Is Your Web Design Driving Customers Away
No matter what the nature of your business, your website is your portal to the world. If that website is well designed, properly laid out and easy to navigate, customers will feel welcomed and encouraged to stay. If you have poor web design and poorly executed functionality, you could end up actually losing customers and driving potential business into the arms of your competitors.
Many business owners assume that only online businesses need to have a fancy website with all the bells and whistles, that could not be further from the truth. These days every company, even brick and mortar ones, need to have a strong web presence.
Above all else, that website must be useful and informative, and it must provide ready answers to the questions customers have about the company. Putting seemingly simple but vitally important information like the company phone number and hours of operation on the front page can make the site much more user friendly and easier to navigate.
Building the site around the keywords customers are likely to search for is another smart strategy in an increasingly competitive world. Keep in mind that many potential customers will not know your website address, or even the name of your business, but they do know what type of problem they need to solve. Building likely search terms into your company website is one of the best ways to help those potential customers find you and see what you have to offer. For instance, if you run a home improvement company, you might want to include search terms like “new bathroom” and “kitchen renovation” in your website content.
What you do not do can be just as important as what you do, however. Building a lot of fancy elements into your site may make it look good, but it can also slow the site to a crawl, especially for first time visitors. Making your site as attractive as possible is important, but overloading your site with videos, graphics and other elements could render it unusable for customers with slow Internet connections, and for customers with alternate browsers as well.
It is a good idea to test your site on a number of different connections. The site should load quickly and provide the necessary information within a few seconds. If it does not, it might be time to go back and tweak your site for usability. You should also test your company website with a number of different browsers, including all available versions of Internet Explorer and browsers like Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome. The site should load cleanly and efficiently on all the browsers you test. If not, it is time to go back to the web design drawing board.
In the end your website is only a tool, just like the myriad of other tools you have at your disposal. How you use those business tools is what will ultimately decide the fate of your company. Making the most of your web presence is one of the best ways to drive companies through your virtual doors, and taking your website for granted is one of the surest ways to drive those customers away.