If you were to find this website redesign candidate via a search, I’m sure that you would click away almost instantly. Why? You can’t find the answers you came to find. However, my website designer’s eye was so mystified by the collection of blunders, I decided this would be a good example to evaluate and redesign. Let’s take a closer look to see where this website went wrong.
First, the company name should tell us we’re in the right place. I think this is a company doing floral arranging classes, but I’m not sure. There’s so much going on, such a lot of small type.
The text below the large photo is not easy to read. There are photos to the right, some related to the text and some not. The story is so uninviting that I want to skip over to the photos, hoping to find what I want. Do you see what I mean?
N E X T – To find information on this site, visitors look for links or buttons to additional pages. In this website there are words with underlined text, linked photos (links not indicated), and a series of underlined, linked headings at the top of the page. This is not clear navigation, and the words used as links are sometimes unclear. This is not working, is it? Do we need a GPS?
This scattered and hidden navigation is one of the major flaws of this website. If you have good information to answer questions for your visitors, but they can’t find it, you will not have an effective website. Your visitors become frustrated and soon exit the site.
Says Jonathan Kranz, MarketingProfs,“You’ll gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace if your website caters to the needs of its users. By matching your Web presence to your customers’ Web habits,” he argues, “you stand the best chance of winning their confidence and cash.”
Create clear navigation to topics
the reader is looking for.
NEXT – We go to websites looking for answers to problems we have. Does this website do answer our questions? We won’t buy until our answers are found. “No matter what you sell or to whom, by framing your marketing message from the customer’s point of view first—not yours—you’ll craft much more targeted copy: customer-centric copy,” says Sharon Long Baerny at MarketingProfs. Let’s take a look at what this website says.
Because of the poor organization visitors, including me, can’t find much of anything but a list of workshops. These do have links to a secondary page, which is good, but the print is so small and uninviting that I don’t want to read it. There is just too much type as a list, no answers about what flowers to use at the anniversary celebation, or what flowers are available at the flower mart (for instance).
Joe Rawlinson, an e-Commerce Strategist with National Instruments says, “Your customers don’t care about what you want. They don’t care about your revenue goals, profit margins, or inventory problems. Customers care about their problems and what they want.
Always position your product or offering in terms of what the customer wants and how your product solves their problem,” Rawlinson adds.
NEXT – This website also has a blog (although the link to it is very hard to find). There were some current activities, a testimonial of one activity, and a teaser for their newsletter. There was also a video of the Royal Wedding and a link to buy the company’s Hand-Tied Bouquets video. Testimonials are great and the call to action another plus. The rest of the blog was more of a weekly activity list with archives back to 2007 and answered few questions for readers.
The potential of a blog to offer articles about how customers are succeeding after taking classes or more insights about a tour of a local botanical garden was lost with a haphazard mixture of activities. If there was a goal for your blog and above all, a schedule, your visitors could then look forward to new and informative articles.
NEXT – The blog also had a link to the company’s FaceBook page, the only place I saw this link. FaceBook can be an excellent method to spread the word about your website and your articles and workshops. You know what I’m talking about.
To accomplish the integrated blog and easy updating of the website I’m recommending changing to WordPress. WordPress is a online website software that was introduced for blogging, and includes the option of having comments – conversations with your customers. These comments are similar to the word-of-mouth of FaceBook and Twitter; your friends talk about what a great article they’ve found and send people to it via links. Comments are the direct reaction of readers to the article along with their own tips or questions. A must have!
All of your blog articles (posts), along with the website pages, become an extensive source of keywords to be found by Google and other search engines. Write about “flower arranging” and “yellow mums” and “cascade bouquets” in articles, and Google will answer queries for those phrases with your website and article in the results.
The WordPress theme template will easily keep the pages consistent and add clear navigation.WordPress also provides plenty of options to make the website interesting and useful. Nothing but advantages to this major change. I’ve listed three benefits, and there are many more.
I’ve completed my evaluation. Here is my plan for the redesign.
- Decide or redefine the purpose of the site.
- Layout the home page and the additional pages for easy reading, using better placement of photos and larger, clearer text.
- Develop new navigation and change to titles looked for by your customers.
- Rewrite all the website pages and new posts to give it the focus and the answers the customer is looking for.
- Move the whole website, including the blog into WordPress software for ease of client use and article organization. Write new articles to help visitors solve problems. Publicize your testimonials for credibility.
- Include a call to action on every page of the website to create leads and offer credibility.
- Include social media links on all pages of the website and on each article to encourage comments and recommendations.
- Add keywords recommended by research of the industry and additional SEO work so that search engines help customers find your website.
We now know what needs to be done.
Some factors that I did not list in the improvements we need to make above are the logo design and social media accounts and page sites. We are not going to include those in this website redesign as I consider them another project. Fair enough?
N E X T
In the next part I’ll select the new template, write our new copy, write some new articles, and find additional photos for these new articles. Get inside the redesign: Website Redesign Step 2. If you’d like to go directly to the final edition without the development work, see Website Redesign Winner. It’s going to be a clean, clear, and effective site at the end of our redesign. Check it out!
For more on website evaluation, try my FREE downloadable “10-step Website Eval.” What’s one tip you have for evaluating a website? Share your tip in the comment box below.