Ask anyone under the age of 30 if they remember using the Yellow Pages and you’ll likely get a baffled mutter “What are they?” Even if you did use that ancient “search engine,” when was the last time you leafed through a phone book?
Fact of the matter is, we don’t use phone books to find goods and services anymore. We search online. That’s why a professionally built, user friendly website is so important.
Not only is that the place people will learn about your business. It also scales your business to a much larger audience. At no additional cost. What a tremendous sales opportunity!
But how do you take full advantage?
There’s a right way and wrong way to present yourself online. Think of your own experience. Have you found a product or service and clicked away because you were frustrated with the website?
Maybe you were turned off by its “boxy,” early 2000s look, with confusing blocks of content. Or it wasn’t clear what the business was about. Maybe you clicked to a page you thought would help but it didn’t answer any of your questions.
Frustrating isn’t it? There are so many others offering the same products and services. Why should you suffer trying to figure out a poorly designed website?
In our last post we told the story of an associate of mine who had to find a new dentist here in the Utica area. After a thorough search, he picked the one with the most professional looking, easiest to use website. And that dental firm got thousands of dollars of business from him.
Pretty good proof you’ll grow your business with a quality website. So let’s talk about three important elements of quality.
People Buy From People They Trust
Choosing a new dentist is one of the most important decisions a person can make. Clicking away from a prospective dentist’s sloppy website makes sense. Is that the dental office you want working on your teeth?
This isn’t an isolated incident. And it goes to the credibility of the dentists being searched. I read in Forbes the other day, “One of the main reasons you should have a website for your business is to increase your organization’s credibility.”
I’d take a step back and say that in this post-Covid era, where more people than ever begin their buying journey online, a quality website is basic to your credibility. It was for our friend searching for a dentist. And it probably is for you when you buy online, too.
A central question visitors ask themselves when they come to a new website is, “Can I trust this business to do what they say they can?” A professional quality website answers with an emphatic “yes.” As a positive reflection of you and your business, it establishes your credibility.
Professional Design Gets Attention
You have an advantage when visitors reach your website. They’re looking for exactly what you offer! The problem is how easy it is to click away. So first impressions are important. That’s where quality design makes all the difference.
You want to showcase your unique brand with colors and logo that attract attention. A clean, uncluttered look makes the buying journey seem hassle free. Prospects get excited that their problem is about to be solved. They let down their guard and continue the buying journey. They may actually enjoy being sold!
Does this make sense to you? It’s your website’s job to get the attention of your prospects, make them feel comfortable with your business. That’s where careful design comes in. It hooks your prospects so they don’t click away.
How Usability Affects the Buyer’s Journey
Your prospect trusts you and you’ve got her attention. Congratulations! But we’re not done yet. A professional website designer must consider how the visitor interacts with the site.
Is it easy to navigate? Are questions answered quickly? Are products easily placed into and out of the shopping cart?
When I design a website I consider what the prospect is thinking as they make their way through the site. I want to anticipate their questions and concerns. Is every touch point on the site clear? It’s like taking them by the hand and leading them to a sale.
As a website developer, we call it the user experience, or UX. And it is where many poorly designed websites leak money. In short, a quality, easy to use website is one of the best ways for you to get leads and sales online.
Trust, Attention, and Usability Drive Website Success
The COVID shutdown accelerated the growth of online purchasing. More customers are demanding a productive online experience. Even for those with a local brick-and-mortar store or office.
That means a website is the minimum cost of entry for any business. People want to buy from a trusted authority. They want to enjoy being sold your product or service. And they want their experience on your website to be clear, clean, and easy.
If you’re ready for a website redesign, get in touch with me today. Or if you’re unsure, I’ll audit your current site. Either way, let’s make your business shine online!
Until next time,
Hilltop specializes in website design and development for small businesses throughout Central New York and beyond. Call 315.717.6218 or send an inquiry here.