Chances are, your company has at least one competitor, if not several. Even if you serve a narrow niche, your product or service may not be the only solution a buyer has to choose from.
People get overwhelmed when they have more than one choice. Consequently, today’s buyer is seeking quality information about and solutions to their problems, especially in a setting where there’s risk.
Today’s buyer uses the internet to research products, services and viable alternatives. Only after a customer believes your company offers a possible solution will the proprietary nuts-and-bolts of goods or services become relevant.
As you contemplate the design and content of your website, consider whether it is focused on praising your company or on demonstrating real value to your visitor. If you find you need to shift to a “you” website design (more customer-focused), use these techniques to attract, retain and convert your website traffic into leads for your business.
Update Your Copy
Over time virtually all website copy can become out of date and ineffective.
For that reason, you need to re-read your website periodically and make adjustments to what it says. Some questions to ask might be:
- Have you added products or services since your website was re-launched? Are they all included?
- Should you update areas of the site with information about new product or service lines?
- Are you no longer offering some products or services, and have mentions of those been removed everywhere?
- Does your homepage talk about what you do, or what your customers want (benefit-driven copy)?
- Does your website use words or acronyms that only people at your company would understand?
Outdated information or statements that are too specific to your company can interfere with the connection between your website and your target audience.
Both the homepage and landing pages are crucial. Ensure that your landing pages answer your customer’s top questions. Do you address price? Do you address delivery of your product or service?
Making it easy to get from one page to another is only the first step in making sure your customer can navigate your website. A “best practice” used to be to give visitors links to everything as quickly as possible. The more links, the better.
That’s not the case anymore. The trend for corporate websites is to post more information that ever, meaning that websites are growing. If you link to everything on every page, things get too complicated.
Instead, consider the 2-3 next steps a reasonable person might want to accomplish as they navigate your website. Does your website present too many options that might confuse people?
Reframe Your Objectives to Reflect Your Customer’s Ideal Situation
Your ultimate goal is to satisfy your customers, so your copy should describe the benefits they’ll receive when they use your product or service.
Online consumers are looking for a solution to their current challenge. To grab their attention, your site should display the solutions offered by your products and services, not just the data about them. Tell them about the problems your company solves using their words, not yours.
Think of it this way. People use catalogs when they know what parts they need to order. A catalog is a product reference. Your website, however, is a tool to help customers make decisions about what’s right for them. That means you have to list more than services you offer or products you sell. Part numbers won’t help customers that are looking at a wide range of solutions.
Clean Up Typography and Landscape
Websites that are cluttered or disorganized pose additional problems. Information becomes hard to find, and they often load more slowly than other websites.
Potential customers researching your products and services have notoriously short attention spans and will navigate to another site rather than wait for yours to load fully or sort through pages of cluttered information.
Flashing ads, pop-ups and unexpected videos that “auto-play” can distract viewers from engaging with your content. In contrast, fewer words, larger fonts and clean lettering set off by plenty of white space will make your content easier to scan, read and comprehend.
Remember that people scan websites, not read them. Be careful to include customer-focused impact statements in headlines rather than in small type.
Shifting from an “us” website to a “you” website provides a better experience for your potential customers. Satisfied readers might just become your next satisfied customers.
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