Last week we published a post that outlined five ways your website could be better. In our post, we offered recommendations that you could use on your website to increase traffic, gain more online customers, and improve your brand reputation online. The main areas we focused on related to responsive design, social integration, visual content, effective call-to-actions, and customer testimonials. In the post below, we would like to expand on the topic by outlining five more ways your website could be better. If you’re just not getting what you’ve been hoping to get out of your website, consider the following:
It could offer more value.
It’s likely that you’re in a very competitive industry. As more businesses and brands fight for the loyalty of consumers online, it’s becoming increasingly for companies to leverage themselves as value-providers. What kind of value are visitors receiving from you or your company when they land on your website? Do they land on a static, seemingly “frozen-in-time” website that only offers basic contact information or information about products and services? Or is it easy for them to find rich, valuable content created by you that they can learn from or use to solve a problem? These are questions you need to ask when it comes to evaluating your website. Consumers today are not just looking for great products sold by great companies. They are also looking for information. In order to build trust and loyalty with prospective customers (especially ones who are active on social media), it’s important that you take the time to offer more value to them—without the expectation of receiving anything in return (i.e. the sale).
It could be faster.
We’ve mentioned it on our blog before: as average internet connection speeds increase around the world, web users are becoming less and less tolerant of slow load times. You might have the best products or services in the world, but if your website is too slow, consumers won’t be interested in sticking around to find out. According to one recent report on the impact of website and webpage load times, “a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.” For this reason, it’s important to constantly be evaluating and reevaluating the speed of your website. For tips on how to speed up your website, read through this blog post.
It could be easier to navigate.
Consumers like to be able to find information quickly and easily on websites. Putting your navigation in a non-standard location, using too many buttons, or having your navigation out of order can have a negative impact on usability. Keep navigation at the top of the page, limit it to only important links, and put your most important items first or last. According to a blog post from KISSmetrics, “items that appear first or last on any list are most effective. Navigation is no exception. Psychology studies show that, attention and retention are highest for things that appear at the beginning and at the end. It’s called the “serial position effect,” and it’s based on the principles of primacy and recency.”
To improve the functionality and usability of your website, consider reorganizing or updating your navigation menus.
It could have a cleaner design.
In addition to improving functionality and usability across multiple devices and browsers, responsive design can also help make your overall website design a lot cleaner and easier for visitors to use. If you’re not ready to switch over to a responsive design just yet though, there are still things you can do to clean up the look of your website. For example, you might consider tightening up the content that you have on each page of your site. Look through the content on your site and see if there are sections that you can organize more effectively through the use of subheadings, bullet points, lists, and short paragraphs. If you feel like a page is a bit too wordy, you might consider adding visuals to break up content, or you could include a video that helps present the information in a different way for your website visitors.
It could tell a better story.
Are you connecting with consumers on an emotional level? Or are you only interested in how to get them to your product and sales pages? The most successful brands online today are the ones who take the time to craft and share their unique brand story (or stories) with customers and prospects. In an article from Entrepreneur about brand storytelling, the author and branding expert Mary van de Wiel outlines the reasons why storytelling is so important for your business:
An authentic brand story makes you memorable.
It differentiates you as desirable.
It brings your brand to life.
It gives you a distinct competitive advantage.
Your target market becomes hugely responsive.
It positions you as a visionary in your field.
You can tell your brand story in a number of different ways and through the use of various media (photos, text, video, infographics, slideshows, podcasts, etc.). The point is to be authentic. You need to help your target audience get to know the people behind your brand and products, why your company exists, and how it has evolved over time.
If you truly are interested in increasing traffic, gaining more online customers, and improving your brand reputation online, start working to implement some of the recommendations outlined above.