Hands up who logs onto a computer at home to do a search on the internet? If you put your hand up chances are you are now in the minority.
More and more of us are using our smartphones and tablet devices to do everything from checking social media sites to booking a holiday and everything in between. In this article, I look at online search trends for products and services and what elements influence our buying decision.
Some of the major influencers when we are buying online include: how your website works on mobile, trust, reviews and pricing. Below I will take a look at these elements to see what you can do to give your business the best chance of succeeding online.
Make your site mobile friendly
In 2015 we saw mobile searches on Google rise above desktop searches for the first time and this is a trend that is set to continue.
Mobile is fast becoming the go-to platform for searchers with people using their phones to find and contact local businesses as well as make online purchases. Making sure your website is optimised for mobile devices will help your business get more enquiries and sell more products.
Analyse your pricing
Whether visitors are looking for products or services one thing that will influence whether they choose you or your competitors is your pricing. You need to make sure that this is competitive with other companies in your industry in order to convert visitors into customers.
A lot of businesses don’t want to put pricing on their website as they are afraid this might scare off potential customers but showing prices has been proven to help build trust in your business. Pricing also helps establish your place in your marketplace, from top of the market to entry level, your pricing tells your customers what to expect from your business.
Build trust elements
As more and more businesses have an online presence your website needs to stand out from the crowd and build trust. Some of the key trust signals that customers look for include: frequently updated social media accounts, secure checkout on e-commerce stores, testimonials and product reviews.
All of these things help your customer to establish trust in your business and place confidence in your company.
Another key element is having positive reviews for your business online. More and more customers are putting trust in online reviews with 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations. For online reviews to be trustworthy they need to be genuine and detailed. Having reviews on third party websites is another way to build trust, some of the biggest review sites include: Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Yell and of course Google reviews.
For e-commerce websites, it is even more important that your website reassures customers in order to succeed online. One of the ways that e-commerce websites develop trust is by featuring product reviews to show potential customers what other customers think.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this that I have seen is Amazon where products have a star rating out of 5 which shows the top customer reviews.
Market your business
The final step to online success is marketing your business online. Whether you choose search engine optimisation, social media, or paid advertising, marketing your business will help you get more visitors to your website. And with online spending hitting £114 billion in the UK in 2015, online shopping is a massive revenue source that you should be taking advantage of.