Business development 10 January 2019

5 ways to make your business website more customer friendly

website
The last thing you want to force your customers to do is scour your entire site for what they need

Have you ever gone to a business’s website in an effort to learn more about the company or to make a purchase, yet promptly navigated away from it because the site either loaded too slowly, was difficult to navigate, or was otherwise hard to use?

Not only is this frustrating, but having this type of website can also cost businesses cash. Case in point: in 2017, the average online cart abandonment rate was 78.65%, up from 77.24% the year before.

Now, go to your business’s website and ask yourself whether it could potentially be costing you customers due to any of these types of issues. If your answer is a yes (or even a maybe), here are five things you can do to make your site more customer friendly.

Choose a good web host

The term “web host” refers to a service provider that offers business owners a place to store their website’s content so it is visible online. The other alternative is to purchase your own server for keeping your data, which can be rather expensive.

But how do you know which web hosts are the best? HostAdvice.com has created a list of top web hosting services in the UK, with companies such as Webfusion, FastHosts, and 123-reg making the list. Check them out and see for yourself how easy they are to use, considering also whether the ones you’re interested in have the features you need.

For instance, if you want a website that enables your customers to make a purchase directly from your online store, you want to choose a web host that offers this capability via an easy-to-use process. The less frustration your customers have when buying from you, the more likely it is they’ll come back and do it again.

Create an easy-to-understand menu

The last thing you want to do to your customers is make them search your entire site in an effort to locate whatever it is they went there to find. Instead, why not offer an easy-to-understand menu so they can clearly see how to locate the information they want? This begins with using intuitive labels for the various areas of your site.

For example, when coming up with the names of your tabs, instead of trying to be super creative by coming up with fun words and titles, think about the words people would likely use when searching for that portion of your site.

As an example, if your business website has a blog, naming that tab “Blog” makes the information it contains much easier to recognize than naming that page “Advice” or “Our Thoughts.”

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Register multiple domains

You can also make your website more customer friendly by having more than one domain lead back it. This is especially beneficial if your domain name is typically misspelled. In this case, purchasing the misspelled domain as well enables customers to find your site regardless.

Multiple domains are also helpful if you offer a variety of products and/or services and want to dedicate a unique site for each one. This way, your customers can easily purchase the items they want without having to go through a number of different pages to find them.

Another quick word of advice: when you register your domain name, make sure you select an extension that makes the most sense for your business and your customer base. Some of the most common are .com, .net, .uk, and .co.uk.

Make your site mobile-friendly

According to Google, if your site takes more than three seconds to load on a mobile device, more than half of its visitors (53%) will leave the page. Therefore, if you add a lot of graphics, it can easily cause your site to load slower than this, making you lose potential customers before they even have the ability to see your site.

Plus, while using graphics on your web pages can help improve their appeal, going overboard can have the opposite effect. Using too many symbols and images can confuse the eyes, increasing the likelihood that users miss a lot of the things you’d prefer they see.

Offer a contact link

Even if you believe that you’ve put everything you possibly can on your website, inevitably, there will be customers or potential customers who have questions your pages don’t address. In this case, providing a way to easily reach you enables them to get the information they need rather than searching elsewhere.

This doesn’t mean that you have to put your email address online and open yourself up to a lot of spam either. Offering a fill-in-the-blank form serves the same purpose, while also giving you the ability to direct your customers toward the information you need to help them fully, such as their account numbers or area of concern.

Making your website more customer friendly means less frustration for those who buy from you and more income for you. These five options are a great place to start with both.

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