The explosion of social media marketing, iPhone apps and widgets combined with tried-and-true search engine optimization and paid search marketing has given businesses the extraordinary superhuman power to be everywhere consumers are.
But Spiderman’s uncle wasn’t joking when he advised, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And with the capacity to be everywhere your customers are comes the responsibility to make sure that your website is in tip-top condition.
Because as your level of exposure grows, so does the amount of traffic to your website, and it’s imperative that it drives sales, leads and loyalty for your brand.
1. Style and design. Your website is the first thing people see when they’re looking for your brand online. First impressions can make or break a sales opportunity. Your website should look, sound and feel like your business. It also should communicate your brand’s message in a manner that your audience understands and appreciates.
Could someone immediately recognize your brand by quickly glancing at your website? If not, start taking steps to ensure they can. Maintaining consistency of color, type, imagery and layout is an important step in this process, as is upholding a credible, professional appearance. The style and design of your website should closely align with that of your brand personality. Taking this step typically results in greater sales.
2. Organization. Your site must be well-organized so visitors can easily navigate through it. Every step of your sales process should be clear and consistent, because a confused customer most likely will go straight to your competitor for clarity. Clearly specify all stages of the sales process, and be sure that the information you provide is meaningful and encourages conversion.
3. Navigation. When consumers visit your site, they shouldn’t have to sort through multiple layers of navigation to find what they’re looking for. Your main navigation and subnavigation should be straightforward and well-organized; the harder you make customers work for information, the more likely you are to lose them.
4. Interface friendliness. First, be sure that your forms aren’t asking for too much personal information. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes; don’t push them too far. Also, visitors should receive timely answers to their questions, concerns and comments. Consistently follow up with customers after they place orders. Treating customers the way you’d want to be treated goes a long way in retaining them.
5. Social sharing. Does your website provide quick and easy ways for visitors to distribute your content? If visitors to your website see something they like, they’ll likely want to share it with their friends via social networking sites, email and text messaging, so encourage this by providing easy ways for them to post and share content.
Good content keeps them returning and great design adds creditability to your organization!