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Your website is a critical part of the way customers experience your brand and your products. A great website experience will lead to customers who are eager to use your brand in the future, turn to you for their needs in your industry, and even become brand ambassadors for your company.

A poor website experience, on the other hand, will lead to customers who will turn to your competitors instead.

Five website elements that create a better customer experience.

1. You need to guide your customers throughout their experience with your website.

If your customers came into your physical business, you would use strategies to help lead them where you want them: carefully placed displays, a store constructed to encourage customers to travel all the way through it instead of getting stuck at the front, and more.

On your website, you need to use similar strategies to help customers find items they didn’t even know that they were looking for. This can include:

  • “Additional items” or “Customers who viewed items like this also viewed…” options to help showcase more products customers might like.
  • A search option that works intuitively and provides access to information about the keywords your customers choose.
  • Buttons that offer information about the benefits to your customer, not just the action you want them to take.

2. SEO starts as you’re building your website.

Before you even start creating your website, you need to do your keyword research and determine which keywords that you want to highlight. Think about both local and global keyword options.

This will allow you to build those keywords into the structure of your website, highlighting important terms to make you highly visible to search engines.

3. Social media integration is an important part of your website strategy.

Social media helps promote your online brand and bring more customers to your website. Share buttons can help users spread content that they consider interesting or useful with a minimal amount of effort on either their part or yours, while linking to your social media pages–ideally the ones you use most often–will offer customers a new way to connect with your business.

Your users are on social media. Make sure that your website integrates with it in order to provide them with better opportunities.

4. Your contact information isn’t just an afterthought.

Some people come to your website just to make a purchase. Others, however, are more interested in locating physical information about your store or business.

Make sure that they can find all of the relevant contact information for your business, from important phone numbers to your physical address. This will help prevent you from missing out on potential customers!

5. Age matters.

You’ve taken all those vital steps to move yourself up on Google’s search engine rankings, but your website doesn’t seem to be rising any higher. While this is incredibly frustrating, it’s also for a reason: part of Google’s algorithm includes how long your page has existed and how regularly you publish new, up-to-date content.

Sometimes, appearing in that critical first page of rankings is a waiting game as you let Google and other search engines know that your business really is here to stay.

This is also a great reason to avoid changing domains or moving to a new website during redesign: if you do that, you don’t get to carry the benefits of your old website’s age with you.

Building a great website takes time and effort. Your goal is to create an effective connection with your customers, offering them everything they need in order to have a great experience with your website, while simultaneously meeting the qualifications necessary to advance your search engine ranking.

If you haven’t been considering these five critical website elements in your design, make sure you integrate them into your website plan today.

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