How Customer Friendly is your Website?

  • business-customers
Tudor Lodge

Take a look around the internet and you’ll find endless sites and blogs advising you on how to make your own website more Google-friendly. There’s no denying that search engine optimisation is very important if you want your site to be found by your potential customers when they do a web search, however, SEO is only half the battle. It is very easy to get so caught up in making your site attractive to the search engines, that you forget who the site is actually for in the first place – your customers. It is no use getting hundreds and thousands of visitors to your website via search engines, if they are not interested and engaged by the content they find when they get there.

Look for the Bounce Rate

Visitor numbers are just one statistic you should be looking at when you are analysing the performance of your website. To be sure that your site is achieving everything you want it to, you should also be looking at how long those visitors stay on the site and how many pages they choose to visit. If you have a high hit rate but also a high bounce rate, then clearly something is not right with your site layout, its copy and its approach. So how can you put these things right and what changes can you make to not only keep the interest of all those customers you have worked so hard to attract, but also make them act how you want them to? This refers to buying your product, subscribing to your blog, or booking your services.

Make Things Clear

One of the biggest turn-offs for a web page is a lack of clarity. If your site data tells you that people are bouncing away fast, then you are obviously not making the right first impression and you are not being clear. People have a very short attention span and they don’t like to have to work hard to find out what you are saying or selling. Visitors need to be able to get the information they require quickly and easily, within the first few seconds, without digging around and without wading through huge blocks of text. If you have a lot to say, you can always make this optional, with short intro paragraphs that finish with the option to read more, but it is vital to keep the initial information short and to the point.

Speak Their Language

Once you have got your visitors to stop long enough to read what you have to say, then you have to make sure you're speaking their language. Don’t write for the search engines, packing your prose with keywords until it loses all meaning. And don’t try to impress people with technical babble or clever wordplay. Talk to them as people, just like you would if you met them at a party or a networking event. Even if your site is a business to business site and you are communicating at the highest levels, you are still just one person talking to another and your customers will appreciate you speaking to them in this approachable way.

Talk About Benefits Not Features

This is one of the golden rules of copywriting, but it is also one you should consider breaking in the right circumstances. In most cases, people are much more interested in the benefits of your product or service than the features. Features are about you; benefits are about them. However much you love your business, you have to remember that people don’t care about you, they are really only interested in what’s in it for them. For example, if you are promoting a free slots site like Oddschecker, people want to know what they can win, rather than what fancy features you have to get those wins. Similarly, if you offer next day delivery, such as Amazon Prime, then you should talk about the fact that your customers can have their item tomorrow, rather than waffling on about the logistics of how it will get to them.

That said, if you are selling a specialist product range to a knowledgeable audience, then they will be looking for certain features and already be aware of the benefits they bring. For example, if you are selling a top of the range camera, your potential buyers don’t want to wade through lots of fluff about the benefits, they simply want to check that the camera has the features that they are looking for and is the right price for them. In this case, stating the features, perhaps in bullet point form for easy reference, is the way to go.

Talk About Them Not You

In a similar way, your website should always talk about your customers, not about your company. Far too many websites have sentence after sentence that starts with the word ‘we’. We are this, we do that, we offer the other. Visitors will be far more engaged if you talk about them. You can get, you’ll find, you can trust us to... Your website should be the answer to their search question, not a trumpet blowing exercise for your company, so put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want to hear from a company like yours.

Make it Easy to Act

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to make sure that your customers know what you want them to do and that it is crystal clear how to do it. If you don’t have a clear call to action, then you can’t expect your visitors to act. Tell them what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do that, and they will do it. You can have the most amazing shop-window site that showcases your products or services, but if you don’t tell people to buy and give them a clear pathway to do so, or you don’t tell them to contact you and give them a number, email link or contact form, then your response rates will be poor.

Find the Balance

At the end of the day, you need to find a balance between attracting and engaging your visitors. Spend too much time on one or the other and you’ll either get lots of visitors who don’t stay, or very few visitors at all. Investing in expert help can make all the difference, with SEO experts and professional copywriters working together to deliver, and keep, the audience you’re aiming for.

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