re a university and your website speaks to students, faculty members, and donors, or you’re a business that serves both shoppers and vendors. Make it easy for visitors to immediately identify who they are from the home page, and then create a unique journey for each. Also clearly identifying the paths in your navigation bar is important. You want to zero in on what they are looking for and excited by, instead of writing generic content that tries to speak to all of your visitors at once.
Going through your website yourself helps you understand the journey your visitors go through while trying to get information. Making this journey as short as possible not only guarantees happier visitors to your website but could also lead to more sales and inquiries for your business.
Exercise 2: With the list written in Exercise 1, make a plan with your web designer on how to make this information more readily available for your site visitors.
Your Online Partner… for Success
We’d love to review your site with you and see if there are ways we can improve your customer’s journey. Schedule a free 30-minute session with Christy to get the process started.