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Reversing Web Woes: Optimizing Your Site’s User Experience

Web got you down? If your business website isn’t generating leads and doesn’t receive much traffic, it’s time to take a fresh approach.

Many sites are designed as digital brochures. They feature predictable sections about the company and its history, products and/or services, customer testimonials and contact information. These work best for companies that simply need a web presence for credibility and brand-building purposes. This is because they have a very specific target market mainly cultivated offline.

This means that everyone else – especially those seeking robust e-commerce transactions – needs to shake things up in the web world. Take a hard look at your existing site. Who does it refer to the most: you and/or your business – or your prospective customer and their needs?

Websites

It’s not all about you

Far too often content is laser-focused on the business rather than the potential customer. While it’s important to share your experience and how you excel in your industry, it’s integral to shift the focus to the customer. With the rapid progression of interactive technology, social media, and mobile devices over the past decade, our culture has become individualistic. People want to know “what’s in it for them” almost immediately, and it’s important to address that need (or desire) effectively and speedily.

To achieve this, outline your target markets and their demographics. Don’t forget their psychographics – interests, lifestyles, values and leisure activities. These should be identifiable via customer observations you’ve made during conversations, social media interactions and buying patterns.

Once you have a clear vision of the “types” of customers you are trying to engage with, you can better design your website to coincide with their interests. It’s helpful to think of your site as a pathway. Your prospective customers start by seeking a solution you can provide, but your site has to guide them effectively. You want to keep them on the path and ultimately do business with you at its end.

Customer-centric content is king

It’s important to provide key messaging easily identifiable by each of your target markets. This can be accomplished with creative, attention-grabbing content that specifically addresses their particular interests.

For instance, if you sell footwear, you could post blogs about the latest runway-inspired fashion trends to attract the 18-35 year old target market to your stylish heels and boots. To push your orthopedic line of slippers to an older demographic still in the workforce, you could include a blog highlighting data about the long-term effects of standing and walking for hours in unsupportive shoes. Then discuss the benefits of wearing these arch-supporting slippers at the end of a long day.

This content should be pushed out through your various social media channels and online ads to attract prospective customers to your website. When links to your target market specific content are clicked, visitors will arrive at your site on various subpages – not your homepage. Be sure to have images and content on your subpages that will keep their attention and drive them through your site.

Deal-winning design

This brings to attention an issue of equal importance to customer-centric content: site design. Your site must be visually appealing to draw attention by prospective customers and retain them longer than a click-through. Keep in mind the goal of providing your customers a pathway to your products or services. Your design should encourage them to keep moving through the path of your site to get what they want and need.

To begin, organize your homepage with portals for each of your target markets. This helps silo and direct your prospective customers based on their interests if they visit your homepage first. Provide eye-catching, content-rich subpages for each portal that will encourage visitors to stay on your site. This will build brand credibility and trust. Keep in mind that visitors will likely start on any subpage based on content links you publish (as I previously mentioned). So each page should be consistent and impactful in design and messaging.

Path to profitability

By delivering an engaging and rewarding experience as they navigate their pathways, your prospective customers will heed your call to action to fulfill their product or service need. Keeping your content updated and fresh will encourage them to return often.

If you need assistance building the perfect customer pathway on your business website, contact an integrated marketing firm.

Remember to send me an email, call, or connect via Twitter and LinkedIn to share ideas you have about this topic.

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