How do you make your website look great? Well, if you were selling your home, chances are you would know exactly how to do the little things to make it appealing to a buyer. You’d clean up the place from top to bottom, reduce the clutter and maybe even look at some home magazines to get an idea of how to style the place to make it really buyer-friendly.
But when it comes to selling our businesses online, we’ve found that most people don’t know where to start, even if they want to! At the most basic level, having a business website that you haven’t thought about and carefully put together is a lot like having an open house where you haven’t bothered to pick up the clothes and get the dishes out of the sink – it’s far less likely someone will be in touch!
So what are some simple ways to make your website look and feel user-friendly and leave a positive impression to browsers, so that they get in touch with you about your services?
The smallest tweaks can often be the most effective, and that’s definitely the case for fonts on your website. Newspapers and magazines have been around for centuries and they have one thing in common: consistent fonts and typeface. That’s because our brains prefer consistency and uniformity when we are absorbing new information.
So you only have two decisions to make: what will my heading fonts be? And, what will my paragraph fonts be? That’s it. Once you’ve settled on these, there are no more fonts allowed! The Google font directory is a good place to start (yes, that’s a real thing) as they have pre-selected the fonts that are best suited to web-based reading for you.
You can depart from our two-font rule for the occasional bit of impact, like for a quote, but in the main, keep it simple, consistent and clean.
Faster web speeds, professional quality cameras on smartphones and the rise of meticulously curated personal social media feeds on Instagram all mean that the standards for photography on your website are higher than ever.
High resolution, unique photos are the best thing you can put on your website. And just like your fonts, the images should be consistent and have a broadly similar “theme”. For example, don’t fall in love with the sepia tone filter one week, then post a range of black and whites the next week before switching over to technicolour enhanced filters. Having consistency of your images makes your brand or business seem more organised, deliberate and professional – all things you want to represent to potential customers.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So think hard about the first thing a browser will see when they first click on your website. Whether it’s a great photograph or a quote that fits your business set on a striking background, this is a crucial thing to get right.
Movement is good… in small doses
Moving images, autoplaying videos or sliders with scrolling text can all be useful visual devices to draw the eye of the reader to something. But have you ever clicked onto a website that had all three at once? Chances are you didn’t go away with a positive feeling. The goal is to get browsers to spend more time on your site. If you bombard them with too many moving visual cues it will start to feel like walking down a neon-lit street with dozens of fluoro signs and billboards blinking insistently at you – not pleasant!
Colour your world
We know, we know, this is probably going to start to sound like a broken record, but a consistent colour palette is essential for your site. Think of it like a sports team: there are two or three primary colours, and the rest of the brand identity is built around those consistent colour choices. Our hometown Newcastle Knights are a great example of this. Once you have these colours and maintain them consistently, they come to be identified with your brand and business, and that is a huge advantage for you over your competitors.
Website content is king
Web copy and content is a great way to talk to your customers, invite conversations or even show your expertise up front to build trust. A website that has a similar amount of content as an old Yellow Pages ad (name, contact number and not much else) is now firmly in the minority. Think about the types of things your customers would want to know about you before they picked up the phone to chat and you’ve got your starting point for your first few pages of content.
Need some help?
These six tips are just scratching the surface of what a great website can be. At it’s best, a website can serve as its own business lead generation tool for you – a little like a booth at an expo or trade show that is permanently singing your praises. Of course, if you would like your website professionally assessed and tweaked, we can do that for you, just get in touch with the friendly team and we can talk about how you can turn your website from good to great.