When planning an addition or redesign to a business website, marketing managers and other decision-makers will often turn to advanced search engine metrics and other analytical tools for guidance. These can definitely be helpful, but too many small businesses overlook one of their best resources – a surprising tool that can help them dramatically improve the effectiveness of their business websites – a conversation with a potential customer.
Simply put, someone who has visited your website, or bought from you in the past, holds an insight and perspective that are very difficult to find elsewhere. For all of the things you think you know about your business, they know exactly why someone decides to click the “buy now” button or pick up the phone to call you… not to mention the reasons they don’t.
Note that this conversation doesn’t even have to be an actual conversation. It could be in person, of course, but also over the phone, or even online. The point is that you want to ask potential customers things like:
- What would you like to see more, or less, of on this website?
- What do you like about our competitors’ websites?
- What is your favorite feature of our existing site?
- How did you find this website in the first place?
Are you going to get all of the answers you want from simply asking these questions? Probably not, but what you will likely get is a good starting point for understanding how the men and women you are trying so hard to market view your pages. This might sound like a small detail, but it can stop you from making a disastrous change, or copying a competitor who really isn’t as well-liked as you thought.
Metrics and expert opinions always have their place in business web design and online marketing. But if you really want to make your company more profitable over the Internet, don’t forget to ask your customers for their input once in a while.