What do customers expect from a professional business website?
To address this question it’s helpful to understand what your visitors are looking for in the first place. Here is a useful checklist. It shows the top six things that web visitors want to know when they reach your site and the content you need to provide to give them what they want.
Get these six things right and you’ll convert more prospects into leads. Get them wrong and they’ll click away confused.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: does your website pass the test?
The Customer Test for your Website
Can I quickly find the answers to the following questions from your site?
Question 1: “Am I in the right place?”
Your customer wants to know: “Is this relevant to me? Can this company solve my problem? Can I see immediately what they do and is this what I’m after?”
Make sure your website includes the following information, written in language your audience will understand:
- A very obvious description of what you do – the client should not need to dig for this.
Question 2: “Are you credible?”
Your customer wants to know: “Does this company work for people I respect? Do other people like what they do? Do they say good things about the company’s work?”
Build trust by including this type of social proof:
- Client names
- Customer testimonials – real quotes from real customers
- Up-to-date case studies/success stories
- Press clippings and articles will increase your credibility considerably
- Awards are powerful
Question 3: “Could I work with you?”
Your customer wants to know: “What sort of company are they? What’s their background? What’s their mission – is it something I buy into?”
The web is very impersonal. Give your customers a sense of the company behind the website with:
- Interesting information on your team in the ‘About Us’ section, with photos
- A (passionate) account of why you’re in business and what you set out to do (see ‘What’s your crusade?’)
- Ways to follow and connect with you to find out more: a newsletter and social media feeds give them this opportunity
Question 4: “Are you an expert?”
Your customer wants to know: “Do they know what they’re talking about? Can I learn something?”
Make sure your website includes well written, relevant and regularly updated thought leadership content. Here are some options:
- Articles and blogs
- White papers
- And even a business book
Question 5: “Will they make a difference?”
Your customers want to know: “What’s the benefit of this service? What results will I see? How will this help me and my business?”
- Up-to-date case studies/success stories that clearly show results and business benefits
- Information on the likely benefits in the ‘Services’ section
- Customer testimonials that talk about results
Question 6: “How do I contact you?”
Make it easy for your customers to get in touch. (This sounds obvious but many sites fail to achieve this.)
- Put your contact details (phone number and email) on every page
- Make these very visible
- Don’t just use pre-structured registration forms – if it’s complex they may not bother getting in touch
Does your website pass the Customer Test? Try it. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Can they find the information they want?