Today, your Web site is more than just a media source where people find information about your business; it's the place where many customer relationships begin. In your prospects' minds, their experience of your site is a foreshadowing of their experience with your company or organization.
Establishing a favorable relationship is quite a challenge. But you can improve your odds by challenging your site with these 10 important questions:
1. Is your homepage empathetic to your visitors?
Be a good host: Instead of confronting your readers with a barrage of chest-beating, "about us" messaging, welcome them with a rapport that demonstrates an understanding of their needs, desires, and challenges.
Hint: Try leading your copy with "if you" type statements such as "If you're in a competitive retail market with razor-thin margins..." or "If you appreciate the unique colors and textures of hand-blown glass..." By doing so, you demonstrate both an understanding of who the visitors are and an appreciation of their values and concerns.
2. Is your site organized on your customer's terms?
Most navigation structures are organized in ways that seem logical to the host's internal audience—by "products," "services," "solutions," etc. But if your prospect doesn't already know what your product or service names mean ("What's a 'Data Integrity Analytic'?"), they're not likely to find what they need.
Hint: Guide your readers by using rubrics based on customer challenges, pains, or desires, such as "Planning for Retirement" and "Reducing Taxes," for a financial planner, or perhaps "Cold Climate Lawns" and "Low-Water Landscaping" for a garden site.