What impression should your website make?
It is not easy to imagine life without taking advantage of the benefits of the Internet. Online shopping, online doctor appointments, or simply searching for information (also online) are integral parts of everyday life. The Internet is ubiquitous, and you have no choice but to adapt to this virtual reality, especially when you run your own business.
Your business needs a website. A professional and complete website, preferably one your customers will fall in love with at first impression and want to use your products and services immediately. Your website should encourage them to take action - make a purchase, submit an inquiry, visit a company or make an appointment.
A modern and convincing website is nowadays an indispensable element in acquiring a customer, both for those looking for companies on the Internet, as well as those "on recommendation," which verifies your company on the web, based on z opinions about you. If the user has a negative impression, they are unlikely to take advantage of your offer.
How to make a successful website - 5 tricks to use right now!
Ask yourself if you even know what makes a good website? There are a few things that should come to your mind:
a) Modern design
b) Adaptation to mobile devices
c) Responding to audience needs
d) Good visibility in search results
e) Customers trust
Now think about whether your website has bulleted features. If so, you are on your way to achieving an effective website that will successfully achieve its goals. Even if you can't answer "yes" to the last question, don't worry. Maybe some work is waiting for you, but if you follow all the points in this article, you can enjoy a successful website that will help you expand your business.
Here are some fundamental principles that will make your customers love your website at first sight.
1. Implement a thoughtful and modern website design
All effective websites have several similarities - modern style, well-thought-out structure, and intuitive navigation. Your website should also have these features to attract audiences and turn them into regular customers.
Users form an opinion about your website within just 50 milliseconds! So you have a difficult task ahead of you: to convince them to stay on the site long enough to become familiar with its offer and make, for example, a purchase. How can you do that?
a) Keep your website with the latest web design trends, but don't overdo it. Also, don't copy the actions of the competition. Stay true to your branding while doing so. Don't forget about legible and well-chosen fonts, and let the color palette harmonize well with your brand and naturally - attract attention.
b) Usually, less is more. Focus on clearly communicating to users that you are exactly who they need. Avoid elements that may distract the attention of people visiting your website or hinder the process of making a purchase or deciding to take advantage of the offer.
c) Nowadays, every website needs to look good on every device, so make sure yours is responsive (adapted to mobile devices). This is important because, in the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices accounted for as much as 54.8 percent of global website traffic.
d) Arrange CTA (call to action) buttons on the page. They should be in any place that requires the user to take action that is important to you. Also, remember to make sure that the messages on the buttons are clear and encourage the users to take action that requires them.
e) Use White Space or Negative Space. This term refers to the empty space used, among other things, on the website. This way, the content will be highlighted and easier to digest. This is a good practice because, as you know, relevant content only takes a few seconds to reach the recipient with an important message.
2. Get to know your recipients in-depth
Without a perfect knowledge of the group of recipients you are addressing, you will not be able to effectively reach them with your offer, let alone respond to their most important needs. Your website must be tailored to the people it is targeted at. How to do it?
2.1. Speak the language of your audience
Research the language used by your target group. Take a look at the recipient profiles of your products on social media and forums or watch your competition - it's always a good idea. Speak simply, especially if you are presenting complex topics.
2.2. Identify and address the problems of your audience
First, discover what is essential to your audience, what interests them, what causes problems, and what will benefit them from using your product/services. Publish content that solves your customers' problems. Avoid too much advertising content - it doesn't work anymore. Today, content marketing is precisely tailored to the audience you are addressing.
3. Be visible and available to customers
The Internet allows you to quickly find the necessary information or take care of essential matters, e.g., make a purchase or book an appointment. Your customers expect the same speed from your business. Even if you run a small business and don't have the resources to hire a team of people to ensure 24/7 service, you can stay within reach of your customers for a whole week. They will help you with this:
3.1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You can be sure that customers will ask the same or similar questions about your products or services. Try to predict them and answer them. If you've been running a business for a while, you've probably noticed that some questions arise more often than others. These are the questions that you should first of all answer. With a well-structured and visible FAQ subpage, you will gain customers' trust and save much of your time!
The FAQ is an underestimated and critical element of website communication - it can be like a light in a tunnel illuminating the way for customers, leading them straight to using your services. Having a FAQ section on your website has another plus that not everyone remembers. Answers from this section may also appear in search results, increasing your presence in the SERP (in search results) and thus attracting more traffic to your website.
3.2. Contact form
This is where the customer can ask a more complex and niche question than the ones answered in the FAQ. Ensure the form is clearly visible, easy to find, and works properly. Test the contact form by sending an e-mail, e.g., to your private e-mail address.
3.3. Live chat
Customers are often impatient and don't intend to wait, so allow them to ask their bothering questions while browsing the site. This shows that you are available and willing to help. If a customer writes during hours when you cannot reply, they should receive an automatic reply telling them that their message has arrived and that they will get a response to their question. If you have a higher budget, use an intelligent chat that answers customer questions in a way you define.
3.4. Google Business Profile
Once you create your website and run a local business, create a Google Business Profile. Fill in as many fields as possible - enter your company name, address, contact details, and opening hours, and add photos of your company or projects. Thanks to this, your company will be easier to find on the Internet.
3.5. Accounts in social media
Having your own website is very important for the company. Still, it is worth supporting yourself with social media - to keep in touch with recipients and keep them informed about important matters. Consider which social channels will be appropriate for your business and publish what content will interest your target group. What can your customers engage? Show authenticity - today, it is the most reliable and inspires the most significant trust.
3.6. SEO - optimization for search results
One of the most important and effective ways to build visibility on the web is SEO - i.e., website optimization, content, etc., for search results. The more you care about SEO, the higher your projects will show up on specific keywords entered in the search engine. Why is it so important? Remember how often you check the results' 2nd or even 5th page when you search for something on Google? Rarely, right? That is why you should want your content to appear in the highest positions, thus reaching a larger group of recipients.
4. Build trust and loyalty
The website should inspire trust in you, your company, and the offer. Without it, you cannot expect a crowd of customers who blindly buy your product or service. Building such trust is not easy. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to obtain it.
Opinions and reviews are a great way to build trust with your customers. With honest feedback, customers can rest assured that they are making a good purchasing decision. By sharing your customers' opinions and experiences with others interested in your offer, you also show your transparency, which is essential for today's consumers.
Placing a Portfolio on the page allows you to present your best projects, attracting new customers. Such a Portfolio section or subpage also helps build expert opinions in the industry in which you operate.
Vouchers are a great way to attract new customers and grow your business. Using them is worth promoting your company and attracting more people to your offer. Thanks to them, you will also increase the mention of your website because information about coupons or other types of discounts is often readily disseminated among various internet users.
5. Test, observe, analyze… and so on
Rome was not built in one day. It takes time for your relationship with customers to develop and your website to generate real profits. Don’t give up. Be consistent and act according to plan.
Remember to constantly monitor the situation to react to solutions that work, as well as those that do more harm than good. How can you do that?
5.1. Use analytical and SEO tools
Connect Google Analytics tools to your website. Thanks to them, you will gain access to data about the website and its users. Other SEO tools will also allow you to perform a website audit, so you can detect any errors and shortcomings on the website and be able to fix them.
5.2. Keep an eye on your competition
Keep track of your competitors' activities on the Internet. Check now and then if the competition has not changed the website. Don’t follow these changes right away but think about what they could result from and what their possible effect would be.
How to have a successful website - summary
A professional and well-designed website will be appreciated by visitors and Google, showing the way to your future customers. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to all issues affecting its success from the beginning of a website. Once again, I will remind you how you can make your website successful:
1. Implement a thoughtful and modern website design
2. Know your audience in depth
3. Be visible and available to customers
4. Build trust and loyalty
5. Test, observe, analyze ... and so on.
By following these steps, you will quickly notice an improvement in your website - whether in the number of monthly visits or better results in SEO audit reports. Remember that each of these achievements allows you to increase your website's success and, thus, your business's development.
Karol is a serial entrepreneur, e-commerce speaker m.in for the World Bank, and founder of 3 startups, as part of which he has advised several hundred companies. He was also responsible for projects of the largest financial institutions in Europe, with the smallest project being worth over €50 million.
He has two master's degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Marketing Management, obtained during his studies in Poland and Portugal. He gained experience in Silicon Valley and while running companies in many countries, including Poland, Portugal, the United States, and Great Britain. For over ten years, he has been helping startups, financial institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their functioning through digitization.