Guest Post by Yvonne A Jones.
Do You Want a Website that Attracts and Keeps Visitors Engaged? 3 Ways to Improve Performance of your Website
For those of you who work online your website is your “storefront.” This is where visitors come to seek information about you, and learn about the services and products you have to offer. In addition persons who have an offline business, whether it’s a brick and mortar or a distributorship, social media and the Internet in general have transformed the way people learn about you.
In the past, word of mouth referrals were enough to get people to visit a business. Now, customers and potential customers are more savvy. Even when a referral is from someone they know, like and trust, before they initiate a contact with the business, online or offline, they will do a Google search and head over to the business’ website to learn more about them and what they offer. They also want to read about what others are saying about you. It thus becomes imperative for businesses to make sure that their website clearly reflects the image and branding that they want to convey to visitors.
Your company or business website is not something you can set and forget. Rather it has to be tweaked and updated pretty regularly, with fresh content on a regular basis, and with the goal of making sure that it adequately meets the needs of your customers and prospects. These needs could vary from their getting information on the topics your business covers to purchasing your products and services.
Do you remember the days of “dial-up Internet service?” I remember that as the Office Manager in a mid-size business I was one of the first ones in the company to be favored with a computer on my desk. I would click on the start and would walk away to make photocopies or something else rather than sit and wait for the Internet to load! That now seems like the Dark Ages. Your customers and prospects are busy. We now live in what’s been called the Microwave Generation. People want information, and they want it NOW! What are some key areas on your website to pay attention to?
A recent Survey by Limelight Networks revealed the following about Website Performance and Mobile-Friendly Websites.
Website Performance Linked to Great Experience
• 52 percent of respondents indicated that a high-performing website (streaming with no buffering, pages loading quickly, etc.) was the most important expectation for a digital experience.
• 60 percent indicated that they aren’t willing to wait more than five seconds for a webpage to load before becoming frustrated and leaving the site (just over 20 percent aren’t willing to even wait three seconds for the webpage to load before they leave the site.)
• Over 30 percent of respondents would leave and buy a product from a competitor if a website is slow.
The Importance of a Mobile Friendly Website
• Over 50 percent of respondents indicated that most of the time they use either a smartphone or a tablet to access websites.
• Over 85 percent use a mobile device at least some of the time to access websites.
• More than 40 percent of respondents expected websites to be equally fast, whether on mobile or desktop.
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Another important factor in having a website that attracts visitors is navigation. Have you ever walked into a store and there is no logical order to how the merchandise is laid out? If that has happened to you, you probably felt frustrated and not inclined to hang around and shop. The same is true with your website. Make it easy for your visitors to find their way around your website. When you visit other websites, take some time to study their tabs. Look to see if the flow of the site seems logical and how you’re guided through the site. Do they have tabs that clearly tells you what is on each page?
People have spoken and as mentioned earlier, your website is like a ‘living’ thing that has the power to attract visitors and turn them into customers, as well as being a valuable resource for your customers. Recognizing the needs of your customers and your desire to meet those needs will be a motivator to make some necessary adjustments to your website. Another is to work at making it easy for your visitors want to STAY on your site and read your content.
Yvonne A Jones is an Online Marketing Strategist | Small Business Mentor and Coach.
She is also the Founder of My Success Circle Marketing that provides Done-For-You Social Media Services, including Social Media Management and blog post creation. Yvonne believes that when you focus on relationships; the money will follow.