Clients don’t come into your offices like they used to; physical store fronts don’t get the footfall that they used to; so websites have to work harder than they used to. Now we are being tasked with giving people the ‘in person’ experience when they are sitting at home, but how on earth do you make a website deliver so much?
Our secret is really simple – think of your website as a physical place. If you are a customer, or have been reading our blogs for a while, you’ll know I love an analogy, but this is more of a road map and I swear it works.
If your website was a physical shop or office…
The design of your website is the layout of your store, the interior design of your office, the sofa in your waiting room, so if it’s looking tired, it’s time to refresh it. A freshly designed website = a new coat of paint and carpet in your business. Even if you don’t have the resources (or need) to redesign your current site, you should refresh your imagery regularly wherever you can. Think of it as a new window design, or a new plant for reception!
The member of staff who greets your customers, or the account manager who holds their hands through decisions – that’s the job of the words on your website. Copywriting is the difference between an empty store, or unfriendly office, and a personal assistant taking you through the steps to purchase.
Search engine Optimisation moves your store from a quiet alley to a busy high street – it puts your business in front of more people. SEO’s lesser known cousin is conversion optimisation (and it’s sister, UX design). The purpose of optimising how your website works is to make it easier for your customers to find what they want, faster.
Think of your website as a busy supermarket – without the signs on each aisle, it would be difficult to find what you need. Don’t let your potential customers work too hard to get the information they need – they’ll get fed up and leave early. This is as specialist skill, so it’s worth calling in the experts to optimise the functionality of your website.
Just as you work hard to make your customers feel safe inside your place of business, they need to feel safe giving you their information through your website. SSL certificate, no excuses.
If you are taking money through your website, this is doubly true. If you went into a store and someone wrote your credit card details on the back of their hand to process later, you would not be confident that your money or data was safe with them. Reassure customers who visit your website with a professional checkout experience, and consider using a recognisable payment gateway (e.g. Square, PayPal etc.) for extra confidence.
Website analytics are your footfall and sales reports. They tell you what is working and what is not, so:
- Make sure they are installed and configured properly
- Look at them regularly
- Act on what they tell you to improve your website.
Big exit doors
Ever notice that you get escalators that go up and stairs going down in a store? They want to make it easy for you to stay, and hard for you to leave. Don’t give your customers big exit doors – no links to dormant social media accounts, and no broken links. Give them reasons to stay, not reasons to leave.
If your website needs help, we’re here for you. Get in touch.