It’s great to have your SEO, marketing campaigns, and customer loyalty programs all linked to your site, but is it really bringing in customers and getting your business out there in the IOT?
I have been involved in marketing for over 30 years in one way shape or form, helping small businesses identify their market and to help them be found.
We've put together the 10 things we think are the most important to help your business and ensure you retain your business and brand credibility.
1. Search Results
The first thing I do for any small business is to ensure their Google My Business and Bing Places For Business are well represented, detailed and include relevant images and videos. Users want to be reassured that they are working with a legitimate organisation or business, often requiring personal contact even if your business is online only.
Listing your site and business with local search platforms also helps you get found, ensuring ALL your images have the appropriate name and tag as well as video, check out Jacaranda Cottages video, with it's relevant title Jacaranda Cottages Maleny, Queensland, the property name, location and state or cottage it is relevant to.
People arriving at your site expect your navigation to be in familiar places that are easy to find. Upon landing on your page, about 50% of visitors look for the navigation bar to figure out where things are and what is relevant to them. Users want an easy way to acclimate themselves and move around without wasting time finding the main areas of the site.
Overall navigation hierarchy should really be at the top of the page. Ensure the logo on each page links back to the home page, another navigation feature that users expect. You have the most important elements first, and each main category has subcategories underneath. Having said that, keep pages to a minimum, especially now mobile devices are the main source of searches.
3. Offer Something Unique
If your customers are comparing similar products from three or more businesses, ensure you have something special to offer, whether it be an added incentive, special rate or personalised service, unique to new customers. All being equal, are you more likely to buy the one that offers an introductory deal or incentive.
Figure out how to give your users amazing offers they can’t resist and ensure you match your offer with what your users are looking for.
4. Contact Information
If you are selling a physical item or service, make sure your customer is able to contact you if they have an issue or concern, make it easy to contact you to find a solution. We all work hard for our dollars so they expect a way to get in touch. An email address should also be included but adding a phone number shows that you care about your customers.
A toll-free number may be a good idea if you service a large geographic area, make sure it is highlighted at the top right corner of your home page. A sticky header means whatever number you use stays at the page top, even when the customer is scrolling down through the site.
Stay consistent in your branding through all platforms, a serious tone on your website and a funny tone on social media just confuses customers. A beautifully laid out and clear website weighed down with tacky, grainy graphics on your social media makes people question your authenticity.
Though it’s never a good idea to take everything seriously, the overall tone, design, and personality should be consistent regardless of how customers come into contact with your business or brand. Big changes also often annoy customers, so think carefully before completely changing the look and feel of your site and make sure you announce the changes before they occur.
6. Ease Of Use
Make it easy for customers to access information, including any warranty or after sales information. Lay everything out clearly and concisely, so customers’ questions are answered before they even have a chance to ask. Use images to highlight the look of each product or service, with a short header description and summary of what you offer. Allow users to click on a link for more information rather than trying to give everything in a single view.
And don’t forget to name every image appropriately, they too are searchable content and there is nothing worse than clicking an image to see it labelled as a stock number.
7. Call to Action (CTA)
Give visitors to your site clear directions, guiding them through to the next step and explaining what action they should take next. A strong CTA is easy to locate, contrasts with the rest of the page and stands out against lighter backgrounds.
CTA does NOT always mean CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE, it takes things step by step.
Google’s constant changes include looking at how secure your site is. Using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), matters to many consumers. If they see a warning that your site is not secure, you may well lose customers before they get past the first page. HTTPS in front of your URL means SSL has been added, encrypting the information and keeping it more secure, particularly important on eCommerce, booking and appointment sites that collect personal information.
It is well worth the effort to protect your customers and keep your site trustworthy.
9. Mobile Responsive
More and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than ever before and it is suggested that over 79% of internet users not only receive and respond to emails on a mobile device, they also do most of their web browsing on a smartphone.
If your site isn’t mobile responsive up to 85% of your potential business could be lost due to lack of user experience. Responsive design really does matter and the statistics are growing, so get on board. Thoroughly test your site on different screen sizes and operating systems, across all types of mobile devices, from tablets to phones.
Up to 40% users will leave a site if it takes too long to load and broken images cause site visitors to bounce and become frustrated. Even though images slow down page load times, they are critical to ensure people respond and engage with your site. Optimised images load faster and videos are by far the most engaged media, embedding links from other sources can also speed things up.
In our busy world nowadays, anything you can do to make the customers’ visit to your website easier to engage with, will create dedicated customers. Look at your site through their eyes and figure out what works for your customers and what needs work for you.
So call Wicked Web today a dedicated small Australian business and let us help you help your customers, and get you found online. 0481 543 772