When people think of branding, they think logos, they think colors, they…
You’re Neglecting Your Website and It Shows
When you walk into a well-designed home, you’re immediately wow-ed. The color palette, the furniture, the décor, the attention to detail: it all works together to create an impressive first impression. And when you’re impressed, you’re curious. You want to know where the owners got their couch, who came up with their interior scheme, how they were able to make everything come together so well. It’s very evident when someone truly cares about their space and puts a lot of effort into it. It’s also very evident when someone does not. Your website is the home of your business, and it’s time to start paying attention to the impression you are creating for those deciding to pay you a visit.
Simply put, your website is the main representation of your business. It lays the foundation for your entire digital presence. Someone can land on your homepage as quickly as they can see themselves out via the red ‘x’ in the upper right-hand corner. Your website falling short is just like being in the last leg of a relay and your anchor runner drops the baton: if you’re finally able to get a visitor on your website, but your website isn’t operating the way it should, you lost out on a customer, you lost out on a sale, and you lost out on revenue. You didn’t win the race. And in the digital world, 2nd place trophies don’t exist.
If a consumer is not intrigued or impressed by what they see, they move onto the next. And moving onto the next is easily done on the internet. The online marketplace is every shopper’s dream: potential consumers can click through hundreds and hundreds of websites a day, browsing through pages of different products for hours on end. As a business, it’s your job to convert their browsing into a purchase.
So, how do you do that? First and foremost, your website needs to function optimally. Some of the most critical issues with functionality are:
If a potential consumer can’t even click through your website, you’ve lost their business before the purchasing process even begins. Cue the dreaded 404 page. And cue the frustration of a buyer who is interested in your product or service and can’t even access the information they were promised. Not only are you losing out on revenue, bad links can hurt your reputation if enough users have negative experiences and decide to take their opinions to Yelp or Google. In fact, 88% of users are unlikely to even return to a website after having a negative experience.
Invalid Promo Codes
People love a good deal. Many websites offer 10-15% off a first-time purchase if a user signs up for e-mail or text notifications from the brand. If this promo code they were promised fails at checkout, it’s likely they’ll take their business elsewhere, especially if these offers are easy to come by. You need to make sure the codes you’re promoting are valid, and that when the time comes for the customer to input said code they’re being credited and processed correctly.
Lengthy Checkout Process
Have you ever purchased something from a website and it feels like the checkout process is never-ending? Page after page of inputting information makes it easy for customers to drop off mid-process . Online buyers are generally the people that enjoy instant gratification, and if you’re slowing that down. We recommend you spread your checkout process across a minimal amount of pages and require only the most essential information from customers: contact, shipping, payment, and confirmation are the four steps we recommend.
Slow Load Times
Have you ever met someone that appreciates a website that lags? No? Well, that’s because those types of people don’t exist. One of the worst things you can do for your website and for your business is to neglect load times. Fast and happy shoppers are more likely to be converted into sales. They click in, find what they’re looking for, make the purchase, and click out. Websites that take more than three seconds to load are abandoned about 40% of the time.
Aside from functionality, your website needs to look the part too. Clutter is the enemy when it comes to design and we can’t stress this next statement enough: your customer needs to be able to find their way from page to page problem-free. Take it from the 94% of online consumers who say that easy navigation is a website’s most important feature. Websites aren’t puzzles or scavenger hunts. People should be able to find the content they desire quickly and easily as this allows them to make the most of their time spent online.
Another aspect to looking the part is visual appeal, i.e. choosing colors, images, and logos that pop, that are recognizable, and that best represent your business. For more information on that, we suggest you take a literary ride through our Crash Course on Creating a Brand Identity and Storytelling.
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