Here is a short test that you can run to find out what your customers/audience may be thinking:
What is the consumer test all about? Simply read down the page and see whether or not you can find the answers to the questions on your website.
Am I in the right place?
Anyone visiting your website wants to know if your website is of relevance to them:
- Can they easily find a solution to their problem?
- Can they see straight away what it is you do?
Make sure your website includes the following information, written in language your audience will understand:
- A very obvious description of what you do – the client should not need to dig for this
- Layout your website so it’s easy to use – Easy to navigate around (contact pages etc)
Could I work with you?
Your customer wants to know:
- What type of company are they?
- What is their ethos?
- What are they all about?
The problem with the internet is that it is not very “personal”, you cannot really see people face to face so it can be hard to get impressions of the people behind the website.
- Interesting information on your team in the ‘About Us’ section, with photos
- A (passionate) account of why you’re in business and what you set out to do (see ‘What’s your crusade?’)
- Ways to follow and connect with you to find out more: a newsletter and social media feeds give them this opportunity
Are you an expert?
Your customer wants to know: “Do they know what they’re talking about? Can I learn something?” Answer: Make sure your website includes well written, relevant and regularly updated thought leadership content. Here are some options:
- Articles and blogs
- White papers
- And even a business book
Will they make a difference?
Your customers want to know:
- What’s the benefit of this service?
- What results will I see?
- How will this help me/my business?
- Up-to-date case studies/success stories that clearly show results and business benefits
- Information on the likely benefits in the ‘Services’ section
- Customer testimonials that talk about results
Are you credible?
Your customer wants to know:
- Have other people bought from this company?
- Have other people used their services?
- Have they received any accolades?
- Does this company work for people I respect?
- Do other people like what they do?
- Do they say good things about the company’s work?
Answer: Build trust by including this type of social proof:
- Client names
- Customer testimonials – real quotes from real customers
- Up-to-date case studies/success stories
- Press clippings and articles will increase your credibility considerably
- Awards are powerful
How do I contact you?
Ensure that there is an easy way for people to contact you, often it can mean the difference between setting yourself apart from other websites by creating relationships with other businesses, bloggers, journalists etc..
This may seem like something that is really obvious but it is incredible how many people do not have a contact method.
- Put your contact details (phone number and email) on every page
- Make these very visible
- Don’t just use pre-structured registration forms – if it’s complex they may not bother getting in touch
Has your website passed the consumer test? Go see now.. Imagine you are the customer, do you know instantly what the website is offering? Can you get what you want? Can they get it easily? Will they know you if they see you elsewhere on the internet? Can they trust you? Can they trust your knowledge?