With the abundance of online visitors finding your website through the search engines, it is important to give them some incentive to come back and use your website. It is important to have useful information that keeps the reader wanting to find out more about what you have to offer. This can be accomplished many ways on your website. Here are a few examples of ideas that we have seen over the years.
Offering an online newsletter is a fairly popular way to keep users informed about new happenings with your company and different products and services that you have to offer.
This is popular with accountants and mortgage lenders. It makes sense to have a calculator in front of a user so they can calculate the expense of certain fees and interest rates.
Offer Email Updates
This differs from the online newsletter by just sending little bits of information rather than a full blown online newsletter. This can also be a more effective use of your time, than to come up with a monthly newsletter.
A Color Wheel
We have seen this used on a few powder coating websites or on websites that deal with picking colors. This can be a great tool to have the user pick their color online rather than explain it over the phone.
This can prove to be a very popular way to bring users back to your website and make it useful to them. Offers can appear like a coupon and the user can print them out. There are many websites online dedicated to showing coupons for different products and services online.
Links to Other Related Services or Products
If you have a landscaping business, why not have links on your website where a user can get a siding job done on their house? Or a sprinkler system put in that you would recommend. May be a place to buy a fantastic looking concrete statue? These online links will position you as a knowledgeable professional that knows the in’s and out’s of the industry.
Articles and Tips about Your Services
Articles are a great way to showcase your knowledge about your business and make your website useful to online visitors. Writing articles also helps your business show up in the search engines for longer keyword phrases. Writing a quick article can sometimes be the difference between building that little extra piece of credibility for that online visitor to pick up the phone and give your business a call.
Targeted web design
Keeping your target audience in mind when you are planning a website redesign is a critical component of whether or not that website is going to be effective and viewed as a trust worthy source of information in your industry. It is important to review past analytic data from your website to see the different screen resolutions that are used as well as traffic patterns to different topics and the most popular content. It is also a good idea to ask users who fit into your target audience what they like to see in a website and maybe some examples of the way content is presented to them. Keeping your target audience in mind can have a huge effect on whether visitors find your website easy to maneuver through or move on to another website.
Analyze past website visitor data and behavior
Analyzing past data and seeing patterns in user behavior is a great way to dive into how visitors to your website think and act. No matter the website, there are different patterns on how visitors click through the website and different areas they spend more time at. Using this data and analyzing patters can show you how to cater that specific audience for more relevant information. If you see that there is a high rate of traffic that goes to view your contact page and your contact information is solely there, it may be a good idea to place that contact information on every page, so it is directly in front of customers at all times. Another example is if you see patters of users moving from article to article. This can be a sign that you may want to place links to related articles maybe on the side of your website or at the bottom of the article so they can move on to the next article without backing out to an articles page.
Another very interesting piece of information you can get from analytics data is the screen resolution that visitors are using to view your website. This can come in handy when redesigning your website so you can keep it in a particular screen resolution. This helps with the amount the user has to horizontally scroll to see all of the content on your website. You may decide that the screen resolution may be large or small and you would like to have a more “fluid” design that stretches to fit the screen of your visitor no matter the screen resolution. Either way, being able to analyze data and see what your visitor is using for hardware can help them have a great user experience on your website.
Ask people in your target audience what they like
What better way to gather information about your new website design than to ask people who are in your target audience? I am always surprised how much detailed information people will give you about what they like about a website and what they find easy and difficult. All of it is good information to gather and sift through for your new website. When we asked people for their input, they are usually very likely to help you out and they like to see some of their ideas incorporated into a design. I have heard different target audiences that like larger text, larger pictures, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, forms, wider designs, contact information are just a few of the features that we have heard people say they like to see on a website. Another great way to have users find your site more useful is to have programs that help them out. For example, if you have a mortgage website, maybe you should place some calculators on your website and some instructions on what they are calculating and how it can affect their mortgage payments. These little programs are a great way for people to bookmark your website and see you as an authority in your field.
Make it easy for your target audience
It is always a pleasure to go though a website that has exactly what you want, relevant information everywhere and fits within your viewing screen. These are the types of websites that we will often bookmark. We have also seen when a website has the features that the target audience is looking for, those website almost always have higher sales because of it. Make it easy for your visitors and hopefully they will make it easier for you to keep your business making money.
Every now and then, you run across a website of a company that looks like the last time it was updated was 1997. How much trust does that build with you? I usually think, “Hmmm…if their website is outdated, maybe their business practices are as well.” And then I usually proceed on to their competitor. Having an updated and user friendly design can pay dividends to people searching for your products and services or to your sales team and having them guide prospective clients to the correct area on your website.
Redesign and update your website
It is important to keep your look and feel as fresh and clean as possible. We believe it is also important to maintain a constant look and feel throughout the website. Do yourself and your visitors a favor and don’t have the logo aligned left on one page and then aligned right on another page, with different navigation elements. Keep it consistent. Also make sure your website is in accordance with your other promotional materials. We have helped clients who send out flyers and it is important to have the same logos and colors in order to appear consistent. With customers, it’s critical to build up enough trust so they feel comfortable contacting you.
Make your website redesign more user friendly
- Make sure your website does not have any broken links. This is a sign to the search engines that some of the content on your website may be outdated.
- Validate your website. The World Wide Web Consortium has a website validator that you can use to make sure your website is up to code standards.
- Redo your title and description tags on your website. Make sure it relates to the information you have on the web page. This can help in the search engine results.
- Make sure your navigation is clear and consistent. This is a huge deal on the web. There is nothing more frustrating than a website that has inconsistent navigation throughout the website. Visitors WILL go to competitors’ websites.
- Update offers and contact information. Be sure to change and add any phone numbers that need to be replaced. Make sure email addresses go to the proper location. Make sure your address is up to date. Is all of the contact information on each and every page? Is everything spelled right? Is that sale from 1998 over yet on your website?
- Add new, worthwhile information to your website. Do you have an article about your company that would help other visitors to make a decision to use your products or services? Do you have any testimonials that you could share? Is there any new affiliation that you would like to show off to visitors? Collect as much information that you think would be helpful to a visitor and get it ready to place online.
Taking on a website design project can be a hefty task. If you could use our assistance, please feel free to get in touch with us. We have completed many website redesigns over the years. The owners are usually very excited when they see the effect it can have on the search engine positions and the conversion rates from visitor to customer.
Introduce Your Business to the Internet
By now you should have heard that your business should be online. The internet has proven to be a vital part of many marketing campaigns. The internet allows businesses to capture information about customers that traditional marketing could never do. As with any introduction, it is best to show up looking good and being friendly (to the search engines).
The internet has seen dramatic growth in the past decade. More and more people are spending cash to see if they can use the internet to their advantage for their business. A recent statistic states that the number of people online in the US is close to 347 million, according to Internet World Stats, that’s over 89% of the population. Not a bad place to introduce your business to the world.
The information that can be gathered about your customers is another way that you can make yourself useful to them. When a user contacts you from the website via email, you are able to gather names, addresses and information that is relevant to the customer, such as a question about a product or service you offer. Then you can tailor your sales pitch according to their needs and give them what they are looking for.
Lastly, making your website search engine friendly and easy to navigate is a good practice. Being easy to work with is essential to growing your business. When you introduce yourself to new people, you try to look your best. A professional web design speaks volumes about how you value your company image.
When you decide to get your business online or redesign what you have, think about the people to whom you will be introducing your business. It’s always best to show up with a professional image.