Long gone are the days of having an uber thriving business fuelled by the exchange of a business card and personal referrals. These forms of marketing are increasingly being considered a relic as 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses. As more and more consumers surf the web, you’re business should be there to meet their growing needs – and one way of meeting them is by having a strong online presence.
Your Online Presence Will Serve Changing Habits
History is full of examples showing how consumer behaviour changes in response to technology. For instance, the invention of the telephone in the late 1800s paved the way for households near and far to carry telephone directories, like the Yellow Pages, as a staple item.
When this occurred, businesses had to refocus all their marketing efforts to the directories’ pages, which by the 1930s, eventually became a standard practice.
But, later came the wonderful, complex world wide web. People near and far learned about the internet’s convenience, and, so, the Yellow pages quickly became a thing of the past.
Fast forward to 2019 and nearly everything is done online, whether that involves buying or selling services, keeping tabs on personal bills, or finding your nearest Italian restaurant for the evening’s dinner.
So in other words, advanced technologies not only disrupt the status quo, but foster new expectations and standards. To keep up, you need to evolve alongside customers in order to stay ahead of the curve.
That’s where a formidable online presence, as in a website, comes into play.
What Makes a Formidable Online Presence?
Consumers are more tech literate than ever before, so its natural they expect your website to deliver an enjoyable and smooth user experience.
The truth is that visitors have no problem closing out their browsers if a website doesn’t meet their expectations, whether they’re aware of them or not. This is why a website is the cornerstone to having a strong online presence in today’s digital arena.
If you’re in the midst of building a website, or any online presence for that matter, here are 2 critical things you should know about customer expectations.
1. Your Online Presence is Nothing Without Fresh, Quality Content
A website is your primary asset in marketing your brand. It provides credibility, social proof and professionalism to your business.
Now, with that being said, the content of your website is king. It doesn’t matter if your website has cool animations or sleek looking graphics when its content is outdated and stale. No one appreciates irrelevant information. Your expertise, regardless of industry or field, stems from the quality of content you provide to readers.
A nice looking website can catch an audience’s attention for the short-term but thought leading content is what gets them to revisit time and time again.
2. Your Online Presence Needs a Smooth User Experience (UX)
Simply, a great website is one that’s usable.
Well, that’s obvious, right?
Surprisingly, you’ll find many online presences out in internet never land that are incredibly difficult to navigate around and use.
User experience is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility and efficiency of a product (or a website, in the case of this article). This is measured by its performance, responsiveness and interactivity, which we’ll discuss next.
Nothing’s more frustrating to today’s online users than slow loading webpages. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in roughly 3 seconds, it’s likely they’ll leave your website in a hurry.
A way of checking whether your website meets the “3 second rule” is through running Google Analytics reports!
The responsiveness of a website is determined by its compatibility across multiple devices. This includes mobile, laptop and desktop computers. A good looking website that displays well on desktop but falls short on mobile isn’t sufficient enough to reach the rest of your potential consumers. It’s important to make your website count by appealing to the entirety of your viewers no matter what device they’re viewing it from.
In midst of an ever evolving and highly saturated digital landscape, things can get overwhelming when trying to stand out from your competitors. If you think about it, your competitors are merely one click away from generating a lead that easily could’ve been yours to nurture. The interactivity of a website is what builds deeper connections that go beyond strong content and good design. It helps promote user engagement.
You can make sure your online presence is interactive by using live chat agents, webforms and social media links, just to name a few.
Does your Online Presence Stand a Chance?
A website serves the purpose of not only establishing legitimacy as a brand and business but also as an effective sales funnel…when done right.
It’s important to give your web presence an honest assessment through a customer-centered approach. This means thinking strategically about your digital presence in relation to your customer’s evolving needs so that you remain relevant today and well into the future.