The Ultimate First Impression
Your website design is the ultimate first impression a customer will have of your business and brand. It’s important to do it right the first time, but if you don’t succeed, don’t give up.
There are many ways you can up your web design game to attract new and loyal customers. And it’s certainly worth the time and effort. Below are several benefits of having a properly designed website:
- Increase in sales conversions Search engine ranking increase
- Customer satisfaction
- Positive brand recognition
Your website design can also play a vital role in securing new customers who will continue to remain loyal to you. Generating new clients is not just a matter of becoming visible on search engines or social media, you need to have an optimized and friendly site that engages and entices them. Here are 4 ways your website design can help you win new customers and keep them loyal.
1. Brand Recognition
It’s common sense that your website is the forefront for creating a baseline for your brand identity and recognition. How you design your platform will give your customer the ultimate experience into finding out who you are, why you are doing what you do, and of course, how to purchase from you. If you don’t hit these three things head-on and in a common-sense approach you’re missing out.
Brand recognition can come in the smallest form of just having the right corporate logo design that fits your website and business. Providing the perfect logo makes all the difference in creating a loyal customer base that will remember you. Having a professionally designed and aesthetically pleasing logo tells your customers that you’re invested in the success of your business, a sloppy one will have them feeling uneasy about your commitment.
With the growth of internet commerce alone, companies and brands are now in a vast ocean filled with other businesses. There’s very little in the way of getting yourself distinctly recognized above the rest and your logo is one of the few ways to capture that.
2. User Friendliness
Have you gone to a website recently that had any of the below issues?:
- Difficulty finding contact information
- Forms that didn’t work or provide confirmation
- Terrible loading speeds
- Irrelevant content
- Lack of information or resources
- Broken tools or links
- Terrible mobile experience and design
These probably left a sour taste in your mouth about the company behind the website. If you’re serious and committed about what you do and you want to show your customers that, why would you not make it easy to contact you, easy to submit requests, easy to navigate your website, and easy to get resources and information? The answer is you would, so if your website isn’t doing any of these things, your customers aren’t going to think you’re serious and they probably won’t come back or remain loyal.
Additionally, search engine giants like Google are now paying close attention to the user-friendliness of websites, especially as they pertain to mobile devices. Search Engines consider the following when ranking any website for user-friendliness:
This one is obvious. A customer may have found you somehow through Google and they ended up on one of your website pages. Google then records them very shortly leaving your web page and going back to search results. This tells them one of two things happened.
- Your website had irrelevant information or not enough information for them.
- Your website was not at all user-friendly or it was broken.
Dwell time can be a good measure or it could be bad. Consider the following scenarios.
- You have so much content and the customer is engaged and staying on your website.
- Your content is so scattered and your website is so difficult to understand they can’t get to where they need to go.
If your layout has a difficult time adjusting for mobile devices, chances are when a customer visits it from one of these devices, they are going to have a hard time navigating your menus, getting past offensive pop-ups, or even just placing an order. Your conversion rates will reflect this and search engines will record this. Chances are, that customers won’t come back since they’ll remember the hurdles they had to jump through the first time around.
A few new and trending popular features in digital design include the incorporation of AI chatbots, ticket systems, and responsive searches. You may have already seen an AI chatbot if you browsed a website recently that had a chat pop-up asking if you needed help.
These new communications systems are designed not just with user-friendliness in mind, but to give the customer a direct pathway into getting the needed communication they require. One of the benefits of these three popular additions is that they all serve a common purpose, to not just make it easier for the customer but to also make it easier for you.
AI chatbots give you the ability to pre-load information and continually allow the AI to learn your customer and their commonly asked questions. If you find a lot of your resources and time are spent answering customer questions that a preloaded service could supply, this is the right path for you. An AI chatbot additionally gets rid of the need for a Frequently Asked Questions library, because really an AI chatbot is an FAQ library, with an added persona attached to it to make it more human-like to the customer. Sometimes they are so technologically savvy your customer might not even realize it’s a bot.
Ticket systems play the same role in making your customer’s life and yours much easier. The customer can submit a question to you and then track the status of that question being answered usually in the form of a tracking number or an email notification. You then have the added ability to store these questions for later use as a cached response to similar questions or to study trends and sales analytics.
Responsive searches that are incorporated into websites can be described much like Google’s. When you type a question into Google’s search box, the search tries to complete what it thinks you’re looking for. It may also offer helpful suggestions such as: “Did you mean ” or “Also related to ”. These responsive searches are designed to get your customers the answer they are looking for quickly with little to no work from them or from you.
Having these breakthrough features incorporated into your web design can give you a tremendous advantage over your competition at fielding new customers and keeping them loyal to your business.
4. Subscription Services
If your goal is to obtain repeat customers and you sell a product or service that is relatively cheap or simple, you might look at offering a subscription service. These have become increasingly popular lately because they make the process of ordering so much simpler. Essentially, the customer signs up for the subscription, they provide their desired payment method, shipping plan, and product they desire. They then choose to have that transaction take place repeatedly on a specific day, at specific intervals in the future automatically, so the product shows up at their door with no effort.
Subscription services provide businesses with:
- Guaranteed revenue and predictable flow of customers
- A way to develop a better relationship with the customer and build on their trust
- Constant way to remarket to their customers so long as they remain signed up
You might encounter a few hiccups with a subscription service though, some find it difficult for customers to make the leap and sign a contract without some kind of incentive such as a discount or a free month for example. Also, maintaining quality is key and if you become too backlogged with more subscriptions than you can handle, you’ll see people fall off if orders become late or not as high quality as they once were. Many subscription providers take shortcuts in quality to deal with supply chain efficiencies and this can be detrimental to keeping long term customers and it ruins your reputation.
In conclusion, your website’s design is the baseline for all user interaction. Whether it’s done right or not can play a huge role in getting new customers and keeping current customers loyal. It’s important to take the design of your site very seriously. From there, you have the opportunity to maintain a successful business.