How to Create Your Site to Be an Attractive Place for Potential and Current Customers
Nothing will drive away potential customers faster than a mixed up, awkwardly designed website. How can you change that? By reading the ten tips below which will greatly improve your website immediately.
1. Navigation | It is very important for customers to be able to navigate through your website easily. To do this, ensure all significant sections are noticeably prominent. Create links to as many pages as you can on the main navigation bar in place of having subpages from pages.
2. Your Brand | Include notable elements of your brand into your website, i.e., your logo and color scheme. Your logo should be displayed prominently on your home page as well as on all subsequent pages. This will help customers recognize your logo and brand quicker and easier. For example, think of Nike. You see right away in your mind their iconic "swish" logo. You want to be recognized for both your logo and name.
3. Home Page | As soon as a visitor lands on your home page, they should be able to tell exactly what your site is all about. A call to action should also be visually prominent on the page.
4. Content | Does your principal business operate offline? You can still have a website - just be sure to include enough clearly written information to direct customers to call or e-mail. If your business primarily operates online, you will need to provide ample information to provide customers the assurance to click and buy. However, it is best not to put too much information on any given page, as Internet visitors do not like to have to read several paragraphs to find out what you are about before there is any call to action.
5. Refresh Content | Always, always keep your website fresh and up-to-date. No one likes to visit a website and see information that may be out of date or no longer applicable. Keeping your website fresh will bring customers back again and again. Having a blog is the quickest, easiest way to stay fresh in your targeted market.
6. Think SEO | Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how customers find you when they search on Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engine. Having the most pertinent keywords in your SEO is very important. Also, SEO's do not like or usually cannot read graphics or images. One way to remedy this is to provide a link on your website to your photos or graphics, such as, "View Collection" instead of a button. The text is what SEO's will search - not images or graphics.
7. Colors | We all like color and you might think your wild purple will really make your website stand out. However, if customers are not able to read it, then that will not serve you or your business. Instead, use harmonizing colors that ensures your text will be easily read. Non-harmonizing colors such as red text on a blue background causes text to be too hard to read and will, therefore, potentially turn off visitors.
8. Be Accessible | If you want your customers to connect with you from your website, don't make it hard for them. Website design experts say your contact information, as well as your social media links, should be located at the top right hand corner on every page of your site.
9. Sounds Good | It's sometimes nice to hear music when you open up a website; however, on most mobile devices, the music will not play, which can be very frustrating for visitors. If you feel music needs to be on your website, just ensure it is pleasant to the ear and that it can be easily disabled.
10. External Links | Sometimes, you may want or need to add external links on your website that would take customers off your site onto another site. Make sure those links always open in a new window. You want to ensure your website stays in front of your customer, even when you afford them additional resources.
Need to create a website today? Let us know. We will be happy to create one for you.
by Ryan Miller
In a world where businesses are measured by their number of likes, followers, and the size of their email databases, I see many businesses with a tendency to overlook the real value that their audience is offering.
Especially early on, don’t focus so much on how many platforms you can leverage, rather, focus on one platform where you can effectively learn more about your audience. From there you can broaden your marketing efforts based on what you now know, creating a highly targeted message.
Where you can begin:
Facebook is one of the largest platforms for users to absorb content and share personal information. The data and users are there, all for your taking. For that reason, I'll focus on Facebook as the platform to execute against. Below are three action items that you can realistically move on to start gaining a better understanding of your audience. I've grouped them into categories based on the amount of energy you'll need to spend to get something started.
Page Insights - Low Effort
Assuming you have a Facebook presence, Facebook's Page Insights is a free way to get a better understanding of those users who have "Liked" your page and engage with your brand on Facebook. Although the details are somewhat limited, there are some valuable things you can learn that are often overlooked. Through Page Insights, you can glean information around ‘When Your Fans are Online’, ‘Gender Breakdowns’, and ‘Location Breakdowns’. Just by getting a better understanding of your users in these areas, you can better tailor your efforts to your audience. For example, don’t sell snow shovels to 70 year olds who live in Florida.
This tool is free, already in place, easy to navigate, and you can gain a better understanding of your audience within minutes.
Polls, Surveys, and Questionnaires - Medium Effort
Polls, Surveys, and Questionnaires. Just reading that may have made you cringe a little, and that is completely understandable. However, it is an effective way to get the specific information you need, with minimal effort and low costs.
There are several survey tools available for Facebook such as the free version of POLL that allows you to easily poll your audience, keeping the questions within Facebook (as opposed to sending them to a page on your site) and increasing the participation.
When going this route, there are a few key things to consider. Make sure you limit the number of questions at one time and be sure every question is giving you valuable insight into your users. Don’t be afraid to incentivize the user. Give away a $5 gift card to users that participate or even offer an exclusive discount on your product if they take the survey. Be creative and you can effectively leverage the information for future marketing efforts.
Facebook Login and Apps - High Effort
Create a Facebook App and leverage Facebook Login. This gives you the opportunity to access an even larger pool of ultra-valuable user information.
If you don’t have a developer with the skills to create Facebook Apps, find someone that you can contract with or partner with a creative company like Brand Thunder to help you get something in place.
We’ve all seen the screen that comes up saying something similar to “THIS BRAND will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, birthday, and email address.” The challenge is coming up with creative campaigns that increase the likelihood of users accepting those Facebook Login Permissions.
However, overcoming that small hurdle is well worth the effort. You can then start to obtain user details such as Gender, Location, Likes, Interests, Education History, Email Address, Hometown, Age Range, and on and on. If they give it to Facebook, you have a chance to learn from it. This can be used with just your Facebook audience or even extended to visitors that come to your website or your existing email database.
About the Author - Ryan Miller
As the VP of Business Development for Brand Thunder, Ryan has more than a decade of experience building relationships and creating successful business strategies for leading brands.