Your Website it Your Online Real Estate 

Ever considered investing in online real estate for your business? No? You should, websites can be great for your business and it is your biggest online real estate investment. It is a plot of virtual land that allows you to build the business that your heart desires, just like if you had a physical plot of land you can build a store, a building, a garage, so it is with websites. 

Building Your Website 

Websites are probably the most important online real estate your company can own, but just like physical real estate, you make that investment with a specific purpose in mind. So, before making a website, or when revamping your website, you should ask yourself a few questions. 

  • Why does my business need a website?
  • What do I want people to do when they get to my website?
    • Is it an ecommerce site?
    • Are they booking appointments?
    • Can they order online ?
  • What is my objective?
    • Collect information?
    • Share information?
    • Market a particular product?
    • Sell all my products?

It may seem that all these questions are closely related, but the more information you have on your intent, the more purposeful your website will be, and the better customer experience you can create for your customers.

Customer experience

An online customer experience is not the same as a sales experience. One depicts how the customer feels about a transaction with your company, the other depicts the way they feel in your online real estate. Think of it like walking into a stunning mansion vs that old house with the creepy window at the end of the block. 

Obviously, walking into a beautiful mansion is much better than walking into the rundown house. 

So, when you build your website, you have to build with user experience in mind. This might require a bit of an investment in terms of both time and money, so just have to find the sweet spot between budget and experience. 

Going back to our main point, when creating a good customer experience, you have to make sure that: 

  • The website is aesthetically pleasing. That means that it is neither outdated  or for lack of a better term ugly. Again, you are building your online mansion, so make sure it is beautiful. This doesn’t mean it can’t be simple, simplicity can be very serene, but rather that it should not be awkwardly plain.
  • Important information is easily accessible. Here you can anticipate what your potential customer will look for and look at, and place the essential information there.  (Check out this article for the psychology behind website browsing). 
  • All subsections are organized. If the subsections are not organized in a neat and concise manner, visitors will become very frustrated and will leave your site relatively quickly.  
  • All buttons and internal links function as they should. This seems intuitive, but you will be surprised at how easily it is missed. Empty buttons will force the visitor to seek other ways of reaching the information, and more often than not, they will just exit your site because it is taking them way too long. 
  • Loads relatively quickly. Because we are used to everything being so quick and on demand, it is known that when a website takes more than 6 seconds to load, the visitors will exit the site because again, it took way too long.  

Designing a Customer Friendly Website 

Whether you design your customer friendly website, or you have a professional design it, like Boutique Digital Marketing, there are four things that you should keep an eye out throughout your revision process. These are: 

  1. Searchability. This one is a little tough; it comes with time. Searchability is having a website that ranks highly in search engine results. The easier it is for your customer to find your website, the greater ROI you will have. This is where you have to invest in a good SEO strategy and consistently poor into it until it rises in search engine ranking. 
  2. Accessibility. Accessibility is a term that is usually connected with disabilities, and rightfully so in this case as well. When you build your website, You have to make sure that it is designed to be accessible to everyone. For example, the headers need to be marked clearly as H1, H2, H3 for the reading software to know what to emphasize. You may also want to pay attention to the color of the font to make sure that people that are color blind can clearly read the website. 
  3. Credibility. You have to make sure that your website is trustworthy. For example, a customer may be concerned about making a payment through your site, so you have to ensure that the customer feels secure about making the payment by providing the right information. You also have to have a SSL certificate to show search engines that your website is secure. 
  4.  Usefulness. Your website has to add value to your customer as they are spending their time and money on your site, so it better be worth it. 

Overall a good tip to keep in mind is to go through a research and development process to build a site that doesn’t only rely on beauty, but does what the visitor wants it to do. That may be different than your intent, so you have to align your intent with theirs. 

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