If you’re reading this, we’re willing to bet that you have a website. And that it’s probably the primary way that your business interacts with customers and potential customers. The modern digital age has left us all frantically optimising our presence on social media platforms, developing apps and streaming videos to keep up with the constant changes. However, in this sea of bewildering change there are some constants – like websites. Websites are still a fundamental part of almost every business’s strategy for connecting with audiences online. Even if your website is just one part of your overall digital presence, it’s still an important one. In fact, research shows that 69% of visitors who land on a company’s homepage will choose whether or not to stay there based on their first impressions.
Why is relevance such an important factor for consumers?
Consumers have more power than ever before to find, select and purchase products and services. The internet has given consumers unparalleled access to information, comparison and product selection tools, and social platforms that allow them to discuss and rate every product they experience. As a result, consumers have come to expect a higher degree of transparency and relevance in the information they receive. If you want to attract customers to your site and keep them there, you need to make sure that they will find what they’re looking for. This means keeping up with the latest trends, changes in customer behavior, and algorithms that dictate what people see (and don’t see) on the internet. It’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s also an exciting time to be in marketing.
More transparency means more trust
Customers are more willing than ever to speak out about their experiences with products and services, good or bad. This presents a challenge for businesses, who want to engage with their customers but don’t always want to be singled out for bad service or have a PR disaster on their hands. On the other hand, it also presents an opportunity for businesses that are willing to be more transparent about the way that they operate. Added transparency about where products come from, how they’re manufactured, and what a company does with the profits it earns can earn consumers’ trust and loyalty much more quickly.
Responsiveness is a sign of quality and value
One of the most significant changes in customer behavior in recent years has been the rise of mobile device usage. Mobile devices overtake desktop internet usage every year, and customers are accessing their favorite websites and apps on their mobile devices more than ever before. This presents a challenge to businesses that want to be accessible to their customers on all digital platforms, but it also offers an opportunity to stand out from the pack. If you want your customers to keep coming back to your website, it needs to be optimized for mobile viewing. A responsive website will allow a customer to access your website or app with ease regardless of the device that they’re using.
Websites are your digital store front
In a way, your website is like a store front. Your customers don’t really know what goes on in the back rooms and how everything is manufactured, but they do get to see and interact with the items on display. Your website is the first point of contact for potential customers looking to purchase whatever products or services your business offers. It’s also often the first interaction your customers will have with your brand. This means that your website has a chance to make or break their opinion of your company.
Your website is the first point of contact for potential employees
Companies that offer remote or freelance opportunities are increasingly turning to digital platforms to source candidates for open positions. Popular sites that host digital job boards, like Upwork and Freelancer, often have millions of users searching for remote jobs every month. Your website is the first point of contact for candidates who are interested in working for your company, but don’t know who you are yet. This is another great opportunity to build a positive first impression.
More people will be using Voice Search by 2020
Voice search is growing in popularity and currently accounts for 10% of all global internet searches, with that number expected to rise over the next few years. This means that while your customers might be looking for your site with their keyboard, they might also be able to find you (and other sites) with their voice. Your website needs to be optimized for voice search if you want to be found by these potential customers. Google recommends that businesses optimize their websites for voice search by adding structured content, like bolded keywords and short sentences.
Keeping your website fresh, relevant and up-to-date is important for a variety of reasons. Consumers are always evolving, and their expectations and behaviour is always changing. You need to be able to adapt to meet their needs and keep them coming back for more. Thankfully, most technology and CMS platforms allow you to update your website content on a regular basis. You can use this opportunity to keep your site fresh and up to date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing.