Whether you’re building a new business website—or refreshing an existing one—you should always be thinking about how useful and compelling it is for your visitors (many of whom could become your next customers).
And surprisingly, what business website visitors want most isn’t always what you’d expect, says Andy Crestodina, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Orbit Media Studios, a Chicago-based web design and development firm. Orbit recently partnered with Ascend2, a marketing research firm, to survey business website visitors about what they think is most important in a website.
Here are some tips on what makes a business website more useful and, in turn, great at attracting new customers:
1. Easy navigation
The most important characteristic of a business website, according to the visitors survey, is its navigation and the ability to find helpful answers to common questions. This means specifically:
- Having clear, descriptive headers in your menu bar
- Providing simple navigation, so visitors can easily find the information they are looking for
- Putting content on each page that thoroughly answers the most common questions
If you’re not sure where you might need to tweak your website navigation, look at your site’s analytics. This should show you what pages people are visiting most and at what points they’re clicking the back button (probably because they weren’t finding the information they were looking for), Crestodina says. You may need to add or change information on your home page or other pages to provide a clearer path to highly searched topics.
2. Easy-to-find contact information and business hours
Especially when searching on mobile phones, website visitors are often seeking basic information about the business—including its phone number, address or hours of operation. You can ensure people find that information by putting it in a prominent place on your site, such as on the homepage. Some businesses put it on every page of their site.
3. Online scheduling
If you run a business that relies on appointments or reservations, consider adding an online scheduling tool—so your visitors can book those appointments automatically through your site. Two popular online booking tools include Calendly and Squarespace Scheduling. Make sure whatever tool you use then adds the reservation to your customers’ electronic calendars, so they don’t forget about it.
4. Employee photos and bios
If you haven’t given much thought to this portion of your website, it may interest you to learn that visitors want to see this. “When we check the Google Analytics of many websites, we often find that the first or second most-visited page on a website is the ‘Team’ page,” Crestodina says.
It makes sense. People want to see faces and learn about the people they may be doing business with. “Put great photos and interesting information about your team members on this page,” he says. Consider including fun detail such as favorite vacation spots or snack foods to make your team more relatable.
5. Social proof
Reviews and testimonials are the most important content visitors look for on a website, Crestodina says. Testimonials are evidence that people like your business. And what is a website without evidence? It’s basically a lot of unsupported marketing claims, Crestodina says. Once you have this social proof, make sure to share it everywhere.
“The biggest mistake I see when including testimonials or reviews is putting them on only one page—usually a ‘Testimonials’ page,” Crestodina adds. “We recommend including them on the homepage of a website, as well as throughout the site. Even better is a video testimonial, which combines the first and second most-important types of content website visitors want to see.”
Reviews and testimonials are the most important content visitors look for on a website.
Videos can be a powerful tool for engaging your visitors with useful content. “Consider using video throughout your website, to demonstrate products, services, your team, your business practices, and for testimonials,” Crestodina says. “Video is so important that I tell business owners that if your budget only allows for an option to either invest in a high-quality videographer for videos or in a new website design, choose the videographer.”
Your website is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Make sure it’s working hard to help you to attract new customers.Print this article