As a business owner, you depend on your website to transition a customer from interest to action. No matter where a customer first encounters your brand – on social media, through advertising, or as the result of a search – when they want more information about you, they’ll visit your website. The experience they have will determine whether or not they decide to do business with you.
No pressure, right?
The fact is that today’s customers are fairly demanding of websites. Millennial and Gen Z shoppers have the expectation that a website will anticipate and meet their needs, minimizing the amount of effort needed to find products or connect with customer service. Members of older generations aren’t necessarily less forgiving – in fact, MI9 Retail reports Baby Boomers tend to prefer a less-is-more, easy to understand design to website design.
To deliver what your customers are looking for, let’s take one of the most common scenarios: a customer discovers a product on social media. They do a voice search to discover where they can find this product near them. Your business shows up in the results, so they go to your website to find out more.
This is the make-or-break-it moment.
If the customer can quickly find the product, determine it’s what they were looking for, and take action, you win. Bear in mind that a significant percentage of customers will contact a store to make sure an item is in stock. That interaction, which can happen via phone call, text message, or email, can serve as the final touchpoint before a visit to your location.
From a website design perspective, this means ensuring your website is optimized for voice search, product pages are well-built and compelling, that multiple avenues to contact your business are easy to find and use, and that your team is prepared to connect with interested customers.
If you’re not sure that is currently the case, shop your website, or have a trusted friend do it for you. Pay attention to what the experience is like, bearing in mind you’re likely to be more patient and forgiving than the typical random customer. Make note of what works for you and what doesn’t.
The next step is to combine the observational data you’ve just gathered with what the objective data gathered by your website analytics tells you. Because website analytics record traffic sources as well as how long visitors spend on your website and what pages are of interest to them, you can get a fairly accurate picture of how people are finding and navigating your website. Pay attention to data that shows where a visitor leaves your website, and see if it correlates with what you see in your call-tracking and store traffic data: if it doesn’t, there’s opportunities for improvement that you can take advantage of to grow your business!