Let’s be honest. It’s easy to fall in love with your website when it’s YOUR website.
You put a lot of thought, time and effort into it and seeing the final product is like seeing your child for the first time. You fall in love.
Unfortunately, you aren’t the only person who has to love your website. It’s not about you. It’s more important for your customers to love your website than it is for you to love it.
Unless, of course, you’re your own biggest paying client.
When you look at your website it is better to look at it through your customers’ eyes than your own.It’s waaaay more important for your customers to love your website than it is for you to love it. #website #customerservice Click To Tweet
When was the last time that you looked at your website like a customer?
I mean really look at it. The pictures, the colors, the number of clicks …
If your answer to that question was “never”, then you should definitely get on that.
If you aren’t exactly sure HOW to look at your website like a customer, then you’re in luck because I’m going to give you some tips.
Your Customers Are Making A Snap Decision
You might think your website is visually appealing, but it also needs to attract your ideal customers. From the moment someone visits your page you have 3 seconds to make an impression, so it needs to be a good one.
Three seconds. That’s not very long. My tea that steeps longer than that.You have 3 seconds for your website to impress your ideal customers. My tea steeps longer than that. You need to be insanely clear to grab your customer's attention. #website #business #customerservice Click To Tweet
Take a look at the web pages of some of your competition or some of your favorite sites.
Is your site up to par? Do you have some of the same features?
If they are attracting more customers than you it might be a good idea to take a few notes! If your answer is you don’t have the budget to engage customers like Pottery Barn or Whole Foods, that’s a cop-out. Yes, those are big-budget brands, but even on the smallest of budgets you can provide attention-getting customer service on your business website.
Consider how easy it is for a potential customer to contact your business.
If your competitors have online chat and prominently displayed email addresses and phone numbers, then it’s a sign you need to ditch relying on your “Contact Us” form for customer contact.
You might also consider moving your contact information to the top of the website instead of expecting customers to find your email and phone in the footer.
What Do Want Customers To Do? Create Calls-to-Action
What is the main goal that you want to achieve when your customers come to your website?
Do you want them to contact you? Are they supposed to buy something? Click a specific link?
Whatever it is that you want your customers to do should be as easy to find as possible.
Your potential customers aren’t Captain Jack on a Pirates of the Caribbean odyssey. They have absolutely no interest in hunting for secret treasure.Your potential customers aren't Captain Jack on a Pirates of the Caribbean odyssey. They have absolutely no interest in hunting for secret treasure on your website. #business #startup #website Click To Tweet
Instead of a scavenger hunt, your website needs to be a very clear roadmap. For some, your website is the first customer service experience people will have with your business.
Each page is a guidepost leading the customer to your business goals. Not in a sleazy, sales-driven way, and not after making them click through several web pages.
Think of your website as an authentic representation of how your business guides a new customer through your sales experience. If your website isn’t doing that, then you’ve got work to do.
When you go to your website, try to think like a customer. If you start from the homepage, how many clicks does it take to reach your goal?
It should take no more than 3-clicks to get to any specific page on your site. Furthermore, make sure your Calls-to-Action are easily visible and CLEAR!
Put Yourself In Your Customer’s Shoes
One of the hardest writing exercises during my formative years involved explaining step-by-step how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
It’s easy to skip the steps when it’s something you’ve done over and over. You don’t even see it because you’ve done it so many times. It’s easy to assume that EVERYONE knows how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.It's hard to build a relationship with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you forget the damn bread. The same is true of your business website. Make your website easy to follow so potential customers will engage. #business… Click To Tweet
And yet, one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is assuming the complete strangers who stumble upon their website know what to do next.
That’s why it’s so hard to look at your website through your customer’s eyes. You’re too close to it. It took so many hours and so much thought to put it together, it’s killing you to think that perhaps the message isn’t clear.
Take a step back and think about the websites that make you crazy. Are you doing that to your customers?
The most important thing for your customers to know when they visit your website is who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. The basics.
If they don’t know any of these things it is hard to develop a “relationship” with your customers and reach your business website goals.
Don’t forget to make it super easy for your customers. The top-level navigation needs to be clear. Use common terms like Home, About, Services, Blog, and Contact.
When you try to be clever or use too many industry-specific terms, you start to lose people. And losing people is the last thing you want to do.
When you build your website, make all of this information visible and easily accessible. So it should be thoughtfully placed and linked throughout your site.
Take these ideas, evaluate your website, and make changes where necessary. Then, next time you look at your site look at it through different eyes – the eyes of your customer.
The most important thing is to take action. Look at your site or ask existing customers for feedback. These actions will give you clarity and direction about how to make your website more attractive to your ideal customer.
If you’re not sure what you need, schedule a free Technology Strategy Session. As a small business technology strategist, I help you create a technology plan to support your business vision that can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Jen McFarland is a business systems expert, podcaster, and blogger. She’s helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners make better business decisions. Jen’s passion is helping women-owned businesses get the growth tools they need to meet their 3-5 year business goals.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out Jen’s Picks, my favorite business growth tools.