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While you’ve been busy trying to decide whether or not to redo your website, your target audience has been busy getting smarter, more web savvy and raising their expectations. If your site is missing the mark on any one of the following five qualities, the answer is yes.
Yes, believe it or not, your potential customer expects you to know their goals. Take the time to figure out who they are and what they care about by creating personas for each type of person that uses the site. (Typically 3-5 personas.) A persona is a profile that mashes up the common characteristics of each role that you want to connect with. For each role, do some research on your potential customer and create a name, place of work, title, family, gender, technology preference, and whether he or she prefers reading blogs over watching videos, etc.
This ensures that when someone in that role visits the site, the contents they will encounter will appear to be created just for them.
Visitors should be able to tell what you do, and who you do it for within the first few seconds of being on your site. Whether it was via word of mouth, an ad, a banner link, or search engine, that visitor went to some trouble to get there. Make it easy for them to decide whether to stay or go. (Getting them to go quickly is arguably just as important as getting people to stay.)
If done correctly, those who go were never your customer in the first place.
So many companies take the time, energy, and investment to design and manufacture their product in an exceptional way and then blow it when it comes to sharing it with their potential customers online. Visitors are met with poor photography, dull copy and lousy navigation. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. People who don’t know you will transfer the poor image of a website to your product. Celebrate your hard work by showcasing your products with great photography, authentic copy and simple navigation. Tell them why you do what you do. Tell them why your product is a good fit for them. The quality of experience on your site should match the quality of your product at the very least.
Without a content strategy that dictates what, how, and when content is created for your site, your website will devolve into an online brochure. Sure, it’s exciting and fresh when it’s new, but search engines will lose interest fast if you are not adding unique content each month. There are a variety of ways to add content to your website, for example; product descriptions, blogs, white papers, and case studies, to name a few. Leverage the talent on your team and you’ll be surprised what they come up with. We recommend between 2,000 and 3,000 unique words of content per month. Search engines will love you for it and so will your customers.
Calls to action (CTAs) and some analytical juice enable you to find out who is visiting your site, what they are doing, and in what order. If you see visitors who are spending time on your site (multiple visits, long visits, etc.) give them something to do! Basic calls to action such as stay informed, contact us, and sign up for our newsletter, are great ways to get your visitors to let you know who they are. If you have a strong understanding of who your customers are, try to come up with some CTAs unique to your customer. Once you have the basic ones down, be creative and have fun with the additional calls to action.
If your site is missing any one of these, there’s nothing to decide, it’s time for an update — before your audience gets smarter, more web savvy and sets their expectations even higher.
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