For many companies a website is an online brochure. They have it because everyone has one these days and it’s expected of them. While this maybe true, viewing a website in this way is a simplistic way to go and doesn’t really make the most of having online real estate.
Your website is an asset, one that can work for you or can be left idling and not maximised to it’s potential. Just like the name of your business is part of your branding, your website, and in particular your website design, can be a key part of your customer experience.
If people go to the effort of visiting your website then they are actively interested in finding out what your business is about. How can you make sure that you give them what they want?
And no, it’s not about flashy graphics or having over-the-top sales pitch. Or super-duper flying windows or mood music.
When it comes to website design just keep in mind what your customer wants. If your website answers these 3 questions well then your site is in good shape: What? Why? How?
What do you offer?
Is it clear when a visitor lands on your site what your business offers? No? Well, it should be and it’s easy to measure. You can assess how well your website answers this question by looking at the bounce rate in your statistics. If most web visitors are arriving on your site and exiting within 10 seconds then it either isn’t clear what you offer or your traffic is coming to your site expecting one thing and getting something else.
Why should they get it from you?
Help your visitors to understand why you offer what you do. In other words, what’s in it for them? This doesn’t just apply at the business level but at the product level too. If you’re an appliance retailer why should they choose an oven you offer over one from your competitor? Why do you select the stock you have? What makes it worthy? And don’t just list the product features. Tell customers why the product features are important. Use case studies and testimonials to demonstrate your capabilities.
How can they get it?
How can customers get what you’re offering? If you sell online then your shipping policy needs to clear, simple and upfront. Do you offer free shipping? Is there a minimum spend? Do you ship internationally?
If you offer a service then make it easy for prospective customers to contact you with an online contact us form. Make sure that these emails are sent to an active address and monitored regularly. There is nothing worse than a prospect filling out an online form wanting more information and then not receiving a follow up call or email.
If you sell offline then make it easy for people to find you. Include a map and list your opening hours and telephone number.
If you can answer those 3 questions simply and clearly then your website is in good shape. How does your site stack up?
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