When it comes to your business website, your customers have clear expectations. Today’s internet user is savvy. They’re shown advertisements and business websites every day. While ideally you will have a website that surprises them by giving them something extra, especially by elevating the essential elements they expect to find, your site needs to at least meet the expectations customers have when they visit your website.
When your product or service doesn’t meet your customers’ expectations, they no longer trust your business. When a customer goes looking for you online and doesn’t find you–or finds a poorly structured website–their trust in your company is diminished before ever deciding to do business with you.
So what do customers expect from your small business website?
1. Contact Information
Your contact information should be correct and easy for them to find. Putting your phone number up at the top of the page in a large, readable font is a popular way to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed. You should also have a contact page, and consider putting information in your footer.
2. A Strong Brand
Right away as the page loads, customers are taking in the visuals and judging your company. Your graphics set a mood. The colors you choose, the font, other design elements, and the tone of your writing all set the mood for your brand. It’s important your site makes them feel like your business is the right one for them. A quality designer will always be thinking about how to bring your brand into your site.
3. A Logo They’ll Remember
Put your logo somewhere they’ll notice. Make sure as you’re designing your brand elements that you relate them back to your logo design. You always want to be thinking about cohesion for your site so it looks well put together and throughout.
4. Easy-to-Use Navigation
Right at the top of the page there should be a navigation bar that makes it easy for your customers to find the information they’re looking for. Here is where you can link to the page for your blog, products, contact information, and a page about your company. You don’t want your navigation to have so much that it gets difficult to read, but anything you think is most important to your customer should be linked in the navigation.
5. Business Hours
It’s wise to put your business hours on the main page of your website as well as on your contact page. This is one of the most searched for elements on a local business site.
6. Your Business Address
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you want to make it easy for your customers to find you.
7. Social Proof
To build trust with your customers, provide social proof that other customers have enjoyed your services. Your business is established and running well. You can accomplish this through well-placed customer testimonials. If you aren’t sure how to get those, here are some tips on getting great customer testimonials for your website.
8. They Expect You To Show Up On Google
Instead of typing in a direct URL, many customers turn to search engines to find the websites they’re looking for, as at the very least you need to show up in the search results for the name of your company. By optimizing your website for search, your customers will be able to find you when they look for your company name or businesses like yours in their area. Customers question how legitimate your business is if you don’t show up in the search results. It may not be fair, but they do.
9. A Call to Action
Do you want your site visitors to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want them to follow you on Facebook? Stop in to your location? Buy now through your website?
Whatever the next step you want your site visitors to take is, have a call to action for them to do it. You can place a button or simple link to where they can accomplish the action.
A Strong Website Builds Trust
By creating a strong website, you create a seamless customer experience. This cuts out the barriers a potential customer may have to taking that next step. Once they’ve found that other people have enjoyed your business, that you have legitimate contact information, a brand that aligns with their goals, and a site that tells them your business is professional, they will be that much closer to trusting your business.