Prior to my current career as a professional B2B copywriter, I owned and operated a website development business. My company, Website Mastery, was committed to creating high quality websites.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wasn’t necessarily creating the best user experience websites. In fact, I didn’t realize “user experience” was my responsibility. After all, my clients seemed to know what they wanted. My process was simply to follow the natural order of building a website:
- Functional integrity
- Graphic design
Wanted: The Best User Experience Website
My website projects were completed in two stages. First I would build it and design it. Then, my clients provided their content and I’d add it to their site. But their content wasn’t at all optimized to create the best online user experience.
Another challenge was that clients often took months to come up with their content. Some took more than a year, or never got back to me at all. I later found out this was because they’d gone out of business!
The truth is that planning and creating a website is a big undertaking. And creating content is time consuming and hard to do because it requires specialized knowledge and experience.
What Website Users Want
A manufacturing company may be an expert on their products, they don’t necessarily know much about copy or content. However, this is essential if you want to get found by the right prospects.
Because in order for them to find a reputable company like yours, your site must serve two key purposes. It must build your reputation and create visibility in your targeted markets. And it’s on you to make that happen.
After creating a significant number of websites, I concluded there are five ways to build reputation and visibility into your website.
5 Ways to Create the Best User Experience Websites
Here again are the 5 parts of an effective website. But this time they’re listed in the order that emphasizes website effectiveness, and the strategy behind each:
Step 1 – Utility
This is a strategic step that has nothing to do with the work of building a site. Rather, it has to do with planning your website so it’ll build visibility.
And this basically comes down to making it sure it has the right web pages, such as a blog. Further, it may involve web optimization or SEO by knowing which search engine keywords to integrate into your site.
Step 2 – Usability
Another strategic step is configuring how your site so it fits into your overall sales process. What’s the mission of your website? How will your site lead visitors to your final goal?
Step 3 – Persuasiveness
Essential to building your reputation is how your homepage sums up your positioning and main offer. What copy and content should be included? How will you educate prospects to build your authority? What should your tone of voice be? What words will customer’s relate to best?
Step 4 – Graphic design
Graphic design is an obvious factor in building reputation and making a lasting impression. How will it support your company’s positioning and the utility of your product? How will it make your website more usable and persuasive?
Step 5 – Functional integrity
Your website needs to work without fail. What technology should you use? How will you manage it? Should you use a content management system like WordPress? How will you edit and update the site? What is your mobile strategy?
Website Usability Checklist
Today, rather than build new websites, I usually fix broken ones. Not those that are broken technically, but the ones that need more reputation and visibility.
Because most website owners are not website experts, I offer a “Strategic Website Audit,” to help them understand what they’re up against. My audit is sort of like a Midas Muffler Report, but for your website instead of your car.
As the use of the web continues to grow, it’s never been more important to have a great website user experience. To get started, take a look at this Website Usability Checklist.
Part 4: How to Ignite Your Site
Up next I’ll be introducing my “Ignite Your Site” Report. Click here for your free Website Usability Checklist.