Let’s begin with some knowledge you probably first heard about 20 years ago… “Your website is your new store front.” 20 years (and a pandemic) later, the same thing rings true! For posterity, here’s a slightly modified version of it, “Your website IS your store front.” In other words it’s the place where people come to do business with you!
But as much as this rings true, we still come across websites every day that don’t function properly when we try to buy things online, don’t have contact information readily available, and/or sites that don’t render properly on our phones. The most troubling thing about the situation is that every one of the businesses in these situations is forfeiting an opportunity not only to create a positive customer experience, but to make a sale!
If you haven’t caught on, what we are trying to say is that it is clearly no longer acceptable to have a “set it and forget it” attitude towards your website. It’s where your customers find you and form their very first opinions of you. It’s where they learn about what you do and if you’re a good fit for them. And it’s likely where they will take the next step to reach out to you and initiate business.
So what makes a great website? The simple answer to that question is, “it’s up to the user!”. And here’s a quick list of what users prioritize.
This really doesn’t need to be said at this point, but believe us, it needs to be said! We come across a surprising number of websites that don’t render properly on mobile and that can mean lots of problems… from customers going elsewhere, to search engines like Google not displaying your site in search results. If that isn’t enough, our digital marketing campaigns consistently show users not only view more ads on mobile than any other device, but they also click on those ads more.
When you walk into a restaurant, the host doesn’t immediately ask how you would like your steak done. They would obviously greet you first, direct you to the bar or to a table in the restaurant, and then they might tell you the specials. It’s not until later in the process, when you actually order the steak, that the staff asks how you would like it prepared.
Customers visiting your website expect the same experience. Greet them, welcome them in, and point them in the right direction. There’s no need to ask for a lead or a sale immediately. A website with a great flow, that considers the user’s journey, will deliver much better results.
Pro Tip – A great way to test your website’s user experience is to have your friends, family, or staff go through your website and simply observe. You might want to ask them questions like, “Is it clear what we do and how we help our customers?“. “Can you find our contact information?” You’ll quickly find out whether your website is delivering the type of experience that you’d like your customers to have.
It’s human to get caught up in all that we have to say. There also happens to be a lot of things that we want to say to our customers! But saying everything at once will overwhelm your web visitors and turn them away.
Pro Tip – Less text is more: choose impactful words, try using icons or images to break up copy, and prioritize what text and information is truly needed to direct users to the right place.
Ever clicked on a link and ended up in a place that seemed fishy? Your immediate response was probably click out of it and never click again. This usually happens when there is a disconnect between what we clicked on and where we arrived.
Pro-Tip – Make sure your digital marketing is cohesive. From your online ads, to your social media posts, to your website, your brand should be evident and consistent.
To put it simply, your customers think your website is important and they use it! Not only that, but they expect the same high-quality experience that they would get if they were to visit your “traditional” storefront.
Final Pro Tip – The average lifespan of a website is 3 to 5 years. If it’s been longer than that, it’s likely time to review it with a critical eye and determine if your online customers are getting the experience they deserve.
We hope this has been an informative read. If you have questions about your website, we do that! Our team of digital marketing experts at Hookd is always here to answer your questions, no matter how big or small : firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-396-1661.