If you knew what your customers wanted from your website, your life would be so much easier.
So how do you know what your customers want?
Well, when designing your website, the first thing not to do is focus on things like:
- Gadgets and gizmos
- Graphics and images
- How cool it should look
Because your customers haven’t been considered. And that’s a big mistake.
I know your website should reflect your business, but let’s face it, without customers you have no business.
That’s why your website should be all about your customers.
What your website visitors want
When someone comes to your website, other than being able to find their way around quickly, these are the top four things they’ll be looking for.
- Do you have what I want?
If the reader found you through Google search, the chances are they want what you offer. But unless you tell them what you do, how will they know?
Take a look at your homepage (the most likely page they will land on). Does it tell them about your company, how great you are and how long you’ve been trading? Or does it tell them how they’ll benefit from what you offer?
Does it show them that you understand their pain and have the solution they’re looking for?
If the answer is yes, congratulations, you’ve got sales.
If the answer is no, they’ve just hit the back browser and are in search of another site. Sale lost.
- Can they trust you?
There is a downside to running an online business, and that’s trust.
Because potential customers can’t walk into your showroom, touch and see your products, or sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with you, they are very sceptical and need a lot of persuasion before they buy.
How can you show them you’re trustworthy?
A professional website with great content (that’s relevant and useful) is an excellent place to start. They’ll also want to see a good About Us page that has substance (i.e. more than ‘we’ve been in business since…’). They want to see photos of you and your team, testimonials (video or written) from past clients, details of awards that you’ve won and any news items about you.
An interesting, up to date and informative blog is an excellent way of demonstrating your knowledge, showing you as an expert in your field.
All of these increase your credibility as a company they can trust.
- What do you do?
Your design, words and graphics all have to work together if you want your visitors to understand what you do.
Make sure you wipe out any industry jargon and corporate speak. Contrary to popular belief, jargon doesn’t make you sound smarter. It just confuses and, to the reader, comes across as a way of covering over the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Write in the second person (i.e. using ‘you’) and clearly show what you do, how it benefits your customers and how they can buy.
- Easy to contact
There is nothing more frustrating than landing on a website and not being able to find a phone number or email address.
Despite that fact that many of the corporate giants like to make you jump through hoops to get in touch with them, make sure you don’t.
Even if you have a contact form on your website, make sure you also include your email address, phone number and physical address. All will add weight to your credibility and will cater to everyone’s contact preferences.
If any of these are missing, your visitors are going to be asking why what are you trying to hide?
Time to take a look at your website
I could go an all day about what your website should contain, but these four elements are a must if you want your website to perform.
Make sure your customers are always at the heart of all your marketing materials. They are the centre of your universe, without them your business is nothing, which is why it’s essential you always think about their needs before yours.
Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a vast range of companies, from SMEs to blue chip companies around the world to create eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility.