Building an Effective Web Presence - Step 4 : Give Customers What They Expect

Building an Effective Web Presence
Step #4 – Give Customers What They Expect

Over the past three months we identified steps one, two, and three in the process of building an effective web presence:  

Step 1 - Define your ideal client.
Step 2 - Identify very specific goals for your web presence. 
Step 3 – Create a clear call to action.

The fourth step may seem obvious, but consider how many websites you visit each week and don’t find what you are looking for. What do you do when you don’t find what you want?  You probably leave and move on to the next one.  

Step 4 - Give Customers What They Expect.
Ask yourself this question.  When a prospective customer gets to your website, what do they expect to find?  Make sure you give it to them, or make it VERY easy to get.

The obvious but often overlooked:
           Professional look (first impressions still count)
           Error free (spell check, links work, no error messages or plug-ins required)
          Consistent navigation
           Basic business information (Hours, Contact Information, Location)

Google is now a verb, not just a search engine. This verb often replaces the phone book. People look to Google to find local businesses.  This means your website may be the first impression a prospective new client has of your business.  Does it have a professional look that represents the quality of your business services or products? Or does it look like you attempted to do it yourself and gave up halfway through?  Think about the first impression your website gives … you want it to be the right one.

Is your website error free, spell checked, and do all the links work properly?  If not, take the time to fix the problems. Nothing deflates your credibility more quickly than an error-laden website.  

Is the navigation consistent and intuitive across every page of your website? You do not want prospective customers to get lost or stranded attempting to find their way through your site. There are few things worse than getting to a page on a website with no obvious way to get to another.

Are your hours, location, and contact information listed on every page of the website?  If not, consider adding them … to every page (not just the “contact us” page).  The website itself is rarely going to close the business deal for you. It’s the contact, interaction, and relationship that you build with the prospective customer that closes the deal.  If starting a dialog with your prospective customer is the primary objective, then the how, the when, and the where to reach you should be the easiest information to find.

People buy from people, not from companies.  Instead of thinking of your website as one way communication (for example - this is what I do, you should buy from me), think of it as an introduction … a first impression.  It’s the first step in the relationship marketing process.

Your website should START the dialogue with your prospective customer.  This means you want to get rid of the obstacles on your website that would prevent the customer from wanting to engage.
Give customers what they expect… don’t give them a reason to leave.

Sandy Waggett, Owner
MSW Interactive Designs LLC ~ We put the web to work for you!


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