Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Website

These days, businesses have more options than ever when it comes to building their website. And while there are great DIY tools you can use to build a website at a low cost, if you’re not trained in design, you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Whether you like it or not, the design of your website will play a significant role in your visitors’ perception of your company and brand.

If you’re building your website yourself, pay attention to these five design concepts to keep your visitors engaged.

1. Make some room

One common mistake companies make is squeezing a ton of information into a small amount of space. While you may think that information is essential and useful to your customer, if it doesn’t have room to breathe on the page, no one will spend the time to read it. Designers refer to this useful little concept as “white space.”

White space is essentially the negative space surrounding anything on a page (or piece of content). It functions as a mental “break” for viewers, creating a visual pause between pieces of information. If you don’t leave enough white space on your page, the information you present will quickly become overwhelming and cumbersome to consume.

This goes for text, images, videos, or any combination of content. Be sure you’re leaving your viewers’ brains “room to breathe” on your site. Create this white space by breaking up your site into sections, or strips of content, using different solid color backgrounds to create visual separation between sections. For further explanation and examples, check out this beginner’s guide to understanding whitespace.

2. Cut. It. Out.

A challenge many companies have is identifying what information should be on the site. Business owners often love talking about their company and tend to feel the need to offer up way too much information than necessary for a website.

The content on your site should be:

  • Concise
  • Clear
  • To the point
  • High level (not in-depth and detailed)

You don’t want your site to tell your customers everything they might ever need to know about your business. You do want your website to intrigue your customers enough to want to start a conversation with you.

Do yourself a favor and keep your About Us page short, keep the subject of your messaging centered around your customer, and keep your explanation of your products and services as Simple. As. Possible.

3. Content, content, content

When it comes to grabbing and holding the attention of your visitors, it helps to do your research. Different types of content have different strengths and functions, so knowing how and where to offer varying types of content can be extremely helpful.

Integrating video content, visual graphics, and written content throughout your site will help visitors consume information and expand their understanding and connection to your brand and product/services. If you’ve got a particularly important piece of information you want to share, consider putting it into a short video to help it stand out from the rest of the information on your site.

4. Simplify the journey

An easy way to turn people away from your site is to overwhelm them with options. To simplify and clarify their journey through your site, avoid having multiple pop-ups on one page, or too many CTAs in one space. Two is fine, but offering three or more directions for a visitor to go may overwhelm and frustrate them.

Keep your message obvious. Think about what it is you want your readers to do and then stick to that. If a visitor has to exit out of multiple pop-ups, alerts, and chatbots to get to the information on your page, you’re only getting in your own way.

5. Optimize

Making sure your site works well on mobile devices should be a top priority. For the past few years, more than half of all web traffic happens on mobile devices – more than half of all your website visitors are viewing your website on their phones! If your site isn’t optimized to function properly on a mobile device, you’re setting yourself up for readers who won’t get the information you want to share and likely won’t come back.

Take your time, and do it right

75% of people will judge the credibility of your company based on your website’s design. It’s the first real interaction you’ll have with the majority of your customers. If you want that experience to be a good one, then take the time to build a site that represents the brand you love. It’s worth it.

 

Photo by goodluz

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

 

Reduce the Noise: Improving Customer Experience

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you’ve got customers and an audience. And it’s their happiness, satisfaction, and loyalty that will ensure your long-term success. You’ve got a great product that they love and great sales and services teams, but that isn’t enough to ensure your customer has a good experience with your company.

All too often, the person on the other side of the phone, screen, or table is inundated with information that is unnecessary, complicated, confusing, and overwhelming. And this can happen without you ever knowing it. Scary!

The difficulty for companies is understanding what’s most important to the client. What seems important and relevant to you doesn’t necessarily track for the customer or client. When you think about it, it’s obvious why. When you’re embedded in a system or project, you can see it from all angles and need as much information as you can get to understand how best to execute. But when you just need a functional product, you don’t need to know how it’s made, or why it was made with a particular part—you just need it to work.

The happiest customer isn’t necessarily the one with the most amount of information. Happy customers are a result of a successful customer experience that is clear, easy to execute, and personalized.

Reduce noise

The human brain burns 11 calories an hour, and as a survival technique, will start to tune out superfluous information that isn’t necessary for its survival so as to conserve calories. So what does that mean for your company? It means that everything your customer receives from you should be relevant to their specific needs and provided at the time those needs arise.

This concept continues to be critical throughout the customer experience, from the first time they visit your website to receiving the final product from you. It can be applied to literally every interaction you have, both internally and externally.

As an example, think about your website for a minute. What is the first thing it says about you? If it says anything like We’ve been in business for over 30 years and are trusted advisors, then you’re already giving the viewer information that isn’t critical and doesn’t speak to their needs. The visitor doesn’t need to know how long you’ve been in business; they need to know if you have a solution to their problem.

Additionally, if your customer has to slough through a bunch of information they don’t yet need to find out if your solution works for them, they’ll lose interest and move on. And this isn’t just relevant to prospects. It can become even more cloudy once they begin working with you.

If you’re working on a project for a client, there are countless ways you can drown out the critical parts of your communications. Overloading them with too many choices, for instance. Or inundating their inbox with overly detailed progress reports. Or hijacking your review meetings to go over topics that aren’t relevant or essential. The list goes on and on.

Chances are, somewhere down the line of your customer experience, your company is guilty of one or more of these. Don’t freak out though, you’re definitely not alone. Refining your customer experience is hard. So how do you mitigate this problem?

Choose one point of contact

Once a client is on board, designate a single person on your team to be in charge of all communication. This will help clarify your voice and streamline communication efficiencies. It will also help your client develop a more personal relationship with your company and help them to build confidence around how to communicate with you.

Identify the preferred communication channel

These days, companies often work on multiple platforms. One company may use Slack, Trello, and email to communicate about projects and across teams. This may be fine internally, but if you’re asking your client to move between communication channels to talk to you, you’re asking too much. Make it as simple as possible. Pick one, and stick with it.

Set clear expectations

When you start a project with a client, take time to set clear expectations for them around how they should communicate with you, when they should expect a response, and what the communication will look like. This will help build trust between your client and business, and provide them with a clear understanding of what they’ll get from you as you work together. Setting clear expectations will also reduce the risk of frustrating, confusing, or disappointing your customer. That is, as long as you stick to what you tell them.

Always be learning 

In the end, the best thing you can do is to ensure you never get too comfortable. The world of communication is constantly evolving and it’s up to you to stay on top of the changing expectations and needs of your clients and prospects. Take the time to ask them how you could improve their experience, listen to the feedback you get from your team, do your research, and don’t be afraid to change up your tactics. It’s a never-ending process, but it’s worth its weight in gold.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by nd3000

Reduce the Noise: Improving Customer Experience

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you’ve got customers and an audience. And it’s their happiness, satisfaction, and loyalty that will ensure your long-term success. You’ve got a great product that they love and great sales and services teams, but that isn’t enough to ensure your customer has a good experience with your company.

All too often, the person on the other side of the phone, screen, or table is inundated with information that is unnecessary, complicated, confusing, and overwhelming. And this can happen without you ever knowing it. Scary!

The difficulty for companies is understanding what’s most important to the client. What seems important and relevant to you doesn’t necessarily track for the customer or client. When you think about it, it’s obvious why. When you’re embedded in a system or project, you can see it from all angles and need as much information as you can get to understand how best to execute. But when you just need a functional product, you don’t need to know how it’s made, or why it was made with a particular part—you just need it to work.

The happiest customer isn’t necessarily the one with the most amount of information. Happy customers are a result of a successful customer experience that is clear, easy to execute, and personalized.

Reduce noise

The human brain burns 11 calories an hour, and as a survival technique, will start to tune out superfluous information that isn’t necessary for its survival so as to conserve calories. So what does that mean for your company? It means that everything your customer receives from you should be relevant to their specific needs and provided at the time those needs arise.

This concept continues to be critical throughout the customer experience, from the first time they visit your website to receiving the final product from you. It can be applied to literally every interaction you have, both internally and externally.

As an example, think about your website for a minute. What is the first thing it says about you? If it says anything like We’ve been in business for over 30 years and are trusted advisors, then you’re already giving the viewer information that isn’t critical and doesn’t speak to their needs. The visitor doesn’t need to know how long you’ve been in business; they need to know if you have a solution to their problem.

Additionally, if your customer has to slough through a bunch of information they don’t yet need to find out if your solution works for them, they’ll lose interest and move on. And this isn’t just relevant to prospects. It can become even more cloudy once they begin working with you.

If you’re working on a project for a client, there are countless ways you can drown out the critical parts of your communications. Overloading them with too many choices, for instance. Or inundating their inbox with overly detailed progress reports. Or hijacking your review meetings to go over topics that aren’t relevant or essential. The list goes on and on.

Chances are, somewhere down the line of your customer experience, your company is guilty of one or more of these. Don’t freak out though, you’re definitely not alone. Refining your customer experience is hard. So how do you mitigate this problem?

Choose one point of contact

Once a client is on board, designate a single person on your team to be in charge of all communication. This will help clarify your voice and streamline communication efficiencies. It will also help your client develop a more personal relationship with your company and help them to build confidence around how to communicate with you.

Identify the preferred communication channel

These days, companies often work on multiple platforms. One company may use Slack, Trello, and email to communicate about projects and across teams. This may be fine internally, but if you’re asking your client to move between communication channels to talk to you, you’re asking too much. Make it as simple as possible. Pick one, and stick with it.

Set clear expectations

When you start a project with a client, take time to set clear expectations for them around how they should communicate with you, when they should expect a response, and what the communication will look like. This will help build trust between your client and business, and provide them with a clear understanding of what they’ll get from you as you work together. Setting clear expectations will also reduce the risk of frustrating, confusing, or disappointing your customer. That is, as long as you stick to what you tell them.

Always be learning 

In the end, the best thing you can do is to ensure you never get too comfortable. The world of communication is constantly evolving and it’s up to you to stay on top of the changing expectations and needs of your clients and prospects. Take the time to ask them how you could improve their experience, listen to the feedback you get from your team, do your research, and don’t be afraid to change up your tactics. It’s a never-ending process, but it’s worth its weight in gold.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by nd3000