How to Build a Customer Focused Website
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
Whether you’re running a large business site or a small blog, it’s important to construct your space with potential visitors in mind. If you use your visitors’ best interests as inspiration when creating a website, then there’s no limit to your success.
We’ve identified four key DIY steps you can take to provide a great online experience. In addition, here’s a detailed description to give you the best possible options to build a customer focused website.
Ensure Good Site Speed
If it takes more than three seconds for a web page to load, just over half of visitors will leave it. Customers have come to expect speed and convenience when they click on a website. Consequently, if it fails to deliver, this can cost conversions. With each additional second of load time, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42%.
Clearly, good site speed is essential to creating a positive customer experience. But what can you do to ensure that your site runs as quickly as possible? Here are some of the simple tweaks:
This reduces the file size of an image, so that it takes up less storage space. You can compress images for free before uploading them to your site, and it only takes a minute. There are tons of tools out there that make this process as quick and easy as possible; Image Resizer is a personal favorite.
Reevaluating Your Hosting Plan
Web hosting plans have a significant impact on load speed. Two factors are crucial: bandwidth (the amount of data a site can transfer to its users in a set amount of time) and storage (the space allocated for a website’s text files, images, emails, etc.). Shared hosting plans, while cheap, typically offer the least amount of bandwidth and storage, since you’re literally sharing a server with other websites. If you find that your website is starting to run slowly, it may be time to scale up to a VPS plan for more space and stability.
Using a CDN
CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks, are networks of geographically distant servers that work together to distribute site content faster for users around the world. CDNs, like CloudFlare, improve load times by distributing content closer to website visitors.
Optimize Your Homepage
The homepage is the basis of a customer’s first impression when it comes to your website. It’s no secret that first impressions matter, and on a website, first impressions are 94% design related. Good design means great conversions, so it’s important to make sure visitors like what they see.
But how can you best optimize your website’s homepage for viewers? Here are a few things visitors are looking for.
A clean-looking navigation bar will let people find exactly what they’re looking for right away, and avoid a sense of frustration. Make sure your navigation bar includes links to an “About Us” page, contact info, and product pages (if you’re running an eCommerce store).
A Photo (or a Few Photos)
Visuals help capture short attention spans, drive traffic, and foster connections between your customers and your brand. Just make sure the page doesn’t become crowded or overwhelming.
A Clear Mission Statement
When people arrive on your website, they’ll be looking for a quick, easy explanation of what it is that you actually do. Putting a company introduction or mission statement front and center is a simple way to remind customers of exactly what your website is for.
Navigation bars, photos, and text boxes are all easy elements to include when you use a drag-and-drop website builder. All of these elements are required if you want your website to provide a great user experience with stunning design. Check out the simple-yet-appealing text and imagery on this homepage from men’s razor company Harry’s, which was built with Shopify:
Picture 1. Customer focused Harry’s website
This combination of simplicity and good design leads to an ideal homepage for a small business: clean and visually appealing, with clear CTAs.
Include User Reviews
Social proof goes a long way when it comes to boosting conversions. 83% of people trust reviews over advertising, so including user-generated reviews on your website is an excellent way to build good rapport with your customers. It’s also a great way to answer customers’ questions in a more relatable way. We like to hear from people we can relate to, and in this case, other consumers fit the bill.
When it comes to online reviews, quality is more important than quantity. 90% of users read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business, which means you don’t need to overcrowd your site with tons of testimonials. Instead, you get to pick the cream of the crop, and let other people talk up your products and services.
How to Generate User Reviews?
First, you’ll want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to review your business. You can start by creating a dedicated reviews section on your website, but you’ll have to branch out beyond that as well. Make sure your company has a presence on other popular review spaces, such as Google My Business, Facebook, and Trustpilot.
Picture 2. Trustpilot in particular is a hub of user-generated business reviews
Once you’ve made it as easy as possible for customers to leave reviews, you should offer a few incentives to make it a more appealing task. If you can, offering a small discount or promo code will yield a large number of reviews. But there are simpler things you can offer. For example, a verified “reviewer” account status, or entrance into a prize draw. Finally, don’t forget to follow up with an email thanking people for their time.
Once you’re armed with great customer reviews to choose from, the question becomes: where to put them onsite? You’ll want to use basic site analytics to discover which pages your user reviews generate the most engagement on. A few good pages to begin testing are the homepage, the “About Us” page, and the “Contact Us” page. You can also put more specific reviews on individual product pages.
Organize Your Copy
First things first: writing professional, detailed copy for your website is always important. But did you know that 43% of readers admit to skimming website copy?
You’ve probably even done it yourself, scanning a text-heavy page for the key information. When it comes reading all of the copy on a page, some people don’t have the time. Some people don’t have the patience. Most people just want to know what’s important.
Any customer who reads the full text on a page will understand your message. But how can you organize your copy so that even those just scanning the page will get the gist. And most importantly, what will still make them convert?
The best thing you can do is make your headlines as informative and attention-grabbing as possible. While 43% of readers skim, 80% of website visitors read the headlines on a page. Here, we’re talking about H1s (the heading at the top of the page) and H2s (the headings before each content section). Draft your headlines so that anyone reading them in order will understand the general content of the page – and possibly be curious to read more.
You can do this by making your headlines specific. For example, if the title of this section was just “Copy,” you wouldn’t be able to tell exactly what is going to be discussed. “Organize Your Copy” gives a better explanation, without becoming too wordy. Plus, using words like “your” puts the focus on the reader’s needs. Therefore, use second-person pronouns where you can.
Calls to Action
Aside from headlines, you’ll want to pay close attention to the copy in your calls to action (CTAs). CTAs with a strong and personalized message can increase conversion rates by over 202%. This means that you can accomplish a lot with just a few well-chosen words. These can include:
- Command verbs: words like “shop,” “download,” or “buy.”
- Second-person pronouns: again, don’t underestimate the value of “you”
- Phrases that communicate urgency: tell the reader, in a few words, why they don’t want to miss out
- Phrases that communicate the next step: your CTA should reflect what’s going to happen next. For example, if a CTA links to a product page, then words like “shop” and “buy” are great. If a CTA links to a form where customers fill out more information, then phrases like “find out” or “discover how…” work better.
Great copy is a powerful marketing tool. However, it can be even more powerful when you know how to make the most of every reader on a page – especially the scanners.
Building a Customer Focused Website: The Wrap-Up
It’s hard to overstate the importance of building a website that caters to your customers. Making people feel at home on your site will increase conversions, drive brand loyalty, and just generally improve the user experience.
To recap, these are four simple ways you can make your website more customer-focused:
- Ensure good site speed
- Optimize your homepage
- Include user reviews
- Organize your copy
These are easy steps you can take yourself. But most importantly, they’ll go a long way towards keeping your customers engaged.
Maura Monaghan is a tech writer for Website Builder Expert, and specializes in website building and web hosting. She’s particularly interested in the positive impacts that good web design can have on small businesses, and loves to help companies reach their digital potential.
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