Standing out above the rest: Part 1 – Websites
Does your website interact with users the way they now expect websites to?
of this century when the World Wide Web was making its impact, there was a feeling that businesses needed a website. This feeling was not driven by client experience rather because everyone else was doing it. As Web2.0 began to grow so did the number of websites.
In 2000 there were approximately 17 million websites with an average of 24 visitors to each site and about 400 million internet users worldwide. Fast forward to 2018 there are now more than 1.3 billion websites for approximately 3.0 users per site and almost 4 billion internet users.
These stats are staggering and scary at the same time. For any organization with a website, this is not an area where you want to be or can afford to be average.
With the launch of all the free website creation platforms and social media platforms. It has definitely made it easier for businesses to be online. We will visit the social media stats in another article.
We will focus on the problem that faces most organizations with a major digital asset. With their online shopfront that is their website. It is important to note that the flow-on effect into all other online and offline assets may be affected by this.
So what has changed? Well at the start of the website revolution, organizations added as much content on the website as possible. If you were lucky enough to have first experienced websites in the era of DIAL-UP internet. Then you will remember how they resembled food that someone may have thrown up.
They were extremely text heavy with splashes of red, yellow, neon blue and luminous green thrown in, probably to add some sort of humour. What this meant for the average visitor was, that you could spend hours reading through these never ending pages of text. Just to find the relevant information you wanted.
For a lot of us we came out frustrated not having found it. Or if you were lucky enough to find it once, it would drive you crazy having to find it again.
User Experience. Pfft. What was that? Sounded like science fiction to a lot of organizations! What’s funny is that it is still a relevant sentiment for a few organizations right now.
Websites have now evolved to have the relevant content structured and broken down. In order make it easier for visitors to the website to find the information they need, quickly.
The biggest competitor now for any business when wanting to engage with its customer base is, time. In the 1970’s we were exposed to 500 ads daily as opposed to over 5000 now.
How as a business do you ensure you engage with your potential client base?
Now more than ever, a company must build a profile that is world class. Utilize all the available technology to their advantage, put their business front of mind for their clients. Whilst implementing systems that make it easier for the business to focus on customer service.
How to stand out
As a business you need to be smarter on your approach to creating the website that your user base interacts with. To achieve this aspect the business must firstly and most importantly remove their EGO.
As a business, the website has nothing to do with you, not really anyway. It is for your users, potential clients and possibly investors.
People are not invested in your awards and who you have worked with. The first thing they want to know is – ‘What’s In It For Them?’ (WIIFT). Once they know this then they will consider your awards and testimonials. Therefore the first thing they should learn when they get to your website is, what you can do for them?
Below are some of the elements that may help a business to achieve a better return on their investment when looking to create or refresh their website:
- The website must be simple to navigate and modern.
- Text must be chosen well to complement the brand and sizes and different font styles kept to a minimum.
- Video is the biggest driver of traffic online now, so create video testimonials, videos introducing your team, etc and add them to add credibility and engage prospects.
- Mobile friendly is a must especially when you consider that over 60% of all online searches, worldwide, are now done on mobile devices.
- Check and ensure your website has a fast loading time, less than 2 seconds is preferred by most users. If any longer than this, users will expect it to perform slowly and may leave that website disappointed and may not return.
- Provide gamification where possible, this will allow a business to create systems that engage website visitors.
- Zeroing in on the services/products that people are looking by using a heat mapping tool. These be deployed to learn where people exit your website, what they engage with the most and what journey they follow. Heat mapping tools like Hotjar and Crazyegg as well as Google’s own analytics are great for this.
- Chat bots if designed well are a great way of taking visitors to your website on a journey. This journey can walk them through what your business does best. Or you can enable visitors to pay for products/services or pre-qualify them before booking appointments with your team.
- Provide tools that ask for feedback and/or follow up with visitors to the website who buy products/services to understand their experience.
- Update and refresh your website every couple of years at most. Technology advances at an amazing rate and utilizing a lot of the tools that become more readily available will help businesses get the most out of their website. Users preferences continue to change and these 2 stats are amazing –
- 79% of online shoppers will not return to a slow loading website and 44% of these shoppers will recommend their friends to not use that website,
- 86% of people will buy from a website with positive reviews and 90% will not buy if there are negative reviews,
A well designed website is an asset for your business and to your client base. It will help drive traffic that may lead to new connections, higher sales, better local market share, access to new markets and add credibility to the business.
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