As we head into the end of the year, it’s a great time to get back to basics when it comes to your website and the experience you provide to your shoppers. Chances are good that you visit your company’s website weekly, if not daily. That most likely holds true for many of your client-facing employees. You know where to look in your navigation and where to click to find what you are looking for, but is it user-friendly for the people that matter most? The season might be Autumn, but now is the perfect time for Spring Cleaning of your digital showroom.
User Admin and Access
Personnel changes happen for any company, but so often a forgotten step in the exit process is to ensure that access to digital properties has been changed or removed. It’s important to do a quarterly review of who has access to your website back-end, Google Analytics, social platforms, and other key areas with intellectual property. It’s also a good idea to ensure your company has the right access levels to those who should maintain logins; Admin vs Owner vs Member – each property will have its own set of definitions. If possible, having one master company email address associated with each property and only accessible by the controller or owner is a great way to maintain key ownership at the highest level and manage access. This means if an employee with access leaves, your company can maintain access to key accounts without having to jump through hoops to reclaim listings.
It’s fantastic to see how companies highlight accolades in the header of their websites…unless those highlights are over a year old, and no one has remembered to update them. Because you visit your site so frequently it’s easy to get “header blindness” where you aren’t really reading or reviewing what displays. Adding a logo and slogan is a great way to connect offline marketing to your digital showroom and celebrate any recent wins…just be sure to set a reminder to update when needed.
Adding icon links in the header is a great way to drive traffic to your most visited pages with just one click. Inventory is often the most visited page for B2C businesses, so make it easy for shoppers to access this information. Is your phone number and address easily accessible in the header? Although most shoppers can find this information in the Google Local pack, never miss an opportunity to drive traffic to your phones or through your front door.
Social links are another set of icons that can have a home in your header. The goal is to highlight your social presence, but not to take shoppers away from your website. Have these pages open into a new tab so your website stays open for those hoping to easily return.
Paradox of choice – it’s the idea that if there are too many options, people can feel overwhelmed, and this can drive them to simply make no choice at all. How many choices is the right amount for your navigation? There isn’t one cookie cutter answer, but if you have to scroll through sub-navigation options, it might be too many. Review your analytics – what pages are customers visiting most often? How can you group them together for relevant sub-sections? Mapping this out with your team can be a great exercise – and a great way to identify pages that no longer belong in your sub-navigation. You might have seasonal needs such as a new product release and it’s easy to forget that time has passed, and you are featuring an old launch which no longer holds value for the shopper. Set a calendar reminder to check the navigation quarterly for old or outdated links (you can use that master email account you created for all these reminders). If you are a franchisee, always check on required navigation items and make sure you are staying compliant!
Refresh Your Design
As the seasons change, your website design can and should change with it. Ansira websites give our clients the flexibility to schedule and publish different designs including Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness, Whimsical Winter, Solstice, and more to always stay topical even when the weather shifts from cold to warm. Scheduling start and stop dates for this is an excellent way to avoid having snowflakes on your website in June.
A complete website overhaul is not typically needed, but a review of how customers interact is important. As mentioned earlier, you use your website every day. What about your friends, significant others, your teenage children – can they navigate to key areas of your site as seamlessly as you can? Have them test out your CX and give you feedback. Removing (or at least reducing) personal bias when making design changes is the right way to ensure your website is built for the consumer.
As we approach the year’s end, it’s crucial to revisit the fundamentals of website management for a more user-centric experience. Embrace these practices to stay agile and successful in the ever-evolving digital landscape. If our team can be of assistance with your website, feel free to contact us today.