"Do people even look at websites anymore?"
This question was asked by a client as we began to engage with her about a redesign. She was unsure if anyone even visted her site, and if not, she would direct her marketing efforts elsewhere — which to her meant social media. Since we have built and hosted many iterations of her site over the years, we were able to show her hard data on user visits and engagement, and she was pleasantly surprised by the traffic stats. Yes, people are still looking at websites, hers in particular. We launched a rebranded version of her site, leveraging this data and incorporating new features to keep people coming back.
In an era where the cacophony of social media often feels like it drowns out everything else, it can be difficult to see the value of a "traditional" website. The key to this value is making your website relevant to your users. Genuine relevance always trumps noise. This is done primarily in three ways:
Provide a great user experience.
Depending on your audience, this could mean anything from wowing them with video and movement, to keeping things elegantly simple. While you want to lead the website visitor through your site toward a conversion point, a great UX makes the visitor want to take this journey. The idea is to make them feel as though they were treated to something special enough to warrant a conscious conversion.
Give them a reason to keep coming back.
If your website hasn't changed in a couple of years, engagement is nearly guaranteed to fall off. Update content frequently. Showcase new products. Swap out imagery. FOMO is a powerful motivator, and if people think they might miss something great, they'll visit regularly to ensure that doesn't happen.
While cold-hard-stats helped convince our client about the value of her website, your users aren't just data points. They are real people. Make them feel like they're not just a number to you by providing a little personalization that rewards their time on your site. By cookie-ing your visitors, or creating a member login, you can tailor the experience to them. You can offer one visitor one product, and another visitor a different product. You can remember who you've shown a pop-up to so you won't bother them again with the same one. Give them discounts or rewards based on their own actions, and don't forget to say thank you.
If your website feels less relevant and engaging to you than it did a while ago, and you find yourself pondering the same question our client did, talk to us. We can work with you in a data-driven fashion toward creating a user experience that will captivate your audience, and stand out from the everyday noise.