The sun was setting as we walked up to our bed and breakfast in Broadway, a charming village in the Cotswolds.
Andy opened the door with a warm handshake and a smile, welcoming us inside so we could drop our bags before he gave us a tour of the house.
Starting in the entranceway, he gave us a brief history of the house, which used to be the station master’s house in the early 1900s. This is the exact location, he explained, where the steam railway’s operator lived and managed the train line.
By the door, Andy pointed out some flashlights that we could borrow at night and just inside the door he showed us a table full of brochures and guidebooks on Broadway and the surrounding countryside.
As Andy led us through the breakfast room, living room and up to our bedroom, my boyfriend and I immediately felt welcome and at home knowing exactly where everything was and how everything worked, from putting in our breakfast order to indulging in a nightcap before bed.
He pointed out the obvious (“Here’s the snack bar”) and the not so obvious (“The hallway lights are on a timer”), leaving no questions in our minds. Little did he know, but Andy was perfectly exemplifying how your website’s content can attract more people and convert more prospects.
Using Andy as our guide, here are three benefits of being as clear and transparent with your site’s visitors as possible.
Your readers feel welcome
During Andy’s tour, he told us since we were staying in one of the smaller rooms that we could spend as much time in the living room as we’d like.
Oh, and the light in the bathroom, he made sure to tell us might not turn on completely (it’s only happened once or twice) but the light above the mirror should be bright enough if needed.
His explicit instructions and homey tips for our stay put us completely at ease.
To provide this sense of comfort to your audience, use straightforward headlines on your blog posts that tell readers exactly the benefits they will receive by clicking through. Also, make sure your landing pages have uncomplicated titles, use clear language and a clean layout with ample white space.
It’s easy for customers to find their way around
Shortly after our arrival, we knew exactly where we could find things, and if not we knew we could ask Andy. The first morning, we even knew to put the long spoons we used for jam in a tall, clear glass so they wouldn’t leave sticky spots behind.
Everything was intuitive and easy to follow.
That’s what your website should strive to do — seamlessly lead your visitors from one page to another while providing them with the information they need to learn more about your service and purchase your product.
You can do this with the headline and layout suggestions above along with call-to-actions that pop out on the page, an easy way to contact you directly and user-friendly navigation.
These guidelines also apply to things like your business’ social media posts and newsletters — always aim to make your outreach messages clear with unambiguous directions so that your readers know exactly what to do next and are therefore more inclined to click to learn more.
A return visit is more likely
The night before we left the bed and breakfast, Andy reminded us that the steam railway reopens in March and when the weather is warmer, the village is buzzing with things to do.
He also told us he’d be happy to pick us up from the train station next time and if we wanted to go on a new hike, he would drop us at a footpath in the town nearby and show us which pubs and gardens to stop at along the way.
In other words, he gave us many reasons to come back. And I’m certain we will!
So when thinking about how to get visitors to return to your site, think about what you can offer them: free expert advice, exclusive deals and discounts, an online course, downloadable templates. Be creative! Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and ask, why would I go here and not somewhere else?
If you get stuck, remember Andy and his wife, Jenni — the perfect hosts. They made us feel right at home by giving us a carefully thought-out tour, precise instructions and multiple reasons to plan a return trip.
All photos by Alex Chirita.