Now, more than ever, your site has to keep customers within the site map and give the reader everything from information, to entertainment, to engagement and loyalty. It’s more of a home than a business shopping trip. The same goes for ecommerce sites. Let the visitor find everything quick and easily. The same must be said for any site or blog.
I recently heard a writer speak about how she will only write a maximum of 300 words on a web site front page. Any more, she explains, and the reader loses interest. It seems odd to be able to communicate in just 300 words. Tweets, of course, are only 140 characters and people make themselves heard and understood with those. So, how much does it take to make sure your web site is complete for customers?
What is “Complete?”
“Complete” is everything the customer wants, everything you know they need… and a few extra considerations. If it seems confusing, it’s actually boiled down to the simplest form of completion.
So, making finding you and your product, navigation, purchase, and checkout second nature to customers is important and is guaranteed to bring back repeat customers and word of mouth recommendations? Yes, but it’s not all in one step.
I was reading yet another article on marketing myths. This one was no different than any others with the same good, foundation advice (which is why the information at the end of this article is different from other articles), but it had two things on the list I didn’t expect. As per other articles, this one, by author Debra Murphy, entitled “Marketing Myths You Should Ignore,” covered the usual reminders that social media reaches all age groups, every business needs a mobile web site (it should actually be responsive design for all devices), email marketing still matters, why marketing takes time for the proper results, and why a logo is NOT your “brand.”
It was that section and the one following that caught my eye, in terms of creating a complete web site; the insistence that a non-professional friend or relative can build you a professional web site is wrong and in reference to the logo not being your “brand,” once again a call for the use of professional services. Too often a small business will get cheap with these two visual representations/selling tools/marketing material and THAT is a bad investment. If you think the first solution will save you money, then fixing it will cost a fortune.
A professional will know what’s needed to sell your service or product, and, if you’ve chosen well, be able to help with copywriting and marketing. Ask for referrals on these services (often through a design studio or a savvy, experienced freelancer) from other businesses you admire.
What Should You Look for in a Site?
- Check out your competitor’s sites as well as the biggest manufacturers in the world. Take note of what you like and don’t like and when it comes time to build your site, you’ll have examples to show, which always helps in the design process.
- Shop an item at a competitor’s site and then purchase it. That will give you an idea of a good or bad shopping experience. If you are service based, see if a competitor’s site is doing list building, has localized their search criteria, and, using your personal email, see how long it takes for them to return a electronic request. Take all of this information and do it better!
What About Blogs?
- Depending on what it is your business does, a blog that holds interest for readers across the web, it’s marketing for you. It takes dedication to keep up fresh content that will not only have people returning, but also sharing the material on social media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter.
- A blog can become a humanized line of communication between you and your customers. It also gives you a great way to receive and request feedback. Almost 80% of customers search a company and ratings online before they shop for their desired item or need. A blog offers you a way to become your own news source and information center. Becoming popular as an expert will only help business and adds value to your site.
What About Podcasts and Webinars?
- Technical, but not impossible (actually, quite easy), but you need the content upfront and continually coming.
- It’s not for every business but, if you have the time and resources… well, remember the two bothers who did “Car Talk” on NPR for 35 years? There’s an audience for any subject!
Know Your Technology!
- Or pay someone who does to keep you on the cutting edge of web technology.
- An unbelievable amount of companies do not have responsive design (web sites that detect and fit web pages to mobile, tablet, device, laptop or desktop screens).
- The web changes quickly and a good web designer, hopefully the one who built your site, will contact you with any news on big changes in web technology, but it doesn’t hurt to have some idea of how the technology AND the audience is moving.
- If you offer content that will slip off the home age to an archive, make sure customers can still find that information.
- Along with liberal sharing functions, it’s a great way to go viral.
Listen to Customer Feedback!
- Your customers will provide the best feedback as to how your site works for them. Having them opt-in to emails when they purchase something from you gives you a perfect link to communicate with buyers to hear truthful advice on what the customer expects from you.
- Treat each complaint with interest in why the customer is angry or had a problem.
- By the same token, treat appreciative customers with a coupon or some other perk for their future loyalty.
Words of Wisdom
There’s more one needs to know about creating a site with a strong, warm and assuring brand to it as well as tip top functionality, so here are some more articles to help you create a superior web site:
Lessons That Help You Build a Successful Web Site
How to Work With a Web Designer
Picking the Right Web Host: It’s More Than Price!
You’re Finally Online. Now What? Marketing, Social Media And Mobile Marketing
Localize Your SEO for Neighborhood Business
Does Your Web Site Have Intelligent Human Interactions?
What Makes a Successful e-Commerce Site?
Helping Your Client/Business Evolve Web Presence
Mobile Sites and SMS Marketing: Are You Ready?
Content Marketing: The Best Way to Conquer the Market!
What Can Mobile Apps Do for Your Business?
Email Marketing Tips – Part 1: List Building
The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make With Your Web Site
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Well, that was a perfect description of the website that what a website must have. Only outlet, not the only thing you should look for people engagement is the most important part.
I think they is always somewhere you can improve.by having regularly updated content, offers, coupons etc. to boost sales/revenue.
Definitely an article im going to pass along to my sister who is starting an online blog and business. The whole process is daunting and I’ve been helping the best I can. Love the extra links provided in the article for someone looking for more information.
Blogging is the cornerstone of good online marketing and good content marketing. You should be publishing a new blog post every single day if at all possible, but at the very least a few posts per week is much better than nothing. Don’t stress about how many posts you’ve published in the past. Instead, let today be your blank slate and get at least 1 new blog post live on your website today.
Thanks for sharing this article. It makes me conscious for my own website. When I created my website I think it’s well. and need no correction. But after reading your article I change my thinking. I will do correction my website. Thanks again.
keep doing your work. We will greatful to you.
Hi, I learned a lot from this article. I thought my website is awesome but after reading your article, I think it still needs some work. We are blogging occasionally and that needs to be changed. It’s embarrassing to accept my site looks terrible on mobile and is not responsive. Maybe I’ll switch to WordPress. What do you think?
This is the best article I’ve read this week on user experience. My colleague had an embarrassing moment at our job when the payment system for the client was not working. We had been wondering why people were not signing up.
Had we read your guide at that time, we would have saved a week of testing and wondering. Shopping at competitor site is another great thing!
It’s gonna be a great deal having a complete website and an almost shockingly helpful article. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Hey… Thanks for the advice. I planned starting a website for my business in no time, I have a friend with little skills on web designing (I consider his skills little though but he claims to be a pro. Lol), I was looking at contracting him to set up the site but I think I will have to heed to your advice here. I will get a professional to get things done since I really need a complete website. Thanks again for the advice.
Complete website for me means it should have everything that a user can information. However it is impossible to fulfill it but we can do it till a extent in a field in which we are working. good information shared.
It is good to have Complete website. By the way sometimes it happens really a lot when we try to launch our website. Complete website comprises of everything which a customer related to that needs. Website must be easy to navigate. Good information shared.
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. 🙂 🙂
The web changes quickly and good companies take good care of your sites.
What a good question you have raised here “Complete website”. Very well explained everything all about complete website. Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place.