Every business wants to provide useful information and a compelling argument for consumers to buy from them over the competition. These days, people go straight to the internet for product reviews and research and no longer call or walk into a store for details. A website is the first and most important contact most businesses make with their current and potential customer base.
You need to make sure that your website is up to the task. It’s well and good to optimize, advertise, and bring in a targeted audience, but your efforts and expense will be for naught if you fail to provide a user experience that is engaging, informative, and compelling.
For the average trenchless business, this is no easy feat. As a business owner, you have plenty of knowledge and experience in your chosen field, but you might not know the first thing about building a successful website to connect with customers. You might not even know what to ask for or expect when hiring a professional web designer to do the job for you.
To start, you need to make sure that your site is user-friendly and influences visitors to convert to customers. Here are a few factors you’ll definitely want to focus on.
1. Speedy Access
You’ve paid for advertising and hired an SEO expert to optimize your content. Why, then, aren’t you getting the response you anticipated? Perhaps your problem has to do with accessibility and speed.
Choosing a web host is your first order of business when developing your website. The most important traits of a good hosting service are reliability, scalability, and speed. According to Google engineers, users expect websites to load in just 400 milliseconds – or a blink of an eye. If your customers are waiting even the industry average of 5 seconds for pages to load they may get impatient and navigate away. Worse yet is if they are confronted with an error message due to frequent or prolonged unscheduled downtime. In either case, your competitors will profit from your slow website.
Accessibility and speedy loading times are like the real estate curb appeal of your website. If visitors arrive to find the walkway under construction or discover that they have to hike across a field to reach your front door, chances are they’ll just move on to the next house. Utilize a monitoring service or software so you always know that your site is up and running.
2. Attractive Layout and Design
You want to greet visitors with a professional, modern, and intuitive layout and design. Take into account your audience, branding, and the services you offer when designing your site. It’s no small task, but creating an eye-catching layout and design that draws visitors in is the aperitif that makes them want to stay for the entree, i.e. your content.
3. Ready Information
Prospective customers visit your website because they are interested in your services and they want to find out more. It’s your job to provide the ready source of information they’re seeking.
This can be accomplished by putting the most important information “above the fold”, or at the top of the page where visitors will look first. This is why most navigational menus are located at the top of the page, right under the letterhead.
However, since it is impossible to provide all pertinent information at the top of the landing page, you also need to make additional information easy to scan. This is best done by providing bold topic headings that allow users to quickly gain access to the information that interests them most. Adding relevant graphics helps make the presentation more visually appealing and speed the process of categorization and recognition for users.
4. Intuitive Navigation
Navigation is a tool that helps users find what they’re looking for. This means your navigation should be prominent, concise, and free of unnecessary clutter.
Don’t hide your navigation bar in some dark corner of the page where no one would think to look for it. Make your headings clear and relevant and avoid adding unnecessary buttons. You probably have a good idea of what most visitors are seeking. Use this knowledge to help create user-friendly website navigation.
5. Mobile Optimization
According to GoMobi, 30% of global e-commerce will be conducted on mobile devices by 2018. Currently, nearly two-thirds of smartphone users research items via mobile prior to making a purchase.
For business owners relying on their website for customer interactions and sales, this means optimizing for mobile is a necessity. If you want the best opportunity to meet the needs of customers and provide them with a user-friendly virtual interface moving into the future, a mobile-friendly site is crucial.
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