The Consumer Needs Every Site Must Meet

There’s a lot that goes into creating a strong Web presence. In fact, yesterday I shared a number of local search-inspired infographics which covered the many, many things we SMBs have to worry about. Stuff like getting reviews, building links, earning citations, being mobile-friendly, and, of course, the social media elephant. But there’s one area that’s even more important than all of those in the eyes of your customers. And, oddly enough, it’s the only real part of your presence that you have complete control over so you’d be wise to take advantage of it.

What is it? It’s your Web site.

Earlier this week, Myles Anderson wrote a great piece for Search Engine Land about the key to converting local consumers to customers. In it, Myles argues that the key to boosting rankings is simple Web site improvements.

Actually, it’s really, really simple Web site improvements.

In an environment where it’s all too easy to chase the next big thing or make things more complicated than they need to be, Myles post reminds us that sometimes our customers’ needs are pretty simple. And that’s pretty awesome.\

To find out what IS important to local consumers, Myles’ company ran a short survey with their local consumer panel and asked them their opinion on four questions related to local business Web sites. You can read the full findings over at Search Engine Land, but I wanted to share a small snippet. To read about all the findings you’ll have to go read his piece, however, I wanted to share one questions

When asked what information is MOST valuable on a local business Web site, the responses shaped out like this:

Hear that? Consumers are on your Web site most looking for

  • Pricing information
  • Your list of services
  • Contact information
  • Your address
  • Driving directions
  • Testimonials

That’s it. Sure, the social profiles and the fancy site features may be nice, but when it comes to really converting a local consumer, the above information is what they’re really after. They’re looking for the basic and most essential information about you so that they can get off your site and make a purchase in your store.

As we head in 2012 with those long To Do lists, keep that in mind. Take a look at your Web site and make sure you’re taking care of those core needs and information points.

If a consumer landed on your site today would they be able to find clear information about your products and your business? If not, then you need to change that. Because all the mobile-friendliness and social media won’t help you if your Web site doesn’t address the questions that a customer would have about your business.


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

9 Reactions
  1. Just yesterday I was looking at call tracking software for a PPC campaign I’m setting up. One of the major players in the space didn’t have a pricing page. Anywhere. I got so desperate I even looked at the site map. Needless to say, they didn’t get my business because the investment wasn’t large enough to justify calling some salesperson and getting pitched just to find the price.

  2. Thanks, Lisa…

    I was having a short debate with myself about #1.(Pricing information)

    It was very short. I put a price on my services page. because it’s not fair for people to have to guess.

    And, if my competitors really want to compete with me on price…let them!

    The Franchise King®

  3. Yes, please, all SMBs .. your full contact info, NAP (and don’t forget the zip code !!!) .. not image but TEXT .. have it easy to find on your main index page .. and why not go ahead and put contact info on all your pages .. (if I’m on your sub-page about red widgets, I might be more motivated to call if the contact info is right there staring at me) .. yeesh, and did I mention .. include your zip code ??!

    Rant over now.

  4. Those findings may apply more to local businesses, but for online businesses–as well as local businesses, to some degree, depending on the niche–establishing credibility is crucial. And that’s not something that web visitors usually articulate as one of the most important factors that determines whether they become a customer.

    Credibility is a bit more difficult to define, but it’s a bit like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography: “I know it when I see it.” You can create credibility in a number of ways on your website, through it’s design and content.

    But, lacking credibility, you’ll get few if any customers–even if you have all the other pieces listed in the survey. (Customer testimonials, though, certainly are a powerful way to establish credibility–even though web visitors may not be actively seeking out testimonials).

    Greg Miliates

  5. Thank you for your interesting. I do disagree with conclusions. The purpose of any business is to generate reveue and thereby make a reasonable profit. If you stress price before making the customer thirsty you may generate volume but not profit.

    Convince me at the start that you provide more than what everyone else says the provide i.e Quality, Service and Price, and entice get me to call you to talk price then you will have me for life.

    If all your stress is price then only if you are the cheapest will you get me and no long term relationship, the back bone of any profitable buisess, will be developed.

  6. I have been racking my brain on listing prices. Since I offer so many products and services and my suppliers are known to change price often posting prices can often be a downfall. On top of that in graphic design and web design every project is different. But I have been watching the website analytic trends and it does look like they want a price most of the time

  7. Thanks, Lisa…

    I was having a short debate with myself about #1.(Pricing information)

    It was very short. I put a price on my services page. because it’s not fair for people to have to guess.