Keeping up with the digital technology can be so overwhelming when you run your own business. According to a study by MYOB 53% of SMEs don’t have an online presence, a somewhat risky decision when 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. If you’re not amongst it you could get left behind.
But just throwing together a website and calling it a day is not going to cut it. It’s what attracts customers to come inside and give you their business and your website should be treated the same. It’s your digital store front.
And you wouldn’t have the window of your store in shambles would you?
Here are some must-haves for your website that will encourage customer engagement and ensure they have a great experience.
Over 60% of all internet users access websites from their phones or tablets, and this number is only going to increase as devices become more accessible and cheaper.
Your potential customers are either on the go, looking for a place to eat, lounging in front of the television, browsing through the latest fashions, or hurriedly looking for a plumber to unclog the sink.
All this is most likely done on their smartphone or tablet and Google (the all-powerful search engine) ranks mobile friendly sites higher than those that aren’t.
So when you develop your website, ensure it works as well, if not better, on mobile.
When it comes to websites, the KISS rule applies: keep it simple, stupid.
The chances of your potential customers staying on your website will have to do with how fast it loads and how easy it is to navigate.
Design your website for the finger, so it’s easy to click onto things from a mobile device and leave all the fancy things behind. This will also ensure that it loads faster on a desktop so you’re covering all your bases and probably making things a lot simpler.
Google also considers the content and structure of a website when ranking, so having a clean design with a clear logic is vital.
How’s this for a scary fact: 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% abandon sites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
A quick loading page speaks volumes to site loyalty. To make sure your site speed remains optimised you need to take a look at things like the size of your page, the total amount of files that need to load, and once again keep your website simple with easy navigation and no bells and whistles. Music? A fancy home page drenched with multimedia? It will just increase load time. Keep it simple and functional and you’ll be able to hold the interest of today’s attention deficit society.
Have a number, email address, and a contact form that is easily visible.
It’s frustrating when someone visits your website, has a question and can’t find a way to get in contact. That is a sure fire way for them to click out of your website, and find someone else- someone who actually has included their contact details.
One tip is to make sure that the number or email address can be copied easily or clicked onto from a smartphone to instantly make a call. It’s all about making it easier for the consumer.
It is so important to clearly state on your website what you do. You don’t need pages of copy, but one or two sentences stating who you are what you do and your point of difference can be really powerful and engaging.
Depending on the type of business you run, you could include information that would be of value to the customer. If you are a service based business, a testimonial or review could speak volumes, and if you run a restaurant, a menu with your various locations might be handy.
An online retailer might want to include some good quality pictures of merchandise with specifications of each product. Tailor your information to suit your business and remember less is more, but make sure whatever you have on your website adds value.
Once you have a working model, give it to a diverse range of friends and family – from the tech savvy and impatient teenager, to the slightly less tech savvy senior citizen – to get their thoughts and see if it meets the above criteria.
If not, rinse and repeat until you get it right.
Having your business become extinct is the last thing you want to happen, so these tips should be a great starting point to ensure you’re doing everything to enhance your digital store front and enticing those online customers to choose you.