There are all types of websites out there. From the professionally crafted to the hastily-made to the perpetually under construction, customers have never had more options when it comes to surfing the web. What does the appearance, functionality, and responsiveness of your website say about your business?
Your Website is the Face of Your Business
Believe it or not, more than a third of all small businesses don’t have a website. Some business owners aren’t tech-savvy enough to create their own website and others might not want to pay for it. Just under half of the businesses without a web presence forego a site simply because they believe they don’t need one. Regardless of the reasons behind this statistic, the current business landscape necessitates not only having a website but having a good one.
First impressions are everything. Once a customer hears about you, they want to establish their own impression. The first step is typically searching for information. That means, more times than not, that customer will punch your business name into Google. Your business website should be the first result that comes up.
It only takes a couple of seconds for that customer to form an impression on your website. If it’s unoriginal, boring, unresponsive, or simply worse than competitors’ websites, your would-be customer is going to move on.
With myriad cheap website building tools out there, it can seem like an easy solution to put together a shell of a website just to have something out there. But that can actually do more harm than good. In that regard, it may actually be better to have no website than a poor one. At the end of the day, however, a bad website and no website are still poor marketing decisions.
What Do Customers Look For in a Website?
Customers, by and large, are not patient. If your website doesn’t load in the first couple of seconds, more than half of visitors are going to lose their patience and try another website. Transitions between pages should be smooth and if your website doubles as a sales point, make sure payment transactions are customer-friendly, reliable, and fast.
Once you’ve nailed down responsiveness, the next box to tick is personality. Customers aren’t looking for a black and white, bare-bones website. Remember, your business should be more than just transactions; you should be providing an experience. The same can be said about your website: it should provide an experience.
As the face of your brand, your website exists to fill several key business roles, one of which is telling your brand story. Visitors to your website should be able to easily pick up on what your brand stands for. That means utilizing a color scheme and layout consistent with your brand voice. If your business is selling candy, for example, your site should be colorful or amusing. Look to integrate your social media platforms into your website to provide the most engrossing experience for visitors.
What Your Website Says About Your Business
Your website should represent your business. That means if your target audience is children or younger adults, it shouldn’t use challenging language or include anything even questionably inappropriate. Base the appearance of your site around the product or service you sell, and form your content around what appeals to your customers.
If expertise is part of your brand identity, be sure to include a blog with regular, insightful content. If you want to be known for great customer relations, make sure your contact information is prominently displayed and incorporate live customer service into your site. Take the time to think about what might appeal to your customers beyond your product or service.
Remember, the more you offer your customer, the better off your business will be. While your business might be able to exist without a website, you’ll be missing out on valuable exposure and potential growth opportunities. The future is digital, which means it’s time to hop on board the digitalization train with a great website.