What ever happened to the customer? Web Design 101
The growth of the web has had some fantastic impacts on how we as SME’s reach our customers, it has gone some way to level the playing field between us and the multinationals with unlimited marketing budgets. Unfortunately, as with everything, its effectiveness runs on a curve, and some are arguing that we are getting close to the top of that curve before a fall. We at Metrix disagree, the phenomenal rise of the web and its capabilities have been talked about millions if not billions of times, the skill of coders and designers has sky rocketed and now anything is possible. Absolutely anything, the designs get more complex and the functionality is deeper and more expansive than ever before.
All this makes it sound like websites are only getting better, some of the B2B companies in particular are actually starting to rely less on their websites and reverting back to sales reps contacting customers one at a time, attempting to get them on the sales funnel and swiftly moved through! Looking at some of the sites out there it becomes evident that they have designed them using all the latest techniques because they can, not because it will help the customer.
Just taking Ireland as an example, the B2B decision makers in the SME game are generally profiled around the 40 – 55 mark, which means they may not be as digitally affluent as their junior colleagues. Websites need to be designed with the customer in mind, simple, clear and with a quick route through to the meat of the site, we as a nation have gotten impatient, fancy gimmicks no longer draw anyone in. Now people want simplicity, we as marketers know that simplicity on the front means a huge amount of back end work, but that is what is necessary to generate leads.
At Metrix we think it’s safe to say the time has gone where businesses can rely solely on “pretty” websites. In today’s digital marketing landscape, a website must be an optimized, revenue-generating platform, while all the time staying simple, giving the customer an easy route to your products or services.
If your looking at your web analytics and wondering how these convert to sales then you may need to get a marketing team involved. Web designers are great, coders are excellent and both are very well intentioned but without direction you will end up with a very aesthetic website that may even win a few design awards but it is unlikely to appeal to your customer. We’ve seen it time and time again, SME’s pumping money into their digital presence because that’s the way the industry is moving but is that digital presence mimicking what they had before, if a drastic change has taken place is your customer OK with it, can your customer keep up?
We feel the reason so many websites fail is because businesses take a design-driven approach from the beginning due to the pitches they receive from marketing agencies as opposed to developing a website from the ground up with the customer in mind. Without a customer first design approach and an in-depth SEO strategy your coding and design efforts will all be for nothing.
At Metrix we suggest conducting a deep analysis on your current customers and potential new customers should you want to expand. Once this is complete then and only then can you build a strategy to improve your customer experience and implement a killer digital presence and if you want any help or advice don’t be afraid to get in touch, were always here to help.