What Do Customers Look For In a Website?
It’s hard enough to find success with an online business without inadvertently making it more difficult for yourself. Yet this happens more frequently than you might expect, and it’s all to do with the website.
A business can’t just put any old website online, and expect it to bring in customers. That might have worked in 2003, but it won’t in 2023 when standards for websites are exceptionally high.
To be successful, a business must make sure that its website has all the things that customers look for.
The good news is that what customers want is not a mystery. It’s pretty well-documented by this stage.
On this page, we’ll outline some of the key things that web users look for in a website. Make sure that your website has all of them.
So, What DO Customers Look For In a Website?
1. A Trustworthy Domain Name
You wouldn’t actively think to trust the first option — you wouldn’t even think about it. But the second one would raise eyebrows, and that alone would make them less likely to enter their credit card details.
Don’t just select the first domain name that comes into your head. Workshop it and make sure it feels right. And remember — everything will be much easier if your domain name is easy to remember.
2. A Strong First Impression
We’re all quick to make judgments. Most people make up their minds about a website within a few seconds of landing on the homepage. Or perhaps it’s better to say that they’ll know if it’s not the site for them.
If you have an unimpressive or messy homepage, then you’ll likely lose a big chunk of your potential customers before they’ve even had a chance to see what you have to offer.
Unless you have experience in designing a website, it’ll be best to work with a web designer, who will give you a website that looks clean, professional, and modern.
Also, keep in mind that it’s important to refresh your design from time to time — a website that looked fresh half a decade ago will likely look dated now. You don’t necessarily have to overhaul your website’s design, though — in most cases, a few design tweaks will be enough.
You’ll want your website to look good, sure, but it’s also important that it’s easy to navigate. A person can easily become frustrated if they can’t figure out how to get to where they want to go.
And if that happens, you can expect that they’ll click the ‘X’ button and visit a competitor instead.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to get around your website, and while there is a science to this, what it essentially comes down to is keeping things simple.
It’s easy for a website to become overcomplicated, so do your best to avoid it — in many cases, less is more.
4. Well-Written Content
A website can look the part when you first land on the site, but if there are glaring grammatical errors, then the customer may have some doubts. Having well-written content is a crucial part of establishing trust with the visitor.
After all, it’s one of those things that can convey that that business has invested time and effort into its digital presence.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a copywriter to do this task for you, but it can certainly help. If you do decide to write the content yourself, then at the very least, have a professional look over the text.
5. Contact Information
Another way to convey trust is to include as much contact information as possible. Unless you’re a big, established brand, you’ll need to provide as many reasons as possible for your visitors to trust you.
And if they see that there’s no way to get in touch with you, then that’ll be a pretty big negative mark against your site.
Customers will always have questions about your products, delivery, returns, and so on, and when they do, they’ll want to reach you via their preferred method.
Some people prefer the telephone, others like social media messages and email, while some customers prefer the handiness of an online chat feature.
The best solution is to include as many of these as you can — and, of course, to respond to your messages promptly.
6. Testimonials and Reviews
Did you know that customers trust user recommendations almost as much as they do recommendations from friends and family? It’s true. If you have great feedback from your customers, then make sure you put them to good use.
Including reviews and testimonials on your website is a surefire way to build credibility with an audience who may not know who you are.
You don’t need to go overboard with this — a few well-placed, easily visible comments that don’t interfere with the website experience will be enough. And if you’ve worked with some big brands, then be sure to include their logo.
7. Informative Articles
There’s no shortage of websites offering whatever it is that you offer. Even if you think you have a niche offering, we can guarantee that someone else is also doing it! One way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to establish your expertise. After all, people want to know that they’re buying from the best. There’s a whole host of ways to do this online, including having an active Twitter account where you share your top-tier thoughts and options.
On your website, you’ll want to post informative articles about your products, how-to guides, benefits of your services, and things like that. Think of your articles as an educational tool that outline why your potential customer should choose you, rather than one of your competitors.
8. Safety and Security
Internet security is a big concern for customers, and if they have any doubts that their sensitive information will not be safe, then they won’t take the risk. Make sure that all of your security certificates are up to date and that you’re following standard protocols for managing your customers’ data. It’s non-negotiable.
10. Smooth Checkout Process
If you’ve done the hard work of winning a customer, you won’t want to lose them at the final hurdle. There are a lot of steps between getting the interest of a customer and having them make an order, yet many businesses end up fumbling the ball just before the touchdown line, and it’s all due to an overly complicated checkout process. There’s no reason not to offer quick and easy payment in 2023.
Finally, remember to be honest. This is an underrated quality that web users very much appreciate, because, well, there are many websites out there that aren’t honest.
Many websites lose customers all because they incorporate shady practices, such as making it difficult to cancel a subscription or including additional fees just before payment is made.
You can see why businesses do this, but they usually end up causing themselves harm — while some customers will accept those dishonest practices, most will just leave the site.
So try to be as upfront as possible; your customers will appreciate it.
There’s no way to guarantee success in the online business world. But there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of it happening, and that includes having a website that ticks every box that customers look for.