Professional Web designers understand that one web site is not just like another — but businesses often leave too much to chance when building their sites, and they don’t understand that some design changes can make a big difference in final results.
Yes, you have a website. Yes, people can navigate there with a mouse (or even on mobile). But what do they experience when they get there? And does it move them to action, or make them feel comfortable with your business, or does it just lead to boredom or frustration?
This is what it means to look at your customer’s experience or journey online. By paying attention to certain principles, businesses can really improve their customer traffic by focusing more on online outreach.
Read What Customers Read
One of the cardinal rules of effective marketing is to always look at things from the customer’s viewpoint. For example, at physical stores, walk the store the way the customer would. Start from the parking lot, where the customer starts, then come in and evaluate what you see as you enter.
The same holds true online. Business leaders should be surfing their web sites and clicking into the landing page just like a customer would, and reading the text as if they’ve never seen before. This is the only way to really learn what it’s like for customers to browse a site.
Find “Must Haves” and “Nice to Haves”
Another key point is to figure out what customers need, and then provide it to them. Is it a set of hours or information about products? And are these at an accessible point on the site? What are the most vital things that people need, and are they able to reach them without lots of clicks?
Create a Customer Journey Map
Another component of changing your customer’s journey involves planning. When you have navigated the site and figured out what customers need, make a detailed plan to get these things front and center on your business web site. This is part of the process that type A managers will like. By planning out your site work in specific ways, you get yourself closer to the eventual results that will make your customers feel better about your company.
Make It Easy
This one is almost impossible to overemphasize. Look at everything and make sure that it is easy for customers to get where they need to go. Don’t settle for “it’s on the website”. Make it so that everybody knows that it’s on the website, and they can get it easily from their computers or smart phones.
Socialize and Share
It’s also important to keep things interesting for customers. Social media is a prime example. Facebook and Twitter campaigns can pay off immensely when they are set up right. You don’t want to intrude on people’s lives, but giving out coupons and other kinds of natural marketing is going to increase your visibility as part of your community, no matter what you’re selling.
Get to Know Your Customers
A lot of this core site work isn’t going to be precisely targeted unless you know who your customers are. This is another part of getting inside your customer’s shoes. They may not be like you — they may be from different backgrounds or have different tastes. That’s why you need to do careful market research and then put yourself in that person’s position, looking at your business through their eyes.
When it’s time to change up your site to improve your customer’s journey, WebSubstance Portfolio can help you make that trip. From the first draft up to the hustle and bustle of implementation, we’re right there with you, bringing innovative design to your plans to put your business more deeply into your customer’s visual experience.