You may have a website for your business, but when was the last time you looked at it, I mean really looked at it? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that merely having a website is enough, it isn’t.
Go back and look at your website, this time imagining that you are a potential customer.
Think about the following points:
How easy was it to find your site?
Put in a number of search terms relating to what you sell or a service that you offer to see where you appear in the natural listings (i.e. the search results that appear under the paid adverts). Don’t assume that just because you are number one today that you will remain that way. Search results change constantly, so check this regularly.
Navigating your website
Once you arrive at your website, firstly is it obvious what you are selling/offering? Pick a product or service and try to search for it (remember you are visiting the website for the first time). How many ‘clicks’ did it take to get to the right page? Can you identify areas where potential customers might be misled and end up on the wrong page? Most people visit a website and expect to find what they are looking for relatively quickly (the rule of thumb is that everything should be no more than three clicks away from the home page) and without having to scroll down the page.
When you find the page you are looking for, is there enough information about the product? What would make you want to buy this product? Does it have a USP? Is there a call to action?
Visit competitor websites, particularly those who are ranking close to you. How do their websites differ from yours? If they are selling the same products and services as you are, think about what would make your company stand out from theirs.
The most important information that you want to get across to your potential customers should be displayed at the top of your homepage. For example, your contact information, clear headings, a search box, a call to action and testimonials.
You are the potential customer again. Re-visit your website. This time you want to know more about your company to help you make your buying decision. Perhaps you want to know about the company’s reputation, history, is it a trusted source of information, an expert in its field? Can you find this information on your site? You could be more expensive than a competitor, but why? Do you do things differently, offer something more?
So you’ve made up your mind what product you are going to buy. How easy is it to purchase this product? Can you buy on line? If not, is it obvious who to contact? Is it easy to find this information? If it isn’t, bear in mind that this may cost you a sale.
Keeping in touch
Are you social? Do you interact with your customers and is it obvious? When they visit your site, can they find your social network contact information so that they can keep in touch with you?
However you do your business, you can’t afford to ignore the importance of your on line presence. Your website is your opportunity to showcase your work and to stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete website redesign, but taking the above points in to consideration, will certainly help if you want to enhance your visitor experience.