YOUR COMPANY WEBSITE IS YOUR WELCOME MAT.

So Why Isn’t It Welcoming?

We all know how important your website is in your digital marketing efforts, actually, make that for all of your marketing efforts– nothing new there. My philosophy is that since your site is often your first point of contact for consumers to engage with, that makes it the welcome mat to your storefront and sets the stage for how the relationship will be built.

While every brand has a website that provides at least the basic information, just doing the minimum isn’t nearly enough. What’s worse is attention spans are dwindling, so you only have about 3 seconds to wow me. Since making a great first impression is key, your website should accomplish a few things immediately:

  • Let you know you’re at the right place
  • Be inviting and interesting
  • Guide you to the next step

YOU HAVE ONE SHOT

Don’t leave your consumers out in the cold. They’ve already showed interest by coming to your website and now it’s your job to invite them in. Think about how much revenue you could potentially lose each time someone becomes instantly disinterested with your digital storefront. Or how much you could gain if everyone was actually engaged and ready for that next step.

I often have this conversation with my clients and prospects; nothing is more frustrating than arriving on a homepage and finding it doesn’t work. And I’m not just talking about broken links or missing images. If I don’t immediately know what you offer and easily find what I’m looking for – I’m out of there. Or if your site is slow to load, see ya. And it’s not just me, 40% of users will abandon a site that has a loading speed of more than 3 seconds according to Kissmetrics.

ONE.

TWO.

THREE.

Gone!

 

From a mobile perspective that statistic is even higher. Google says 53% of mobile site visits leave if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. What happens then? Well, that means your potential customer could be delivered right to your competitor.

BE A GOOD HOST

Beyond that first impression, how are you welcoming your customer? Best practice tells us a website should have a logo, engaging visuals, easy navigation and a call-to-action, but that isn’t going to make you stand out. Doing the bare minimum will only get you the bare minimum results.

Websites used to be treated as online brochures, but now they’re so much more. You need to immerse your customer in your brand. Give them more than a product or service, give them a reason to be a loyal customer. Connect with them, guide them and engage them. Use this as the opportunity to have true one-on-one conversations with your customer.

How can you accomplish this? Storytelling. Think about how many soda choices there are or airlines to pick from. Now think about which one you’re loyal to. It isn’t simply about taste or schedules, it’s about how those companies make you feel. It’s about emotion.

If you’re just listing your offering, you’re missing out on a chance to separate yourself from the pack. You want to create a cohesive experience built around your brand promise and then take the opportunity to showcase something innovative and new. Your site can’t be still or static, it needs feel fresh and fun.

STEP UP YOUR GAME

More and more we’re seeing technology used as a way to create buzz, but it doesn’t always provide value. Find synergies between your online presence and an innovative way to enhance that experience. Take for example, a microsite we built for Norwegian Cruise Line where we integrated a virtual reality (VR) function. While others are using VR to simply provide 360 views of their products, we wanted to leverage the tech as a way to create excitement for the ship’s launch by showcasing its interactive features, like the racetrack and the slides. This allowed future guests to experience the fun before the ship was even finished being built. These are the kind of added values that can set you apart while building the brand.

While I’m sure you have a website, is it really doing what it needs to do? And while there’s lots of upkeep on the backend to make sure your website is easy to find, includes modern transitions or typefaces, don’t forget that a great website starts with: “How can I provide the best experience for my customer?” It may just be time to dust off your welcome mat (or get a new one!), because there are 1.8 billion websites online fighting for our attention.

Andrew Stewart

Author Andrew Stewart

President/Chief Relationship Officer - Andrew’s philosophy is simple: build bonds before building brands. In his 18 years in the industry, he’s found that success begins with a basis of trust between agency and client. While his team brings brands to life with their technological expertise, he takes on the challenges that technology can’t handle. Andrew listens to his clients’ challenges and needs and uses those insights to carve the path towards achieving their dreams. Turning brands into legends begins with a bond, and that’s exactly the role Andrew fulfills within Worldmedia Interactive.

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