NOTAccording to the 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark report from Contentsquare, an analytics platform, 1 in 2 people who visit your website will only view one page before leaving. Making the split-second decision to switch from one website to another is easy – figuring out how to hold consumers’ attention isn’t so simple.
To generate a positive first impression and make your small business website more user-friendly, consider these seven tips.
1. Ask for feedback
Jennifer Fortney, founder and president of Cascade Communications – an online public relations and marketing communications company – advises people to seek unbiased feedback immediately after designing a website. She is focused on helping companies tell their story strategically, and to achieve this, business owners need to be able to see their products through the eyes of consumers.
If you’re not sure where to start, Lesa Seibert, CEO and CFO of Mightily, a digital-focused brand advertising agency, and Xstreme Media, a web design and digital marketing company, suggests the following:
- How did you find us?
- Why did you choose us over our competitors?
- Why did you become a customer?
2. Invest in visuals
Candice Stennett, vice president of marketing at the Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE, is responsible for the small business networking organization’s online presence and stresses the importance of using high-quality photos and video. . Instead of relying on stock footage, she says hiring a professional photographer might be worth the extra money. She also recommends looking for opportunities to add photos of menu items, retail products, small business owners, and actual customers.
3. Double mobile responsiveness
According to the Contentsquare report, 64% of website traffic comes from smartphones. Maybe you’ve already tested your website to make sure it’s mobile-friendly, but Seibert cautions against stopping there. Instead, consider including only the most important information on your mobile website. Sometimes integrating all the desktop components into the mobile version can make it difficult for consumers to navigate a website while on the go.
4. Make it easy for customers to contact you
Make sure your contact information is easy to find and try to avoid using contact forms.
“It makes me not trust you,” Stennett says of using a contact form instead of an email address or phone number. “It gives me the impression that your site may not be credible, trustworthy or reliable.”
Fortney says you might want to think twice about including a phone number unless you own a service business. Sometimes, she adds, it’s more cost-effective, from a time management perspective, to respond to emails on your own schedule, rather than being reachable by phone all day.
5. Prioritize accessibility
It’s extremely important that your website is accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired, says Seibert. And it goes beyond adding alt or alt text to images. She says it also involves considering color palettes and navigation.
For more information on improving your website’s accessibility, she suggests checking out The American Printing House for the Blind. You can also browse the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which help set international standards for website accessibility.
6. Identify key integrations
The integrations you might consider depend on your industry and social media activity. Seibert mentions e-commerce platforms, like WooCommerce, for online businesses and reservation software for restaurants, such as OpenTable.
And be sure to incorporate social networks feeds you post regularly, like Twitter or Facebook, adds Stennett. This can be done with plugins or widgets.
7. Quarterly update
Stennett recommends doing quarterly reviews of your website to make sure everything is up to date, working properly, and still relevant. Imagine you are a potential customer browsing the page and check if there are any unforeseen issues.
“If I land on your website or online channel, I come there because I want to know more or I want to buy from you,” she says. “Make it easy for me to give you my money and support your business.”
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