Many business owners overlook the importance of having a high converting and engaging company website. What they fail to understand is that a properly optimised website can be a powerful tool in creating brand awareness and ultimately driving sales. A strong and unified SEO and PPC strategy can have a very real impact on a company’s bottom line and bring a big return on investment. However, getting people to notice your website in the search engines and click on it is only half the battle.
If a potential customer lands on your website and doesn’t engage with your brand almost instantly then they are only a click away from buying from your competitor. This is why continuously testing and improving how potential customers view and interact with your website is so important. If your bounce rate is above 50% and people are spending mere seconds on just one page on your website before leaving, then you are either a) not relevant to what they are searching for or b) have made a bad impression. Either way, every time a new user clicks off your site without making a purchase or enquiring about your services, you have missed out on a potential sale.
Below we have outlined some simple ways to improve the customer experience of your website, resulting in better user engagement and ultimately a higher conversion rate.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
Website users do not want to have to work out what to do when they arrive at your website. Imagine going into a new supermarket and being confronted with chaos – there is no clear signage or structure to the aisles and you have no idea where to find the items you need. Chances are you will get frustrated and head straight for the exit, right? The same is true of online shopping.
To avoid losing customers in this way you need to break down any barriers they may be experiencing when browsing your website. Think about the following:
- Is your site navigation clear and easy to follow?
- Are call to actions selling the next step of your service? Is the site content highly relevant and targeted?
- Are your contact details easy to find?
- If you landed on your website as a potential new customer, is it clear from the onset what your company is?
- Do you overcomplicate pages with bright colours and too many features?
Your focus should be on directing potential customers on what you want them to do and making it super easy for them to find the information they need….quickly. Try using internal links in your text to help navigate website users to other relevant pages on your website and place call to actions above the fold.
Make your site interactive
The way we browse the internet has evolved considerably over the years and there is an increasing demand from consumers for brands to make their websites interactive. Live Chat is a popular feature that more and more websites are employing to allow consumers to interact with them directly at any time of the day. This enables them to capture sales and enquiries at anti-social hours when their offices may be typically closed. An eMarketer report found that online buyers who had used live chat were more likely to make online purchases at least once a week (40%) than buyers who had never chatted (22%).
Minimise load speed time
We are all familiar with websites that are either painfully slow to load, or fail to load altogether. As a website user this is frustrating and most of us do not have the patience to wait. It is much easier to click off a site and go elsewhere. Improving the speed of your website will ensure users do not give up before they have even reached your site. Sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load have dramatically higher bounce rates. Using a tool like Pingdom can ensure that you get an idea of your website load speeds across multiple locations around the world. This is particularly important if you are an international company.
Images are very important on a website since sometimes it may be your first chance to make an impression. Get the images wrong and you could confuse customers and worse, make a visitor feel insecure about your brand. Choosing relevant and high quality images can drive sales and increase conversions, helping to engage visitors to your website and focus their attention on your call to actions. In addition to personalising your organisation, they also reflect your brand as highly professional and trustworthy.
Omar Homes uses images very well on their website. They have included a gallery of images for each of their park homes, which allows users to scroll through and have a look at each feature and room in turn. The choice of images on the site are good because they are a) unique (not stock photos), b) good quality, putting the user at ease that the brand is legitimate and trustworthy, c) varied which allows the customer to get a thorough look at every detail of the product and d) formatted so that each product page has the same sized images and layout.
360 degree views are becoming an increasingly popular feature on websites, and are a great way for breaking down the virtual wall separating the consumer from the physical product. Of course, this will work better for some industries than others. For example, a company selling air conditioning services wouldn’t see much benefit from having this nifty feature on their website unless they had a cool office space they wanted to show off. However, for a luxury cottage agency looking to stand out in a competitive SERP of holiday companies, this could really influence the consumer’s final decision.
With so many illegitimate websites and bogus companies operating online, website users can naturally be skeptical of brands they have not come across before. Displaying shining testimonials from real customers on your homepage can help build trust with new visitors to your website since they show that you are a real company providing a great service. It is important that these reviews are authentic.
Another way to gain potential customer’s trust is displaying logos on your website of a) any awards you may have one and b) a) accreditations you hold that are relevant and recognised in your industry. The latter is particularly important if you are providing a healthcare service.
Botox clinic, FACEmed, has a good use of logos on its website showing that they are UK Health Registered and a Gold Aesthetics Award Winner. This information puts people at ease instantly when visiting the website, showing that they are accredited and genuine.
Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360
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