These days, more and more people are using the Internet to do research on companies before ever setting foot in a physical store. Before going out to eat, many will first go to a restaurant’s website to check their menu. Before buying a new television, consumers will visit several websites to compare prices and offerings of several different retail outlets. In fact, according to BIA/Kelsey, 97% of consumers use online media to research products they are looking to purchase in their local area.
How is your company taking advantage of this trend? When potential customers are visiting your website are they enticed to buy your product or visit your store, or are they turned off, confused, or disappointed? Is your website as professional as your company or product? Use the following to tips to get your website in shape.
1. Make sure your design is up-to-date. Although styles from the 1980s might be appearing on the runway, this trend should not be applied to your website. If the design of your website hasn’t been updated since floppy disks were in fashion, you need to invest in a website remodeling. Although this first tip may seem a bit inconsequential, remember many users will evaluate your website in five seconds. You have five seconds to make a good first impression on potential customers. Don’t sacrifice clients because of uninviting design.
2. Keep your navigation simple. In today’s busy world, your users want to “get in and get out.” They don’t have time to navigate through layers and layers of pages to get to what they’re looking for. First, identify why viewers come to your website. Are they looking to purchase your product, find out more information about your brand, or use some other function of your website? Make these pages easy to find and only a few clicks away from your homepage.
In fact, some web designers say that all of your content should only be three clicks away from your homepage. While that rule may be a bit inflexible, it’s a good strategy to keep in the back of your mind. If your clients can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they will navigate to another website.
3. Create a mobile version of your website. Morgan Stanley reports that by 2015 users will interact more frequently with the mobile web than with the traditional Internet as delivered by desktop and laptop computers. Mobile web is the way of the future, and more and more people have begun to adopt mobile surfing as their primary way of using the Internet.
Test out your website on a variety of mobile devices–androids, iphones, blackberries, and tablets. Is it usable? Can viewers easily click on your links or is it a struggle? Does your site load quickly on all of these devices? Is your content displaying correctly? If not, it’s time for your company to invest in developing a mobile website.
4. Integrate your social media presence on your website. If you’re spending time updating social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, make sure that these platforms are accessible through your website. At the very least, make sure that your website includes links to your preferred social media sites, but consider also including a newsfeed that displays your social media updates on your website. Users want to interact with your company and brand, make sure that you’re not standing in their way.
Need help implementing any of these tips? Contact AndPlus.