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Your website is your best online marketing effort. No amount of slick advertising, targeted ad buys or relentless retargeting will make up for a website that resonates with people who are in your market. That’s why it’s important for your website to present a look and feel that properly markets your products and services.

Here are seven ways to offer a website design that appeals to your online customer base.

1. Add a Live Chat

It’s often the case that customers will have one or more questions about your offerings that aren’t answered by your website ad copy. For that, they’ll need a connection with a live human being.

Why not add a live chat to your site so that potential purchasers can ask questions and receive immediate answers? Of course, you’ll need someone online to answer the questions. However, if you’re often online anyway (a likely case for a digital marketer), then you can arrange to be notified when someone requests a chat. Hopefully you’re also part of a team that can rotate chat responsibilities.

An online chat is an excellent demonstration of customer service that’s sure to appeal to your online audience. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions available for your website.

2. Present a Video on Your Home Page

Make your website more appealing with a video that tells people, in audible words and in images, the most valuable talking points about your business.

This is a relatively new idea that many online marketers are implementing. Instead of forcing people to read through a detailed description about your products or services, put it all on video and let them just sit back and watch.

3. Make the Important Stuff Totally Obvious

If it’s important, it should stand out prominently. Your customers should not be looking around for an “Order” button, for example. The shopping cart icon should be easy to locate, and perhaps in multiple places on the page. Social share icons should be noticeable without much effort.

For a funny look at how not to put things on a website, view this Venn diagram that slams college websites.

4. Give Your Customers Closure

As human beings, we like closure. In the context of an online business transaction, we like confirmation that everything was completed successfully, as documented by a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Be sure that you give your customers closure after the completion of a successful order. Provide them with a splash page that essentially says: “Everything’s fine!” Also, send them an email with a confirmation number for further confirmation.

5. Apply Fitt’s Law to Your Website

Fitt’s Law is a principle of human-computer interaction and ergonomics that essentially says: “Make it as easy as possible for people to click the right buttons.”

To apply this to your website, make clickable buttons as close as possible to the content that calls the customer to action. The shorter the distance between the call to action and the object that produces the action, the more likely you are to get results.

6. Use Social Proof

Never underestimate the importance of social proof. As a rule of thumb, people don’t want to be your guinea pigs. They want to know that others have purchased your products or services before and are satisfied.

Splash quotations from happy customers on your home page. That way, your customers will have some reassurance that your business has a good reputation.

7. Speed up the Process

Forty-seven percent of people expect a page to load in two seconds or less. In other words, your site will potentially turn off half of its visitors if page load times take longer than two seconds. That’s a lousy way to begin an interaction with a possible buyer.

If you’re finding that your site is a bit sluggish, you should know that there are numerous ways to improve page load times. Implement one or more of them to keep your customers happy.

You’ve worked hard to build a great online business. Make sure that you appeal to your target market with a website design that gets results.

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