5 Tips for Designing a Customer-Focused Website

Creating and launching a new website is the product of thousands of hours of collaboration, dedication and hard work. Many marketers face the challenge of creating a customer-friendly website that helps visitors understand products or solutions, without over-inundating the customer with their brand image. To help your customers understand what you offer, you need to focus on a clear delivery with easy-to-understand product information.

If you're launching a new website for your small business, here are the five areas that can make your site more customer-focused.

1. Overall Design
In its entirety, a website should provide a clean, user-friendly and easy-to-navigate layout with strong brand reinforcement. The goal is to make it easy for customers to find what they want. All too often companies put heavy emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) or branding, without taking a second to think like the customer—not the owner of the business.

Simplified menus on a homepage can decrease customer confusion and allow for quick navigation to products, software solutions, and additional customer and partner resources. And don't forget the importance of providing all the information a customer may need. For example, adding pop-up boxes displaying product images, screenshots and feature charts to product pages can help push the customer to a conversion.

2. Videos
According to a Q4 2012 study from Invodo, "57 percent of consumers are more confident to make a purchase online after watching a product video."Opens in a new window To better educate customers, product pages on your website should include videos to help our customers better understand the specific products in which they are interested. A commercial video, with a laymen's explanation of the solution, should be included on every landing page.

3. Training and Support
Seventy-one percent of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service.Opens in a new window With that in mind, marketers should place an emphasis put on helping customers gain valuable insights about applying products or solutions quickly and efficiently. To support that effort, consider implementing a training section that walks customers through products or implementation processes.

4. Responsive Design
Forty-eight percent of users say if they arrive on a business site that isn't working well on a mobile device,Opens in a new window they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. Responsive design refers to a Web design approach aimed at creating sites that provide an optimal viewing experience, whether it's on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Strongly consider a website that is mobile compatible. It shouldn't matter what device customers use to view the site—your online website should be viewable across the board.