Imagine this; A Baby Boomer finds his way to your website. He scans your homepage but isn’t quite sure what you offer. One… two… three… four… five… GONE! Probably forever. Your web visitors have 3 primary questions on their minds when they land on your site:
- Where am I?
- What can I do here?
- Why should I do it?
You can take simple steps to help your Boomer visitors quickly understand what you offer and move along the path from pitch to purchase. After all, don’t you want the experience your Boomer visitors have on your website to be easy and enjoyable rather than an exercise in frustration?
- Have a tagline that clearly spells out what you do.
- Have a customer-centric and benefit-rich headline using the reader’s words.
- Design your web page in a familiar format.
- Use clear, easy to read fonts
- Don’t try to be creative with hyper-links.
- Stick with the ‘rule-of-two’ for clicks.
- Offer clear action steps and guide users along.
Not every domain name is chosen with clarity or the customer in mind. Some are simply the ‘businessname.com’. That’s fine if you are so well-known that everyone recognizes the name-like Sears.com, Ford.com or RedSox.com. But often a domain is chosen in a creative effort to be clever. Take, for instance, http://www.plaidonline.com. Without the tagline, “We sell craft supplies,” a visitor would be scratching their head trying to figure out what was being offered. Here’s another example. The business name, ‘Beginning to End,’ really does not tell you what the business is at all. But their tagline, ‘Professional Event Coordinators’ explains it all in three simple words. With a clear tagline, you not only help your Boomer visitor know what you do but you help the search engine ‘spiders and crawlers’ understand what you’re all about. Be sure your tagline includes the keyphrases you’re using for your website so the search engines can easily find you.
By anticipating what your Baby Boomer customer will be thinking about before he arrives at your website, you can craft a headline that offers a perfect solution to the problem that is on your visitor’s mind. Make it big, bold and obvious. This is one of the fastest ways to have your visitor know he’s found what he’s searching for. And he’ll be relieved and willing to stay.
The most successful web pages all follow the same familiar format: ~Place your navigation menu in the left-hand column or at the top of the page. Your navigation choices should clearly guide the visitor to what they need. ~Make sure the most important, keyphrase-rich copy is centered above the fold on the first page. ~Be sure there is plenty of white space, powerful subheads and bulleted lists for scanning ease. People will not read large blocks of text. ~Place your logo in the upper left corner. ~Be sure the copy follows the natural left-to-right eye path. ~Include your telephone number and contact information clearly on every page. ~Place graphics on the right where they won’t interfere with messages. ~Avoid flashing graphics that annoy many people. They’ll just click away. ~Always include a site map.
It’s very important to select fonts that are easy to read and big enough for any age group: ~Avoid white text on a dark background that is difficult for readers, especially Boomers and beyond. ~Keep your font colors consistent from page to page. ~Don’t use too many colors or your page will look cluttered and be difficult to read. Remember, clarity and simplicity are of utmost importance to help your Boomer visitors quickly figure out what you are offering. Never make your visitors work hard or you will lose them!
Some web designers like to try to coordinate the colors on the web pages, including the colors used for hyper-links (the underlined text that you click to be taken to another page). People are familiar with the underlined, blue text for hyper-links. Don’t vary this. Say enough in your link text to make it clear what’s behind the link. Be sure to use your selected keyphrases in your hyperlinks-again pleasing the search engine spiders and ‘bots as well as your reader.
Research shows that the higher the number of clicks before a visitor gets to what they want, the lower the conversion rate. Have no more than two clicks to a desired page of information or to a shopping cart and watch your conversions increase.
With action verbs and clear directions, you can move Boomer visitors along towards your desired action: ‘view demo’, ‘sign up for our newsletter’, ‘learn about xyz product’, ‘download your free report’, or ‘purchase your subscription now’… all clearly tell a reader what to do. And there you have it. Seven simple, clear and easy steps that will have your Baby Boomer web visitors nodding their heads and moving along to taking your desired action.