In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at an Entrepreneur.com article by Monte Enbysk that provided a number of key points to having a strong business website. Without one these days, your business is sure to lose out on customers who often browse online before heading into a store to make a purchase.
Include third party validation, suggests Enbysk. That means including “customer testimonials, client lists, case studies, awards and recognition you’ve received, positive news clippings and the like. Potential customers indeed want to know who you do business with, and what current customers have to say about their experiences.”
Secure Socket Layer or SSL is another important feature of a website.
Explains Enbysk: “SSL is an encryption system that helps protect the privacy of data exchanged between a customer and a website. If you have an e-commerce site that takes credit card information, customers want to know that their sensitive data is encrypted. Get SSL if you don’t have it.”
Keep in mind that not everyone in the world is all that computer-savvy. Even those who frequent websites may not be up on the latest technologies. That being said, it is very important to have a website that is simple to use and navigate through. Keep your site “crisp” and “clean”.
There should also be clear guidance on your processes. Be sure to inform your customers about how they may order your products through your website. It’s important that they understand your shipping costs and procedures for doing business with you. Don’t forget to include a section on how your customers can contact you for any complaints or problems with their orders.
Be able to answer questions like “What is the return procedure?” and “Is there a money back guarantee?”. This leads to another important feature of your site. Customers love the ability to provide feedback. Encouraging them to do so will keep you very informed about ways you can improve your business and its perception in the public eye.
Have your website feature “clear calls to action”, insists Enbysk. He writes: “Customers want signs or buttons in order to act, be it ‘Buy now’ or ‘Sign up for our newsletter’ or ‘Click here for more information.’ But many small-business sites don’t provide calls to action or they don’t present them clearly enough.”
Finally, your website should feature special offers and personalization. Have incentives and online coupons set up on your site. Small things like free gift wrap service really help to create a good impression within your customer base. The extra personal touch will keep your clients coming back.