Your website is more important to your business than ever, and with the holidays close at hand, that’s never been more true. In fact, according to Accenture’s Holiday 2013 Shopping Trends infographic, 65% of consumers plan to browse products online before purchasing in stores this holiday season. Following are four ideas to improve your website:
Keep It Simple — From site navigation to the headlines and subheads, make it easy for your site visitors to find what they’re looking for on your site. Categorize your products in a way that makes sense to prospective customers as opposed to how your company thinks about products internally. If you don’t have an alphabetical “Sitemap” that lists all of your landing pages, consider adding them so even if your navigation isn’t intuitive for all site visitors, it’s still easy to find and purchase your products or services.
Keep It Relevant — There are two reasons to make sure your website content is relevant: 1) it makes customers happy and 2) it makes web crawlers happy. By keeping fresh, appropriate content on your website, you can answer prospective customers’ questions — questions they often type into search engines. And if your website is offering answers to those questions, prospects have a better chance of finding your site during their search. Talk to sales people and customer service and monitor your social media sites to find out what kinds of questions your customers are asking and then answer them on your site.
Keep It Web Friendly — People scan websites, they don’t read them word for word and sentence by sentence. When writing for web, the content should be written in short bites of information. Brief to-the-point paragraphs that use sub-heads will make it easy for people to find subjects that interest them. If it makes sense, use numbered lists or bullets to keep the info even easier to find and read. While writing the headlines, subheads and body copy, keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind and incorporate keywords and phrases that people might use when searching for your products or services.
Keep It Engaging — Your fresh, relevant content should also be engaging content. One way to get peoples’ attention is with video. YouTube statistics state that people watch over 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube. That’s almost an hour for every person on Earth! So it’s likely that your customers will want to watch relevant videos about the benefits of your products and services or short how-to videos. Retail website visitors who watch videos stay an average of two minutes longer and are more likely (64% more likely!) to make an online purchase on that site than other site visitors. Again, keep SEO in mind and make sure that you tag the videos on your YouTube channel for better search results.