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In my role as customer advocate, I focus on making it as easy as possible for Hubba to interact with our clients. While marketing focuses on the message, I deal with simplifying the process. I have browsed my fair share of brand websites and there are a few foundational things I look for to help to craft the perfect online shopper experience.
In an ideal world, all brand websites would be full of fresh, engaging content (like these ones). The reality is not everyone has time to maintain a website and not everyone has the means to employ full time content creators. It’s difficult to be at the top of your game 24/7. How can brands simplify the amount of work they have to do and still entertain potential and existing customers? Here is a list of ten simple ways you can engage with your audience and how to improve your online presence.
1. Don’t Use “Coming Soon” Pages or Placeholders
Banish those words from your website. If you have an upcoming feature or product that you’re excited about, talk about it! Even if it’s a short blog post that says:
“Hello everyone! We wanted to keep you up to date with our new _______ that we’re hoping to launch shortly. We can’t give you too many details just yet, but here is a sneak peek at what’s going on at (insert company name).”
2. Be Sure to Deliver and Be Consistent With Your Content
Don’t let your blog fall to the wayside and go stagnant. It’s a no brainer, and yet many brands fail at this. It’s not easy coming up with clever ideas for scheduled blog posts and this is where honesty and transparency can come into play to engage a potential consumer. Are you launching a new product? Blog to get opinions from your readers.
3. Make Your Contact Information Easy to Spot
Top or bottom, left or right, it doesn’t matter as long as people can find it with ease. Putting it in the header or footer can be quite helpful. Brick and mortar stores should also post hours of operation. It’s awful to spend time in transit to arrive at a closed up shop. Needless to say, if you’re going on vacation and closing up for two weeks, be sure to include that info somewhere on your homepage.
4. Display Social Media Accounts on Your Homepage
Most brands and small businesses are already aware of the impact social media has. Social media buttons should be placed in spots that people are likely to look for them, usually in the footer or header.
5. Be Clear About Your Brand’s Purpose
Want to turn potential consumers into buyers? Be clear about why they need your products in the first place. Share your company goals and how you hope to achieve them in the near future. Showcase why your business came about and why you’re a cut above the rest.
6. Make Your Website Responsive
Scrolling left and right to read a sentence on your phone or tablet is a nuisance. A good responsive site puts simple navigation at your fingertips. Your audience may not thank you outright for it, but they will give you a mental high five! Be sure that your phone number or email information is displayed prominently, if someone is viewing a mobile version, they may want to get in contact info right then and there.
7. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
A simple site map, clear navigation and an accurate search function make life easier for your readers. Embrace fantastic technologies such as Google Site Search or Elasticsearch ( if you need a more customized solution). Utilize these tools as they enable users to find help and important information about your brand when they need it.
8. Use Powerful Images (Preferably Not Stock Photos)
We’re sure you’ve stumbled across a site using photos that make you scratch your head and wonder why. Put a bit of thought and care into your images. It really can increase the likelihood of a sale. At the very least it leaves a lasting impression.
9. Have a Clear Call to Action
Are you encouraging click throughs on your catalog? Trying to recruit for your email newsletter or drive sales? Be clear, concise and do your homework. Place buttons, banners and photos in a way that will deliver the desired results. Showcase your catalog by creating a beautiful banner, write an catchy little blurb about why your newsletter is worthy of attention and make sure it’s placed where people can’t ignore it.
10. Always Be Testing
Make sure to test things out on your website, see what works and what doesn’t. It can be as simple as A/B testing the colour of your ‘add to cart’ button. Implement Google Analytics to track how and when your website is being used and then apply this knowledge to your advantage. The learning curve is small and analytics can help you groom your website to be the best that it can be.
Keeping your website up to date will help stimulate growth and loyalty. Customers like sharing their opinion about the brands they use, especially when it’s a brand that values them in return. Bare in mind that nothing on a website is set in stone, you can always rejig anything that isn’t working. Juggle your content a bit and give your website a big beautiful makeover when you feel the need for change.