A recent study showed that over 85% of consumers visit a company’s or service provider’s website before considering making a purchase. In my opinion, that statistic may actually be higher. If you’re asking the question; Is my website really that important? Yes – Yes it is. In fact, in this digital age, your website is more important than you may think…
No matter what your business is, what market you’re in or where you’re located, your website is going to do one of two things:
1) PULL THEM IN – persuading potential customers to contact you and to purchase your product/service.
2) PUSH THEM AWAY – encouraging them to find your competitor or a more legitimate looking company.
It’s one or the other and it happens in seconds. Actually, users form an opinion on your site in less than 1 second. What does this tell us? That a website will either be a make or break for your business. Even if you’re a non profit, church or organization, this holds true.
In this day and age we’re all visual. We all have the attention span of a squirrel and we all want what we’re looking for as quickly as possible. Your website should cater to the very wants and needs that you’d expect as a consumer. Let’s look more at consumer behavior before delving into ways to make your website better.
• 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. — Econsultancy
• Over 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly. –Skillcrush
• You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave. — NN Group
• Once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds. — Kinesis Inc.
These are just a few examples of customer behavior that show how crucial a great website is today. Even if you’re in a non traditional tech market, people are looking at you online or they’re trying to find you online. If you don’t have a website for your business, I can’t even express how important it is to have one- and a Facebook business page does not count. That’s a nice addition, but having your own URL and website is what will tell your potential customer whether you’re legitimate or not.
Now that you get a better idea as to why your website is more important than you may think, let’s look at some ways to improve your current website:
1) Have a fresh, modern, updated design
Again, we’re all visual. Even if you’re not a designer, you can tell bad design. Your website is a reflection of YOU, so invest in making it sell you before a potential costumer even reaches out. A professional website design, layout, look and feel will elevate your online presence as well as a costumer’s first impression which can lead to more calls and ultimately more sales.
2) Make sure it’s responsive!
Responsive design means the website will realign and scale to fit on tablets and smart phones. Over the past year, mobile website traffic has increased over 85% so it’s incredibly important that your site looks great and is user friendly on a phone.
3) Give CALL TO ACTIONS
Who doesn’t love spending 10-15 minutes scrolling around through pages attempting to find what you’re looking for? (Sense the sarcasm?) Give your customers calls to action. Buttons or blatant quick links that tell customers precisely what to do in a few seconds or less. This could be phone number, email link, donate link or sign ups. Whatever you want your customers to do, make it easy for them.
4) Invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Don’t under estimate the power of good website content and SEO. Depending on what market you’re in, you may be able to climb up Google’s rankings faster than you think. Note: Many companies spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on SEO services but if your site looks like it was done by your 9 year old nephew in his basement, you’re wasting money. There’s no point in driving traffic to your website if it’s not a great, professional representation of you. Once people form an opinion of your brand, it’s hard to get away from.
5) Update your site
It’s recommended to update or refresh your website every 2 to 3 years. Yes, I know that’s coming from a web developer, but I apply that to my business as well. If I was using the same website that I had up 3 years ago…I can assure you I wouldn’t be getting the calls and traffic that I do now. Also, think of a website as a living thing. Updating the content, pictures, blogging and/or posting articles will help drastically in search rankings and will help google see that your site is alive.
If you’re interested in any of these services, email me and I’d be happy to talk in more detail or at least point you in the right direction.
I hope this article has inspired you to take a look at your current website and encourages you to better represent your online presence!
• Skillcrush, 9 Mobile Statistics That Will Make You Learn Responsive Web Design, http://skillcrush.com/2014/11/11/9-mobile-statistics/
• NN Group, How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence – http://www.nngroup.com/
• Kinesis Inc, The Truth About B2B Web Design and Why You Should Invest in It, http://www.kinesisinc.com/the-truth-about-web-design/