Imagine your business website like a digital version of a storefront. If you had a brick and mortar store, think about how it would be laid out. The cash registers up front, sale items right along with them as a beckoning invitation to come in. Once a customer finds what they want, the buying process is simple and streamlined, and that’s exactly how a store should be.
Now look at your website – does it function in the same way? Or do you have a website that is confusing and doesn’t give your customers a flow to work with? Business site owners are focusing heavily on social media and content marketing, but one aspect of digital marketing that’s being forgotten is their website and a customer’s journey through it.
This is a definite shift from the days of old. When the Internet was first being used for business, a company owner would invest thousands of dollars into a website that looked good; though now this same site would be laughable in comparison to today’s websites.
Now that it’s easier than ever to make a website and more channels are available for finding out information on a business, website maintenance and upkeep has fallen by the wayside. Companies throw a layout on a WordPress site and add the basic information, but how often do they come back and update their site after that?
According to a study posted by GlobalWebIndex in 2011, about 60% of global Internet users said that they had interacted with a company’s branded website within the last month. Shockingly, this is comparable to 22% of U.S. users that visit a social networking page belonging to a business brand within the same time period.
Your social media pages are your voice, but your website is by and large the face of your company. It explains a lot about your company, from your brand image to your company colors. It’s aesthetic, it’s informative and acts as a hub for any and all information you want to be displayed, from prices to packages, blogs to contact information.
The above hinges on one factor, though: how much you actually pay attention to the website and maintain it. Your business site should have up-to-date information and stay active, or else it’s truly doing more harm than good. It should also be easy to use and have your customer in mind while still looking good.
Thus, it’s important to remember certain key factors when maintaining and crafting your website based on a consumer’s journey.
First, consider the stages of your consumer’s experience. This includes the before, during and after purchase stages. Ask questions like “have I performed enough ad testing and implemented the results on my website?” and “how am I keeping up with my customers after they’ve made their initial purchase?”
Your website has to be responsive and put branding at the forefront in order to be successful. Using your brand heavily on your website is how your customers remember you. This includes making sure your website has multiple customer touch points – or moments where your customer is in touch with your brand directly.
Your website has to look good. Consumers make split second visual decisions, so if you have a website on your hands that is visually unappealing, your customer’s journey will be one that’s incredibly short. Look back to comparing your digital site to a real store. How comfortable would you be in a store with harsh lighting, a confusing infrastructure, and an ill-suited color scheme?
Your consumer shouldn’t have to think when they use your website. The search options, links, and shopping cart should all be front and center, or at least placed around the site in a way that flows and makes sense.
Combine the last two bullets and you’ve got this one figured out already. Your website should be attractive, but still understandable at the same time. User-friendly websites know there’s a balance between aesthetics and being responsive, and user-friendly sites also take into account mobile access and speed.
Still, your website is only one aspect of your business that should be paid attention to. ReOnline is here to help you fine-tune all aspects of your marketing, branding, SEO, and social media. Contact us for more information about how we can help your business succeed.