by Kyle Rhodes | Graphic Designer
Take a look at your website and ask yourself: Could a caveman figure it out?
If you’re not confident that a caveman with no web experience could navigate and understand your website, then chances are that you will be missing out on a lot of business. That’s right, if it’s not simple enough for a caveman to use, then it’s not simple enough for many customers. Just as the news reporting world communicates at a third-grade level, the online world needs to be simple and easily understood.
Bottom line, today’s average user will spend less than 15 seconds on a website before clicking, swiping, or leaving. It’s vital that every user is able to quickly understand what you do, how to do business with you, and why they need to choose your company. Otherwise they will probably go somewhere else.
Prospective customers won’t spend the time to dig through your website, so you must make the user experience as clear and accessible as possible. We have found one helpful way to approach accomplishing this is by designing our websites for someone who has never used websites before, like a caveman. If you think a caveman could figure it out, then you know your website is accessible and intuitive.
In this article, we want to address two main website pitfalls we see businesses falling into. Avoid these in order to create an accessible and effective website everyone can use. These pitfalls have to do with a cluttered visual design and/or unclear messaging.
- Clear, Uncluttered Visual Design
If your website is visually overwhelming to the user, important information such as your call to action and contact info will be overlooked. The user won’t know where to look and where to click. Too many options can create a confusing user experience, and make navigating your website a chore: At which point most users will give up and look elsewhere.
In order to make the information on your website quickly digestible it is important to incorporate clear imagery and visuals that show who you are and what you do. Rather than only telling through text. Quality imagery of your company and clients also allows you to quickly make a good first impression and establish trust and connection with the user.
And most importantly of all, in order for your website to be simple and accessible, your website must be optimized for mobile phones. According to HostingFacts.com, today “75.1% of U.S. internet users access the internet via mobile (rather than desktop).” The majority of your website traffic will undoubtedly be from mobile devices, so the importance of a mobile responsive website cannot be overstated. On top of that, if your website isn’t mobile friendly, it will severely hurt your Google search ranking. This will stop customers from ever finding your website in the first place. If you are able to avoid these visual design pitfalls your website will be much more likely to get you quality leads.
- Clear, Simple Messaging
As Donald Miller states, “When you confuse, you lose.” Confusion requires unnecessary thinking. Over-thinking makes us tired. We get exhausted having to figure things out. When we come to a website, it’s to solve a problem and move on with life. Every product we buy or service we hire solves a problem in our lives. However, when we come to a website and have to concentrate to understand who the company is and how to do business with them, we find ourselves having to think too much. This often results in frustration and finding a different solution.
This is why the framework for your marketing message is so important. If your team doesn’t have a clear message anyone can understand, confusion will drive customers away. They want simple and clear. Simple doesn’t mean shallow; clear doesn’t mean cute. Simple and clear – when done right – connects quickly at a deep psychological level.
How do you develop simple, clear messaging effectively and efficiently?
One tool we recommend companies use is the Storybrand Framework. This is our preferred tool as we clarify messaging for companies. This tool allows teams or owners – usually in a two to four hour facilitated coaching session – to clarify the core components of their marketing message.
Usually within 8-15 seconds, someone coming to your website can clearly understand what you do, how you help them, and why your company or product stands out in the crowd.
When this clear marketing message is combined with clean, simple design, you can have a website that you would be proud of and that would win over any caveman!
If you’d like to explore updating your website, you can begin here and schedule a free Marketing Message presentation for you or your team (30 minutes).