Businesses (and their website designers) say one of their high priorities is to make their website more customer friendly. However, even though people say it’s a priority, the resulting website often doesn’t live up to what they envisioned.
I spent a few days recently doing a website audit for a holistic chiropractor. I was investigating their competitors and found a lot of sites that desperately needed updating – many were not even mobile-friendly.
Bad website design, outdated aesthetics, and poor usability are all credibility killers. The Internet does not hand out second chances, my friends!
No matter what you want people to do once they click to your site – buy, sign up, inquire about services – what we’re talking about are conversions. Your website’s main role is to compel visitors to take action.
Successful websites convert.
There’s a simple website secret that so many seem to miss:
If you make your website more customer friendly, your conversions will improve.
But where to begin? The best place to start is to focus on the simple fixes first.
6 simple fixes to make your website more customer friendly
These are the areas that can be tweaked in order to improve user experience, engage visitors longer, and answer their questions…thereby setting your site up to convert more customers.
1. Clearly State What You Do
Studies show that you have less than 10 seconds to convince visitors to stay on your site. If they don’t feel that their needs are addressed, they will be gone.
To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your Unique Value Proposition within 10 seconds.
Also known as a unique selling proposition (USP), your UVP is a clear statement that describes the benefit the customer will have by working with your business, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition. Your unique value proposition should appear prominently “above the fold” in your hero image section.
2. Easy to Find Contact Info
Many websites still don’t give visitors an easy channel for getting in touch with the company. Some websites don’t even have an email address or contact form on them.
Make your website more customer friendly with these simple fixes:
- Make sure you have a Contact Us page.
- Put a link to your contact page in a conspicuous place in your header menu.
- Create “click-to-call” and “click-to-email” links so that mobile users can easily reach you.
3. Simplify Choices
Hick’s Law is a popular theory, which states that the time it takes for an individual to make a decision is directly proportionate to the possible choices he or she has.
In other words, by increasing the number of choices, the decision time is also increased.
You might be tempted to copy Amazon in their presentation of seemingly unlimited choices but do everything you can to fight that urge.
The reality is, too much choice is overwhelming and often leads to customer inaction – wading through a lot of information involves the conscious brain, and results in decision avoidance. The brain dislikes figuring out how one choice is different from the others.
Simplify choices so they are easily distinguishable from one another.
When presenting choices, keep in mind that the brain is lazy and unwilling to wrestle with things. Make it easier for customers to choose by limiting the number of options, showing what makes an option different from the others, and visually emphasizing the choice that you want them to act on.
4. Simplify Menu Navigation
The navigation on your site serves two purposes:
- It helps the user find what they’re looking for.
- It helps your search engine rankings.
Website visitors should come first, search engines second. Use descriptive navigation instead of generic text. Use words that your visitors would use and words that your visitors are searching for. It’s fewer clicks for the user and it helps search engines indicate your relevance.
Keep menus short and concise so that they serve the user’s needs. Avoid the temptation to over-complicate. Your customers are on your website to do something, so the navigation should help them do that thing as quickly and as pain-free as possible.
The debate on whether or not to include prices on the company website rages on. Why? Because every type of business is different and website owners look to Google to help them decide, which often only confuses the situation.
The fact is, to make a website more customer friendly, there are good reasons to list pricing, or at least a “starting at” price or range of prices (depending on what the company does):
- Give visitors what they want. If someone loves your services and they have to email you to get pricing, you may never hear from them. And, poor user experience may cause them to tell others.
- Saves visitor’s time. People have an idea of what they can spend. Pricing saves time for those people who aren’t your target customer for budget reasons.
- Save yourself time. Pricing on your site allows potential clients to figure out what your services will cost them without bombarding your inbox with inquiries.
6. Clear Calls-to-Action
Calls to action (CTAs) should be strategically placed and designed to stand out.
Buy now buttons, lead forms, subscriptions, donate buttons, newsletter sign ups and more are all crucial to your website performing the way it should.
- Use strong command verbs:
Run an e-commerce website? Start your CTA with words like “buy,” “shop,” or “order”
Promoting a newsletter or white paper? Start your CTA with words like “download” or “subscribe”
Want someone to request more information? Try “fill out a form for…” or “find out how…”
Guide your visitors through the buying journey with strategically placed, clear calls-to-action.
Focus efforts on outstanding user experience.
Take a few minutes and go through your website as your customer would. Make note of what works for you and what doesn’t.
Take these simple fixes to make your website more customer friendly to your company website provider. Ask them to consider each one and how it may improve your conversions. The changes will help you avoid the negative results that happen on business websites and ultimately delight your customers.