The good news is, most website visitors want to reach your intended destination. Whether that destination inspires them to make a purchase, fill out a form, or any of a dozen other objectives, brand-consumer goals often begin in alignment.
The bad news is, your site may be throwing huge obstacles into their paths. These digital impediments typically confuse, frustrate, and stymie users, very few of whom have the time and patience to smooth things out. Their likely next step will be the quick exit – not exactly a brand boost.
Collectively, the website obstacles are categorized under the label ‘marketing friction’. As apt a designation as there ever was. Because friction is exactly what the phenomenon creates between user and brand. If your website is causing this (as it is for many brands), the solution is relatively straightforward – eliminate the friction-causing obstacles.
One of the primary obstacles is the indistinct link – the one that nobody can spot. Oh sure, your webpage is populated by links galore. But in certain cases, these connectors are invisible without the aid of a radio telescope. Since this apparatus will be in short supply, your best bet is to make certain that links jump out at the viewer, clearly distinct from the main text.
Distinguishing colors and bold underlines are two characteristics that can throw links into the spotlight. But be sure the colors don’t get lost in any other text colors utilized on the page. Design savvy is critical at this stage.
“So, what do I do next?” is a question that should never float through the mind of a user. If it does, your page probably lacks a clear ‘call-to-action’ (CTA). This is the committal point, the very place where visitors decide if they will or won’t do as you intended. Given the overwhelming importance of a CTA, brank marketers should place this component on every page designed to spur action. Which probably is all of them.
Crystal clarity is essential to ensure maximum effectiveness of the CTA. Spell out in no uncertain terms exactly what you want users to do. Buy, fill out a form, read an informative article, enter a contest, etc. Once content is finalized, the CTA should be dropped into an eye-catching spot. Typically, this is somewhere near page bottom. But variations are possible. Again, design expertise will light the way.
Finally, strive for stylistic consistency. One of the biggest obstacles to smooth website navigation is a mishmash of styles. Glimpsing a different look on each page is distressingly confusing. Who knows what you’re about? A far more inviting experience is created when brands adopt a uniform style that flows from page to page.
If you have any questions or comments about minimizing marketing friction, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.