You’ve probably heard the adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but you also know we all make snap decisions when we meet people, walk into a restaurant, or pick up that proverbial book. Websites are no exception to the rule. One click is all it takes to lose a potential customer forever. You know it’s important to build a website that your customers will love and and continue visiting, but as an entrepreneur watching every penny carefully, how can you make sure your website will measure up?
Outlined below are five proven strategies that can promote a user-friendly experience for your customers.
Focus on the Customer’s First Stop
The home page of your website is often your first point of contact with a prospect or returning customer, so make sure to invite him into the rest of your site. Chances are, if the customer enjoys the content or messaging on this page, he’ll continue to browse other pages on your website. Clear, engaging, and lead generating websites often include:
- A clear presentation of what your company represents
- Your company’s logo to establish your brand identity
- Previews of engaging content that will interest your target audience
- Easy navigation to other pages on the site
- A call to action
Keep Design and Navigation Simple
Your website conveys your brand, identity, and product or service offerings, so you want to display as much information as possible, right? Not always. Too much text and visuals can clutter a page and make it difficult for customers to easily locate and find what they’re looking for. And with access to competitors just a click away, smart website design becomes a critical piece of the customer acquisition and retention equation. Some of the best websites are simple in design, but have detailed elements that make them super intuitive and engaging such as:
- Large and responsive hero images welcoming the customer
- Parallax scrolling for an interactive way to browse through menu options
- Hidden or hamburger menus to increase conversion rate
- Card design to provide users with options for content
Be Ready to Cross Language and Cultural Barriers
The Internet has made it possible for businesses to reach potential customers all over the world. These customers will best relate to your website when you communicate with them through their native language and culture. Also known as localization, the process of making your website and other digital material accessible in multiple languages, has the potential to grow your business and help you compete on a global level.
When reaching customers from different countries, it’s important to be able to successfully communicate the same message to them – make it easy for customers to come to your site and find their preferred language. Eliminate the hassle for customers, and cache their language preference for future visits. Website localization companies can also help you reach a variety of people who speak different languages by providing a platform that helps to automate the translation process. Within a localization platform, webmasters can collect content to be translated, translate within the program, and push out multilingual content to reach a new segment of customers.
Recognize New Platform Trends
The way people access the internet is constantly changing. In fact, the number of people accessing the web on mobile devices now exceeds the number who access the web using a desktop computer.
As search trends change and customers want to view your website from whatever device they’re using, your website must adjust on the fly. Making sure your website is created using responsive design will ensure it loads properly on multiple screen sizes ranging from smartphones to tablets to desktops. Your website layout and functionality should also be tested for consistency across major web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. By addressing this multi-device, multiple browser trend, your website will provide customers with an enhanced user experience.
Keep Everything Up-To-Date
Contrary to popular belief, work doesn’t end after you’ve setup and localized your website. Customers want fresh content, so if the information on your website is outdated, there’s a good chance you’ll lose some business. Content changes can include anything from featured weekly promotions on the home page to new blog content — all of which are engaging and of interest to your customer. Frequent updates to your website are also helpful for search engine optimization (SEO). Publishing relevant content on a regular basis can help your website rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), meaning customers will be able to find your website easily if they type your company name into a search engine like Google or Bing.
Keeping the above tips in mind can help you make the right first impression, making sure you have the best chance of winning customers, no matter what language they speak or where they live.