Why Caring for Users is More Important Than Caring for Search Engines
Would you buy from your own store?
This is a very important question one should ask oneself when one is running a store of any kind. This article talks about user experience and how important it is for building trust in your customers and not just Google.
I am sure we’ve all heard “It takes a user less than 10 seconds to decide whether a website is useful to them.” Well actually it is more like 3 seconds, so you must make a good instant impression! How do we do this?
‘Usefulness’ is a very broad term, it really depends on the site the user is on, what kind of purpose the site is designed to serve. We’ll be talking specifically about e-Commerce and making sure we make the perfect first impression.
So what happens when you visit an e-Commerce website? You ask yourself a series of questions: You wonder if it’s safe and secure for you to buy products and give your private details and credit card number to….Correct? So how do you decide if it is safe? Do you look at the ‘lock’ symbol? Do you read about the security policy? You could probably go on and read the specific details on how to check if a site is secure and safe to buy on, but most users don’t really do any of that. Most users rely on their gut instinct, they judge a website by its ‘look & feel’, back to our first impression again.
It’s human nature but we judge things based on how good it looks, we do this everyday and not just with websites but with people and everything else in life as well. Many online sites that put Google before Good design look stuffed with words, lacking finishing touches and are often hard to use. Designing for your users is best way to go! Its very important for an online store to make a good first impression. Having a good looking/well designed site will attract attention from customers, it will invite them to look at your products, since its well designed its easy to browse around. Every step of the online retail experience should be smooth. From the user experience to the aesthetics. Aesthetics also help convince customers on the gut level that the site is safe to buy from. Think about it, if a web site looks like the owner has put the investment into making the site look good and run well it would mean that they’re committed to the business, they’re committed to making their customers happy. Sounds simple rite? As simple as it is most store owners still overlook this very important factor. If your store is struggling a good question to ask would be, “Would you buy from your own store?”
Content is King & Design is Queen
Alot of online stores today, look like hack jobs, and they come up to me and ask. “Are you good at SEO and online marketing?” and I usually reply “I could be, why?” to which they reply “Well I want to improve sales on my site.” Most people think that “SEO” is this magic that can just make any website get a boost in visits. The thing that most people overlook is, without good content and a well designed site, your not going to have good business, you might get 1000 unique visitors a day but if those 1000 people decide that your web site looks like a hack job, then they’re not going to give you their money. Its as simple as that. Its way more important to invest into a well designed site with sufficient functionality and good content. Once you have all these things you can then invest into SEO and Marketing. If you get your site right, chances are you probably wouldn’t have to spend as much on SEO. Even if you can’t spend as much on SEO and marketing and it brings you 400 Unique visitors a day over the 1000 unique visitors but if out of those 400 your site is able to convert even 100 out of those 400 then you have a successful business going. The key here is to look at the ‘Conversion Rate.’
What happens is those 100 people will then go and tell their friends and family that “Oh i’ve had a very good experience with this website, you should buy from them as well.” Now we have “word of mouth.” This is way more valuable than any kind of SEO/Marketing money can buy. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool a business can have, and they only way to achieve it is through a well designed site with good content.
There really is no SEO/Marketing magic that will increase sales. At the end of the day, customers are just humans, they’re the people who decide whether your site is worthy to buy from. No one cares about how many unique visitors a site is getting, they’re just focusing on the quality of their experience. If your site can deliver a good experience through design and content then doing the SEO and Marketing will be a breeze. User experience is the most important factor for a successful and lucrative online business.