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Let’s try an exercise together. While you’re reading this article, bring up your website at the same time. The title of this article is ‘Would you buy from your own website?’. Now, this takes a little bit of objectivity, but look at your website’s front page.
What does the page say? Does it say professional, credible and reassuring? Or does it say ‘doesn’t really know how to use a computer’. When someone comes to your website for the first time, they need clear guidance as how to navigate through the content of your site. The importance of navigation cannot be stressed enough, these days with the plethora of choices available, sites that are difficult to navigate receive little attention; the user simply starts looking somewhere else.
One of the most heinous crimes against your own website is to make the visitor feel like they need to trawl through pages to get to what they want. One click! That’s how long it should take for the visitor to find themselves on a page that relates to what they came looking for. Just one click. Pick one of your products and see how easy it is to get from your front page to that product without any inside knowledge. Remember, it should take one click.
Ask yourself, if you were on the High Street and all the shops were selling the same thing, how would you decide which shop to buy from? That’s how you need to consider your own website, what will make it stand out from the hundreds, or thousands of other companies online offering the same thing. If you’ve thought this through, you’ll probably come up with some of the following:
The final and probably one of the most important questions to ask is ‘how easy, smooth and reassuring is your checkout process?’ People will get cold feet and have second thoughts if they don’t feel confident using your checkout process. If they feel you start to lose credibility, if they suddenly have to make a phone call or if they don’t believe that their payment card details are definitely going to be safe, they will simply click away from your website, with one click. Then your competitors will be enjoying the fruits of your labours because now the potential customer wants to buy, but is just looking for an alternative vendor that makes the entire ordering and payment process easy and reassuring. If your website doesn’t have an easy and reassuring payment procedure, you’ll likely lose business at the moment when they’re ready to part with their money.
So take a look at each aspect of your website from the first page when you strive to grab their attention, to the simple ease to finding the specific product or service they came looking for, the credibility of offering great advice and a way to contact a human being by email, or preferably by telephone. Lastly, does your website’s checkout procedure exude confidence, credibility and reassurance? If not, your competitors will be getting your business.
If you’d like an independent yet affordable review of your site, you could do a lot worse that try UserTesting.com. You receive video of someone using your site as well as a written summary.