Sure-fire approach to making your website visitors happy

What did you do on the Internet yesterday? Buy a gift for someone’s birthday? Look for some tips on cleaning the oven? Hunt for a plumber in your area? Consult the latest listings of the local movie theater?

Delighted woman

We go to the Internet for anything and everything these days. And with so much on offer, we expect to do whatever it is we want to do with ease and speed.

Which is why we love websites that give us exactly what we want.

With no effort on our part.

So what do you do if you arrive at a cluttered website with pop-up adverts? Or you can’t find the information you want because it’s hidden seven pages deep? Or discover links don’t take you where you want to go?

You simply go to another website that immediately serves your purpose.

And that’s the key to a successful website. It immediately serves the purpose of the person visiting the site.

When I go on the Internet to buy, say, a notice board for my office, I’ll go to Amazon first.

Why do I go there? Because this company knows that all I want to do is type in ‘notice board’ on the first page I arrive at and be immediately presently with a list of notice boards that gives an image, a description and a price.

Amazon: a user-friendly website

Amazon also knows that I’m looking for a wide choice, competitive prices, free delivery and an easy purchasing system. All I have to do is make my choice, and a couple of clicks later, my purchase is winging its way to me.

And that’s exactly what I (and its 244 million active users) want. And that’s why we keep going back. Simple when you think about it.

So here’s my question for you:

Do you know why people go to your website?

Here’s another important question:

Can your website visitors to do what they want to do easily?

If you don’t know the answers to these two questions, carry on reading this article!

Know why people go to your website

Do visitors want to buy something from you? Perhaps they want to out more about you? Or get some tips from you? Do you even know who visits your website? More significantly, do you know why these people come to your website (and then leave without buying something or without contacting you)?

If you owned a bricks-and-mortar shop, you could simply ask them. With a website, you need to use web analytics software like Google Analytics, ClickTale or Crazy Egg (if you’re not best friends with technology, you can always ask your website manager to do this for you).

You could also think about using a survey tool like Survey Monkey or Qualaroo. Surveys have their uses, although personally I think they’re overused and overrated. As a visitor, I find them irritating, so think carefully before you ask your own visitors to answer a list of questions.

A bit of market research, a dose of common sense and some advice from your website designer or copywriter could provide you with all the insight you need.

In short, you have to know who is going to your website and why so you can give them what they want.

Customers want to be served!

Let your website visitors to do what they want to do

Knowing what your potential customers want is one thing. Giving them the ability to carry out actions so they get what they want is another.

Here’s a tactic you can employ with relative ease, and the pay-off will be satisfied visitors (and as you know, satisfied visitors make customers!)

Imagine for a few moments that you’re an experienced plumber with four employees. Your potential customers are based in a 50-mile radius, they’re homeowners or property managers, and they either have a problem like a blocked drain or clogged toilet or want a non-urgent service like a pre-winter furnace check-up or a new heating system installed.

Armed with that information, what do you think they want to do when they find your website? I’m pretty sure they’ll want to:

  • Check you provide the services they want
  • Check you serve the area they live in
  • See your phone number without searching (especially in an emergency)
  • Schedule a service appointment (with ease)
  • Review your company (so they know you have the relevant expertise)

Now you’ve identified their needs, what are you going to put on your website to let visitors do what they want to do? Here are my answers to every desire listed above:

  • A home page that identifies your company and gives visitors a sense of what the website is about in just a few seconds, plus a service page that gives a complete list of your services
  • A coverage map that shows visitors which area you serve
  • A phone number at the top right-hand corner of every page
  • A schedule-a-service appointment form on most pages
  • Information pages like About Us, Meet Our Staff, Testimonials and Reviews, and FAQs

Check out the website of South West Plumbing. See how they meet the needs of their potential and existing customers in just this way. It’s not an extensive website, and it doesn’t use clever wording or animations. But it does give exactly what a homeowner with a blocked drain needs. Information and the ability to call straight away. Which is kind of the point.

Make sure your website is serving its purpose by using this sure-fire approach. Remember, if visitors can’t find or do what they want, they have plenty of other websites to visit…

Helen

Helen

Helen McCrone is a British copywriter, copyeditor and translator who lives in Washington State, USA. She's been helping small and large businesses communicate effectively in writing since 2004. She relies on yoga, her American husband and her English sense of humour to keep her sane. :-)

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