Marketers are constantly striving for better engagement, but it’s a metric that’s often hard to attain and even harder to measure. Of course, you want customers to engage with us on social media, open (and actually read) your emails, and fall in love with your content.
While focusing all this energy on engagement, it’s important to remember that your website is a focal point of your online communication with customers. There are steps you can take to make sure it’s not just a good site, it’s the best site for your customers.
Ask any designer if they can make your site better, and they can. But only to a certain point. We can create best practices for a website, but if you want a breakthrough site that speaks to your audience, you need to do these three things to help your designer create the best possible web experience:
1. Be Clear About the Information Hierarchy
Ask yourself these two questions: What is first? What is most important?
Hero Copy and Image: This is the first thing users will see when coming to your site, so this section needs to work hard to encompass multiple objectives.
First of all, the initial impact. Using a large hero image focuses the audiences’ attention to one point. Whether its a sale, a new product, or to learn more about a service. This also gives an opportunity to change out images based on objectives throughout the year.
The image also should speak to the target persona. They should see themselves in the image, or at least relate to it, to cause an emotion connection that leads them to click through to see more. This is also the start of establishing the tone of voice for the site.
The copy associated with the hero image should be concise and to the point. Because the image takes up a large amount of real estate, the user will not be distracted with other blocks of copy fighting for your attention. This is where a clearly placed call-to-action would be most effective.
Must Read Intro: This would reflect the pain statements that were discovered during the personas evaluation. Try to capture what the target personas need and care about and incorporate that into the main copy points. You’ll increase engagement when customers see that you understand them and thought about their concerns/needs ahead of time and placed that information in an easily accessible area. No need to be searching around when it hits them right away.
Support Copy: The support copy is organized around the main objectives. Ultimately having impact in informing the audience about the section they are viewing.
CTAs: It is important to be focused in your calls to action. It should clearly tell the user what you want them to do. Use active words like “call,” "buy,” “add to my cart,” and “sign me up.” Essentially, something more meaningful than simply asking the user to "submit."
Arrangement of these CTAs is also key. Placing them in their own space without surrounding distractions from graphics or copy will draw more attention to the button.
2. Force Rank Personas
Hopefully you’ve done some thorough persona research, but have you decided which one is the most important? Which one brings you the most business, or which one do want more engagement from?
By taking your personas and ranking them you can begin mapping out paths to the most common objectives of the user. That will influence the architecture of navigation. That persona will also play a roll in which content should be served up first creating higher engagement and click through rates.
3. Create Mood Boards
Mood boards are comprised of various sources of inspiration like textures, type fonts, color pallet, photography, and styles. These are often ripped from magazines, printed from websites or torn from posters and tacked to a wall as a collage. Personally, I use Pinterest as a digital form of mood boards, which can be easily shared with clients.
The objective is to gather all the items that inspire the feel of the site. This allows the client to focus on design elements and not content at this point.
Everyone wants an engaging website that provides users with an optimized experience. Completing these three tasks will help your design team take your site from good to outstanding.