Now that we live in a digital age, everyone has fast, easy and free access to any information we want, 24/7. When we want to know something, “Google is your friend”. Maybe Bing or DuckDuckGo is too. We all have our preferred way to finding what we need.
The millennial generation will first judge a business online. They will research and experience the business’ website and social media profiles before deciding if they want to commit to the next stage of the purchasing path. Older generations are now doing the same.
But what happens when we go online? We are bombarded with thousands of messages (busy newsfeeds, active conversations, banners, ads, sponsored posts, etc.) To manage the potential sensory overload, our brains are developing to make snap judgments in split seconds.
When we arrive on a website, we now have enough experience to decide almost instantly if:
- the website is trustworthy,
- it holds the information we want,
- it will resolve the question/problem we started out with.
If we don’t like what we see, or the message is not in-keeping with our expectations, in other words if the website lacks relevance, we will leave straight away.
Users now value ease and speed; if your competitors are offering similar products/services and a better experience, then you will lose in the long run.
Is this a problem? Yes! Not only does this damage your brand image and trust, it also affects your website ranking.
Search engines look at bounce rates to decide if people find a website of interest/value. The more people who leave immediately, the higher the bounce rate, and the less Google will push this website up its ranking. It makes sense from Google’s perspective- they want to provide the best results to their search queries, so they use their analytics to confirm that users are benefiting from the sites.
Without a clearly defined roadmap for communication, it is easy to get distracted and deviate from core messages. It matters because online efforts- website, social media and digital campaigns- are the windows into a business. Whilst word of mouth is still important in a small number of industries, the majority of customer acquisition happens thanks to digital presence and communication.
Key PointDo not spend time and resources developing a social media strategy if your website is not going to meet your customers’ expectations!