I’m fairly certain I was one of the first people to order pizza online. Sadly, I didn’t get my pizza.
Here’s how it went down:
It was late 1999 or early 2000, and I was living in an apartment just off my university’s campus. I’d gone over to my boyfriend’s place. He had just gotten a DSL line to share with his three roommates, and we were marveling at the speed (and the fact that you could use the phone and the internet at the same time—mindblowing).
I’d read somewhere that one could visit food.com and order pizza online. So we tried it.
Two hours later, our stomachs were growling and we were getting grouchy. We called the pizza restaurant and found out that they had received the wrong address and the wrong phone number from food.com.
(If you’re curious, you can see what food.com looked like in 1999 here.)
Fast forward to 2018. My boyfriend is now my husband, and we use the internet a gazillion times a day to look for whatever we need. Sometimes we even order food and receive it like it’s no big thing.
Usually, we get the information we need within seconds. That’s the standard today. It’s what everyone is used to.
It’s what your potential customers demand.
So, when parents visit your website, can they get what they need within seconds? Or are they bouncing off your page like basketballs on a backboard?
Here are five ways to make sure your visitors don’t bounce away:
Do you have a picture of real people? This could be an image of you, your staff, or your customers in action. People buy from people, and the more real the image the better. Don’t worry if you’re not a super model. Very few of us are. Including an image of you or a real-life shot of your business in action will help to build trust.
Do you have a clear call to action? If parents don’t know what you want them to do, you may lose them. Try to make your visitors’ next steps as easy and as obvious as possible, and place your call to action above the fold (that means putting it in a place they can see without scrolling down).
Do you have social proof? Today’s parents love reviews and peer recommendations. Include a few quotes from happy customers.
Can your customers find what they’re looking for? Chances are your site visitors want your location, phone number, e-mail address, and hours. Are they easy to see on your home page?
Can visitors tell what you are selling within a few seconds? They should be able to tell immediately whether your business is what they’re looking for. If they can’t tell right away, they probably won’t spend time and effort to figure it out.
Go ahead and check these five things on your home page. Making a few adjustments could keep your visitors on your site long enough for them to see who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best choice for them. Having a well-functioning site will also show them that you’re a true professional.
When you’re done, you might want to celebrate by ordering a pizza. Just don’t use the 1999 version of food.com.
Your partner in growth,
P.S. If you want more help fixing up your website, I offer a website usability and copy audit for $97. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you’d like me to take a look at your site this week. I’ll give you at least five specific ways to improve your site so visitors will stick around and accept your call to action. I’ll also tell you whether your copy is on point and how you can make it better.
I’m Sarah Jenne Foster. I’m a proud Texan (no, I don’t own a horse or a cowboy hat); an experienced teacher; the loving caregiver of two kids, two cats, and a frog; and a tireless advocate of the serial comma. I'm on a mission to use the power of words to help businesses that serve children and families.