Consumer-focused websites. Maybe you’ve heard rumors… user-driven interfaces, interactive content, geeks in closets writing code all night. Ahhhhh, somewhere between Jedi and Ninja there is code-power, but beware… the dark side! [insert chuckle here]
The truth is customers want specific things to make their interactions with your brand more meaningful. You don’t have to be a programming ninja (or Jedi mind-melder) to understand what they want and make sure it happens so your customers are happy.
Here are the Top 9 Things your customers really wish your website had. Don’t despair if you’ve neglected some of these items, they can all be addressed, even if your site is already up and running. Take note of what may be missing and get started making happier customers!
1. A Name They Can Remember.
“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
– John F. Kennedy
In this case, you want everyone to remember your name. It’s not a time to be vague, overly-clever, use bizarre spellings or try to form the newest monster word in English… www.canyousay-Iwasinlovewithmycompanyidea_andgottheworstdomainever.com?
It’s’ not typically that bad, but I’ve seen close! When you select a name for your business website, it should make sense for the company’s identity and be something that the average person can remember if she see’s it in an ad or on a truck. Having a brief domain name that is memorable also helps with email address exchanges and other uses of the domain. For example, it’s easier to share and remember mary@ABCbuilders.com than the address email@example.com. Be remembered.
Need to change your website address? It can be done, but get help from a seasoned pro if your site is already live and you want to keep your search history and traffic.
2. Responsive Design – that Loads Quickly.
Since about 60% of US search and web use is estimated to be on mobile devices of varying sizes, it’s clearly time to be RESPONSIVE. A responsive site allows specific rules to govern how content is delivered based on the size of the user’s screen. Rather than a “separate” mobile site, one site does it all. If planned correctly, that makes for a better user experience – and a happier user.
It’s also important that your pages load quickly. A slow site is frustrating and can even impact your Google rankings. A happy customer can get to what they want to quickly.
3 A Clear Road Map: Navigation & CTAs
Mystery-meat navigation, misleading links, and broken links all cause confusion for visitors. If you want your visitors to be customers – and your customers to return – provide a clear path for them to follow. Make it easy to select where to go next and state what your visitor will see when they arive there. No surprises. Put a clear call to action where action is desired.
If you had a guest at your home and you sent them to the garage when they asked for the bathroom, they’d be confused and probably irritated. Imagine if this happened two or three times! Ensure the map you draw for your visitor is clear, truthful and uncluttered. They’ll appreciate it, especially if they’re in a hurry.
4. Clear Products or Services Information
This should be a given, but it’s sometimes missed. Ensure your customers can find your products or services and purchase them with as few steps and interruptions as possible. Provide accurate information and photos. Give them details on shipping options and costs. Keep your products and services information up to date and deliver what you promise. This is key to building trust and consumer confidence.
5. Fresh, Up-to-Date Content
This may be events, blog articles, videos, infographics, or other forms of content. Whatever the format you select, it’s important to provide compelling content that is focused on the needs and desires of your customers.
6. Clear Contact Information
This has been true since the phone book. Do you remember what one of those looked like? There may still be one at your grandma’s house, holding the back door open. Seriously, make it easy to reach you with questions or for more information. And please include a human in the interaction at some point. Phone numbers, contact forms and online chat options are easy ways to make sure your customers can get help and answers.
7. Security (SSL)
SSL used to be just for online payments and ecommerce, but it’s recommended for almost all sites now. Due to the number and nature of identity threats, Google is giving preference to sites that secure their domains.
8.Social Proof – Testimonials & Reviews
While it may make you very nervous to ask for testimonials and allow consumer reviews online, it’s the proof in the pudding. In reality, consumers expect a few “wild card” reviews, and actually mistrust “ALL 5 Star” ratings as artificial. A couple people you just couldn’t make happy are expected. What they don’t want to see is that 87 of your 100 reviews are scathing.
9. Easy Social Sharing
“Follow me on Facebook” is one thing. “Share this with your friends” is another.
Here are two sharing buttons which allow you to share this article. Try ’em.
Consumers want to easily share great finds with their online friends and community. Try sharelinkgenerator.com for generating free share links. Being present in social doesn’t just mean you have a page with a few quotes or photos… it means you interact, listen, share and make it easy for others to share, too.
Start Making Customers Happy Today
If you’re missing any of the Top 9 Things Your Customers Really Wish Your Website Had, start implementing them today. If you can’t tackle them all at once, start with one or two. Your customers will show their appreciation.