What Do Customers Look For In A Website?

If you are doing business online, consider your website as your main product for your customers. People are diverse but when it comes to the internet, we all look for a few things in selecting who to follow, trust, and patronize.

The following is a list of a few essential things that every web site should have:

* Ease Of Use: Your website should not be confusing or hard to navigate. Web customers typically look for simple things: your products, information about you, your blog, your contact page. These should always be prominent and easy to find, as should any other information or links you want people to follow. The font should be easy to read and the links should be keyword-rich and easy to spot.

* Clarity Of Content: Your content, including the call-to-action, should be easy to understand. This applies to every single page of your website. If your readers can’t understand you, they will leave.

* Credibility: First, your website should definitely have a dedicated contact page with a contact form, e-mail address (avoid free email addresses like @gmail or @yahoo) and a physical location and phone number. Credibility also includes not only on-page content like testimonials and comments, but also third-party validation in the form of Twitter followers, Facebook fans and awards or certifications.

* Ability To Give Feedback: Provide an easy way for customers to interact with you and give them as many options as you can handle: phone number, social media, contact form, and blogging are some of the most popular ones. People will likely trust and be loyal to you if they see that you are open and are always available.

* Security: Readers and customers want to be sure that any and all personal information provided to you will stay confidential and not be sold to third parties or misused. If you are selling products, this means SSL security. If you are asking for e-mail addresses for a marketing list, this means respecting your readers’ privacy.

Does your web site pass the test? Are you a consumer that has other items that are important for business websites? What make you feel comfortable making purchases from a website?
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  • These are all wonderful suggestions!

    I would like to add one more essential item to your list. Be sure it is presented in a professional manner. You don't have to have a huge budget to hire a designer for a fancy website, or any budget for that manner. There are many options on the net to create professional looking websites for free.

    But it does not matter if you have all the things on the list above going for your site if it looks like your 5 year old put the site together.

    Messy layouts with humongous fonts, glaring colors that blind a visitor who stays on your site for more than 10 seconds, graphics and boxes overlapping, irregular columns, cheesy flashy cartoons, overly loud automated audio, broken links to pages or graphics... experiences like these for a website visitor are an instant turnoff. Visitors won't even take the time to see if you have an easy to find link to a comprehensive Contact page if they can't stand being at your site.

    These "uncomfortable" webpage features scream that some one just does not care --- care about how they present their business, care about how someone views their business, so why should they care about the quality of the work they do?

    It all goes hand in hand.

    So be sure you make your site "pleasant" to be at physically. It is better to be a bit basic or plain, rather than being offensive or annoying just for page-filler sake.

    Additionally, be sure to preview your site in as many browsers as you can, and platforms (Mac as well as PC). Because what may view in perfect order on one could appear completely out of whack on another. The internet world no longer has tunnel vision and everyone is not just surfing with IE on a PC.
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  • Agreed. The same is true of the wording. You don't need fancy words, but you do need good grammar and proper punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
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  • We want to hear from you! MerchantCircle is actively working on improving the experience of for our neighbor and merchant communities. We would appreciate any suggestions for how we can make our interface better, increase accessibility, facilitate easier communication between neighbors and merchant, and drive you to generate original content! Talk to me, I'm here to listen!
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