When you started your business, I’m sure you gave a great deal of thought to how your business looked. You paid attention to every detail; location, size of building, appearance of your storefront, interior and on an on. You probably spent a great deal of time on what the customer would observe when they entered the door. You looked at your storefront from the customer’s point of view; was the interior pleasing and welcoming, were customers greeted by warm and friendly staff? I am certain you also concentrated on promotion of products and services by making it clear to the customer what you offered and the benefits they would gain from doing business with you. These things all set the mood for the success of your business and are details to consider for any storefront.But, what about your website? When you created your website, did you give the same attention to these details? Possibly you did but more than likely you did not. In today’s online e-commerce world, it is more important than ever before to design your website to attract and hold customers. Your website is the most effective tool you have to attract and keep customers and should be treated with respect through planning, good design and effect sales processes.
I am going to focus over the next few days on how to increase the effectiveness of a business website. For today though, let’s look at a few points to consider when evaluating your website or when designing a new site.
1) What do your customers see when they first go to your website? Did you know that studies have proven you have less than 5 seconds to gain your customer’s interest? All traffic is not equal, you may be getting a great deal of traffic, but how long are visitors staying on your website? How effective are you at grabbing and holding their attention?
2) Do your customers know immediately what you offer and the benefits of doing business with you? Do they know what your business is all about? A customer should not have to read through a lot of words to figure this out. They should know immediately upon entering your site. Afterall, you only have 5 seconds for them to know.
3) Is there a clear “call to action” message on your site? People who visit a business website are normally looking for products and services. Do you have a clear message on the front page to encourage them or “tell them” to take action and buy your products or services? You must gently encourage your potential customers to do business with you and only a clear call to action can do this effectively.
I encourage you to look at your website and compare it to your storefront. These are only 3 of the 30 points that create an effective website, but they are points with great value to your business. Give some thought to what your website looks like to a new or existing customer. Does it nail these first 3 points?
I would like to know your thoughts on these points and I have more to come.