As the digital environment gets more competitive by the day, businesses can no longer simply treat their websites as a venue for displaying information about their company and products. As much as you want your website to rank on Google, that will only carry you as far as bringing a potential customer through the front door, and it means nothing if you don’t have the means to keep them there.
In order to stand out from the crowd, it is now imperative for companies to think deeply about how to go beyond just aesthetics. More is needed to drive successful conversions by engaging visitors and turning them into paying customers.
To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of 9 things you should always keep in mind when building a new website (or updating an existing one). These steps should increase your chances of making a positive impression on potential customers and driving conversions at a higher rate.
9 Ways to Bounce-Proof Your Site
1. Get Your SEO Right
To reach your target audience, your website will need to be SEO ready, enabling it to show up higher on Google or another search engine. If you’re not sure where to start with this, take a look here and here for a better idea of SEO best practices and how to apply them to your business.
2. Clear, Easy Navigation
Internet users are not exactly known for their superhuman patience. If they don’t find what they’re looking for a few minutes after arriving at your website, chances are they’ll lose interest and go elsewhere.
This is why companies need to make sure that potential customers take one look at their site and know whether the product or service that they’re looking for is offered.
The website itself must be easy to navigate and products and services should be categorized and listed visibly and in an easily found location. Make sure the main navigation menu is placed across the top of the page or along the sides, where visitors would expect to find it.
Stay clear, stay consistent and stay predictable.
3. Be Accessible
A visitor can’t convert if they can’t get in touch. Providing contact information is especially important if you are trying to draw local traffic by improving your SEO. Further, making sure your website displays your name, address, phone number and email address can go a long way when a potential client needs to ask an urgent question.
4. Use Calls-to-Action
CTAs are designed as a way to bring about an instant reaction from the customer. This could be closing a sale, signing up to an email list, referring a friend, etc., and these can be spread these out through your site to encourage visitors to take a desired action.
5. Be Visually Appealing
A good looking website may not be the most important thing, but it’s not the least important either. Visitors will largely perceive your website based on design.
Use your knowledge of your client base and your products and services to figure out what type of website they might find aesthetically appealing and deliver that. Combining this with the easy navigational interface will keep them on the page longer and increase their chances of wanting to make a purchase.
6. Engage and Educate
If you want to establish yourself as a credible source of information, you need to put out high value, useful content frequently.
The best type of content is that which caters to customers of different levels of experience in the field. For example, people with little to no experience might feel excluded by exceedingly technical content. On the other hand, a seasoned customer might find it condescending to have things spelled out for them.
There are many channels of doing this—via a blog, social media sites, email newsletters, etc. Choose any combination you prefer, so long as you have the resources to maintain them.
Finally, add sharing icons to your social media posts to enlarge your online reach, and possibly bringing in more conversions.
7. Build Trust
You must keep in mind that customers will probably look you up before completing any transaction. They will make themselves aware of what others are saying about you. Keep this in mind and show (don’t just tell) your visitors that you can deliver what you promise. A good way to do this is through positive testimonials and reviews. This will ensure that your company is perceived as professional, competent, and invested in their customers’ success.
Additionally, use logos of other big, familiar brands, as they will make customers subconsciously trust you too (e.g. PayPal, American Express). This is a good way to build familiarity, which increases the likelihood of a conversion.
Finally, another good way to build trust is to display things that differentiate you from your competitors. Are you a part of a trade association? Have you been covered by the local media? Do you provide extra security by adding SSL to your website? Let them know!!
8. Optimize for Mobile
There has been an enormous growth in the number of people researching products and companies on their smartphones. Therefore, failing to make sure that your website is mobile friendly is an oversight no one can afford any more. Especially not if conversions are your focus. Potential buyers will not want to pinch and expand to read your website on their phone. Instead, they will turn to one of their several other options instead.
9. Be Relatable
As with face-to-face interactions, if someone doesn’t like you, they’re unlikely to give you their business. Visitors to your website should be able to relate to you as a company. This, in turn, will in turn persuade them to buy from you. You can do this by paying attention to the tone, language, and content of your website.
In conclusion, the evolution of a website should go hand in hand with the evolution of a company. Once you’re done building your site, you should track analytics frequently and make corresponding changes. It’s important to actively seek out any kind of feedback and new developments in technology that will help you make this experience a better one for your customers