I get it. You’ve just launched a website for your business. It has your favorite colors, sayings, pictures, mission statement, logo, and products displayed perfectly so the world can admire it. The website is perfect, exactly what you wanted, and you’re in love! But I have to ask you, who is this website really for? You or your customers? Shouldn’t they be the ones to fall in love with it?
Although the answer seems obvious most businesses create their websites without even a remote thought for their customers. Instead they create websites based on their own likes and needs rather than concentrating on making their customers fall in love with it.
Your website is a fashion statement. It says a lot about you and your brand. However, it should also reflect the interests and tastes of your customers as well because if they don’t feel a connection to your website they most likely won’t stay. Studies have shown that it takes only 50 milliseconds for customers to decide if they like your website. If they like it they will stay a little longer. If they don’t, they will move on. Here are 10 steps you can take to make your customers fall in love with your website.
Fast Loading Pages
A report by Kissmetrics states that “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less” and 40% of consumers will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Can your business afford to lose 50% of its website visitors just because it is slow to load? I didn’t think so.
Make it a priority to get your website pages and all multi-media up to speed. This is especially important for catering to mobile users. So make sure you test your website’s loading time on your smartphone as well as tablet, laptop, and desk top.
Don’t Keep Them Guessing
Nothing will frustrate a customers more than not being able to find the information they are looking for on your website. It shouldn’t be an Easter egg hunt. Make finding information and resources on your website easy for visitors and start with the site’s navigation. Make sure your website’s navigation is logical, simple to use, and easy to look at.
Also,make it a priority to locate all vital information like business address, phone number, email, hours of operation, and contact us pages in easy to find places. It is good idea to locate that most basic of information in several different places throughout your website. Some of the popular places are the footer or header of the website, on the Contact Us page, and in the sidebar of each page. You want it easy for your customers to be able to contact you.
Also, clearly express who you are, what you do, and how you can help your customers in easy to understand text. Your job is to make it easy for potential customers to decide that your business has the answer to their problems. Don’t make them work for it because if you do they will turn towards your competitor who makes life easier for them.
Pleasing Website Design
You should never forget that most people are very visual. How something looks affects how people feel. There are many elements that make a website aesthetically pleasing to a person’s eye, far too many to list here, however here are some of the basics:
- Color – Using a complimentary color palette with one or two highlight colors to influence and guide users creates a beautiful and positive user experience. Too many colors or colors that are not coordinated well will only confuse and emotionally upset visitors to your site, making them want to leave.
- Images – I can’t emphasize this one enough. Make sure all pictures on your site are appealing, relevant, and support the message you’re trying to get across. Also, it is a must that all images be of outstanding quality. A blurry, dark photo of your product is going to do nothing except push potential customers away. Make what you are selling look amazing. If you don’t know how to do it, hire someone that does. It’s that important.
- Content – Make sure all content is well written, concise, and broken down into easy-to-read sections. Many people skim read online. Make sure your content is well organized with bold headings so anyone can summarize what your site is about with a quick glance.
- Navigation – As mentioned above, make it easy for visitors to your site to find what they are looking for. Enough said.
- Alignment – Make sure everything on your site lines up in an appealing way. Having content all over the place is frustrating at the least and downright anger inducing at the worst. Most people do not like chaos especially when they are trying to find solutions to their problems.
- Consistency – Make sure all the pages on your site follow the same design, colors, and flow. You can change things up slightly to create a little contrast but don’t get too crazy. If you abandon consistency many people will feel like they’ve been taken to another site and that could make them feel uncomfortable.
- White Space – Less is indeed more when it comes to content on a website. People need some room to breathe when looking at your site. If every single spot is taken up by something and calling for your customers’ attention it will exhaust them very quickly because they won’t know what to look at first. Don’t make your customers work so hard to get the information they need about your business and its products. Make it easy for the important things to be seen by leaving white space on your website.
The world already has way too many distractions for your customers. Don’t let your website be one of them. Although it might seem like the best way to draw visitors to your site, having too many pop-ups, animations, and flashing multi-media content on your site can have the opposite effect. Nothing is worse than trying to find information on a site and having one pop-up after another jumping out in front of your eyes or animations that keep talking to you.
Another huge pet peeve of website users is multi-media content that auto-plays when they arrive on the site. It’s jarring and, in some cases, embarrassing or detrimental to people’s lives. Many times people visit sites in public or while at work and having a video start automatically playing can cause distress. Don’t do that to them. You won’t make customers that way. If you absolutely MUST have a video auto-play when someone lands on your site, have the courtesy of having the video muted. Let your visitors decide if they want to hear what’s being said.
Much has been said about having a website that’s mobile optimized and in this day and age where 80% of internet users own a smartphone and 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (Impact, 2017) it’s time to realize this one is a MUST! Need I say more? I didn’t think so.
Let Them Know What’s Happening
If your site has any sort of process attached to it like a product cart, credit application submission, or even a Contact Us form, make sure you keep the user informed of what’s happening. Sometimes submitting a form or processing a credit card takes time to do. Have some indication on the site that shows your customer that the process is working as planned. Have a message or some type of moving graphic that let’s them know everything is okay. It’s frustrating to have spent time putting in all your information to make a purchase or apply for credit and then not know if it went through. You wouldn’t like it and you can be sure your customers don’t either.
Have a Blog
Give your customers a reason to keep coming back to your website. Offer them regular blog articles where you discuss subjects that they are interested in and that solve a challenge they may be having. Blogs help establish you and your business as the experts in your field.
Also, the more regularly you post a new blog the higher your SEO and website rankings get as well and that means more potential customers finding your products and services.
Make Sure All Technology Is Updated
Technology is constantly changing. The minute anything is updated the next update is generally on the way due to security vulnerabilities that are found and new techie gadgets that are continuously flooding the market. One of the prices we all pay for having the latest and greatest smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers is that anytime something new comes out, software and hardware technology needs to be updated and so does your website.
Making sure your technology is updated including your website and all its software and hardware, will go a long way in making sure that everyone who visits your site can view it on whatever gadget they’re using. Not keeping your website updated with the latest technology will limit or deter customers from coming back to your site due to usability issues. No one likes to go to a website and find it doesn’t display right or at all and when that happens they will move on to your competitor who does care enough to keep things up to date.
The general rule of thumb is that websites need to be updated at least every 18-24 months to keep up with technological changes and advances.
Keep Business Information Updated
Any time any thing changes in your business – products, services, business hours, inventory, branding, ownership, etcetera – make sure your website is updated. Nothing is more annoying and customer deflecting than having a website that gives incorrect information.
The purpose of having a website is to provide the information customers require in order to make the decision to purchase a service or product from you. Not keeping the basic of information updated can cause doubt in customers’ minds ranging from wondering whether you still carry the same products or services to deciding whether you’re still in business or not. Do not give them that power! Make it a priority to update your information immediately when it changes.
Make Customers Feel Secure
If customers don’t feel secure about coming to your website, quite simply, they won’t. It’s your job – and in some instances, it is required that you do – to make sure visitors to your website are secure and their sensitive information is safe.
Some ways to make sure your site is secure are to have all the latest security features in place. Things like SSL certificates and Better Business Bureau logos, if applicable, are a must on any website.
Other ways to help visitors to your site feel secure doing business with you is to have testimonials and reviews from your customers regarding your services and products. People trust other people’s opinions and are more likely to purchase products and services if they see that your business gets plenty of great recommendations.
Also, list any awards or recognition your business or products have received. The more positive the feedback visitors to your site see about your business, the more likely they are to do business with you. Give them every reason to trust that you can solve their problems.
The Bottom Line
When creating or redesigning your website it’s always best to constantly think like your customers. What are they looking for? What do they need? What are their pain points? What would make their website experience more pleasant and less frustrating? How can you guide them easily to the information they crave? When you really start thinking like your customers, you get the insights needed to make them love your website and business as much as you do and that should always be your ultimate goal.
Are you ready to make your customers love your website as much as you do? Then give NetSource Technologies a call today (800) 709-3240 to get started. We offer a full line of website development, design, maintenance, and hosting solutions to get you there! Contact us today!