The potential customer’s journey with you and your business actually starts well before they reach your actual website.

A visitor to your website may have taken a long and winding path to get to your site via a plethora of different channels and links.

They may have even heard of your company offline via word of mouth, or met you at an exhibition or a networking event, or they may have found you via an online channel such as paid search, social media or email marketing.

This article looks to outline what will give the potential customer a good journey once they actually reach your website.

So the key things to remember when defining a good customer journey once they reach your website are;

1) Optimised Landing Pages

Visitors will have been directed to your website potentially via a number of different avenues, however you should assume that they have landed on the page of your site for a specific reason.

You should also not assume that they have landed directly on your homepage, as they may have been directed to the most relevant page on your site for their search.

It is for this reason that you can really help your customer to achieve whatever it is they need by optimising every page on your website as much as possible to ensure they get everything they need without needing to navigate too far from where they have entered.

2) Clear path to Conclusion

When we say ‘clear path to conclusion’ we mean you need to make it very obvious what any visitor should be doing when they land on your site and how they should achieve it.

For example, you may want the visitor to simply read and share your information or to sign-up to your newsletter or to download an infographic or to buy something from you. If any of these are the case, then you will need to guide them around the page to this ‘call to action’ in order to bring their journey to a successful conclusion.

The page should not be cluttered, leave plenty of space for the eye of the user to naturally find its way around the page. However when their eyes do land on some content or imagery ensure it is relevant, succinct, meaningful and has an end goal in mind.

3) Easy to Navigate

This should be a no brainer, but as obvious as it sounds, making navigation easy for visitors should be at the forefront of any web designers mind, yet often isn’t.

Things as simple as good use of colour to ensure navigation and text can be clearly seen. Clear, easy to see, meaningful calls to action in strategic places on the page.

4) Consistency, Consistency, Consistency  

Consistency is very important, from the style of web page right through to the tone of the content and more importantly the brand as a whole.

If a visitor gets confused while they are on your website or feel that they their experience is not consistent with what they were led to believe they will leave very quickly.

You wouldn’t want to walk into an HMV branded store in a shopping mall only to find out that once you had entered it was actually a Topman clothes shop. You would walk straight back out and walk down the street until you did find an HMV.

5) The Gutenberg ‘Z’

The Gutenberg Diagram describes what happens to people’s eye movements when traversing a webpage. In general people tend to read from top left to top right then move down the page diagonally down to bottom left then finish off by moving over to the bottom right quadrant.

If you use this concept as a loose guide, then the most important information should always be in the top left and right quadrants, and being aware that content further down the page will be far less likely to be seen or acted upon.