Web Design For Scuba Diving Shops
Having a properly made website is important for any business, however, for a scuba dive shop it is even more important. There are two key areas that I am going to look at. The first being the customer experience on the site. That is what we will look at today. Later this week I will be posting a second part of the series which will look at how your site should be designed and structured for search engines.
Part 1: The Customer Experience
The look and feel of any website is important. It gives the first impression of your operation. If you have a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated in 10 years, well there goes that good first impression. In a business where trust is so important you can not afford to make that mistake. The fact is, in most locations customers have more than one option when it comes to diving. You want them to choose you.
So the first thing is the general design of the site. Your site should have a clean design that gives off a professional image. It should be made to be compatible with as many browsers as possible. Some features of a website don’t look the same in Chrome as they do in Safari. Your site should be made “Responsive” so that it is cross browser compatible and will adjust to different screen sizes.
The next thing that a visitor to your site is going to look at is the main slider (if your site has one). You want to have good quality photographs in this picture. For a scuba shop you want to stick to what people are looking for. They want to see your boat and they want to see what type of marine life they have the chance to encounter. Professional quality underwater photographs go a long way in promoting your dive shop.
The next thing that is important for people when they are visiting your site is how easy it is to navigate and find what they are looking for. In today’s day and age people want things fast. They don’t want to have to click through 4 pages to find what they are looking for. It is important to have all of the main things people are looking for laid out in a way that is easy to find and shouldn’t be more than one click away. An easy to read menu with links to the dives and the courses you offer, the prices for all of your services, directions to your shop, a gallery of your photos, and a way for them to contact you should be the minimum.
It goes without saying that you need to have good content written on your site. Not only does it need to contain all of the information that your customer needs, it should be written in a way that is easy to read and understand. If your customer base is from varied languages it would be very beneficial to have your content available in their languages. Try to steer clear of the free translate tools as native speakers always agree that a lot is lost in translation using tools such as these.
The fonts you use should be easy to read and clean. While it is good to be unique fonts quite often should be left alone. No one wants to be straining their eyes when reading the content on your site.
The images you have on your website should be professional grade images but also not be lies. If you are a scuba diving company in an area where visibility is 20 feet on a good day, you should not put photos up from a trip you took to the Cayman Islands where the visibility was over 100 feet. You want to give customers an idea of what they may see when they visit your dive location. The images will likely be best case scenarios as you will be able to showcase some of the better conditions and all of the marine life which you have found over several years diving the area. This is fine, as long as you aren’t posting phony photographs.
With scuba diving websites it is important to build a level of trust with your customers right off the get go. Having customer testimonials, links to your facebook page (where you actively interact with customers) and links to your trip advisor page will allow customers to easily find out if you walk the talk. If you are really up to it, features such as Live Chat are great to allow visitors to see that there are really people actively running the website who are on their game. It’s important to note that you should only use the Live Chat feature if there will consistently be someone on the other end of the chat to answer questions the customers may have. And please don’t outsource this to people who have no knowledge of scuba diving and your dive shop. You want people who have answers to their questions and who they will meet in person when they visit your dive shop to be the ones in contact.
Later this week we will look at how you should construct your scuba diving website so that you will get the most out of search engine traffic.