Connecting to our customers and creating a great marketing experience is an important part of building a successful business and achieving growth. However, at times there can be areas of a business that aren’t optimized for the customer experience and can detract from the products and services that are on offer. One of those common areas is the company website.
When a website is built properly, it draws in customers and helps them navigate their way to a purchase. When a website has mistakes, such as being hard to navigate or taking a long time to load, it can irritate potential customers and turn them away. In order to succeed in today’s business world, a website needs to be treated as an important tool in your marketing belt, not an optional tactic. In this article we’ll explain why an optimized website matters to your business and go over some simple tips that can make a big difference for your company.
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Why an Optimized Website Matters
In the past, customers would start a purchasing journey by coming to a company and talking to salespeople who would explain what products were offered and what pricing and shipment times looked like for those items. The salesperson was in control of the interaction and held all of the information that the customer needed. However, over 85% of today’s customers will do their own online research before ever reaching out to a salesperson.
Because customers do their research online, your website becomes one of your most important lead generation tools. A properly optimized website can help you get more traffic, rank higher on Google searches and other search engines, deliver helpful information to visitors, and help them convert from a visitor into a loyal customer.
Without a strong website, your company will likely struggle to get new business and maintain a reliable reputation among younger buyers and potential customers. Thankfully, many of the things that can improve your website are simple fixes that take a short amount of time to complete and have significant benefits for your business.
7 Tips for Building a Better Website
While there are plenty of steps that a business can take in order to improve their website, many of the tips for improving a company website are quick and relatively easy for a business to complete internally. Let’s take a look at seven of the best tips you can use in order to build a better website.
The links on your website help visitors navigate around your pages and find new information. However, many websites have broken links that lead to error pages. If you have too many broken links on your site, you’ll not only frustrate your visitors, but you’ll also damage your company's reputation with search engine algorithms that help your website appear high on search results pages. Getting rid of the broken ones can help you improve the customer journey through your website and increase your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages.
The copy or text on your website is another area that can often be improved. When you first build a website, there might be placeholder text that isn’t examined closely and could contain grammatical errors or be confusing to visitors. Going through all of the copy on your pages and making sure it is clear, grammatically correct, and readable to all audiences can help improve the customer experience on your website.
Is there anything more frustrating that sitting around waiting for a web page to load? Many customers don’t have the patience to wait more than a few seconds for a web page, and will leave your site if it takes too long. If you notice that your website has a long loading time, check out the sizes of your images. Even if the image size on the website looks small, it could be a huge file that is slowing down your site speed and making things load slowly.
All images on a website have a section in the code or on the website back end for alt-text. Alt-text or alt descriptions are written descriptions of an image that will display if the image fails to load or if a user is visually impaired and needs to have the contents of a screen read to them. Filling in your alt-text helps you make your website more accessible and improves your rankings with search engines like Google.
Calls to action, often abbreviated as “CTAs”, are the buttons or links that provide customers with a direct next step on your website. Those who are new to optimizing websites might not understand how important these buttons are for customers. A website visitor who doesn't know where to go next on your site might just leave, but giving that same visitor some direction can help turn them into a customer. Every page on your website should have a CTA that guides customers towards a purchase.
It’s a common mistake to think that bright colors, moving graphics, and dense blocks of information will help make your website stand out to customers. In fact, the opposite is often true. Customers don’t want to see lots of visual clutter on your website. They prefer clean, minimalistic sites that convey information in a concise way and use simple color palettes and designs. Getting rid of visual clutter can help you improve your customer experience on your website.
The end goal of all business websites is to convince a visitor to contact the company or place an order to become a customer. Because that’s ultimately what you want from visitors, you need to make it very easy for a visitor to contact you. Having a different colored button in your top navigation and including plenty of CTAs throughout your pages that direct a visitor to your contact and order pages will help you make it easy for a lead to convert to a customer.
How ODL Helps Partners Grow
At ODL, we want to help our customers grow their businesses and improve their marketing programs so that they can close more sales and achieve their goals. We believe in providing all of our customers with the resources that are needed to help them do their jobs better and provide a better experience for all of our customers.