Which parts of the business website matter most?
The most important qualities of a business website change, depending upon which consumer demographic you’re asking. Here’s what the survey found:
Age matters. The age of the consumer has a definite impact on the consumer’s business website preferences. For example, if you operate a local business that caters to consumers between the ages of 18-54, having a website is very important to your target market and they’re more likely to contact you if you have a website. If your target audience is 55+, having a website is still a good idea, but it’s much less likely to drive consumers through your door. Then why keep your website? As time goes on, those website-loving consumers currently in the 18-54 bracket will become your target market – and the research shows that they won’t be giving up their web habits anytime soon. One other note: if your business appeals to older consumers, keep in mind that they may have physical challenges that limit their web-browsing abilities. Use larger type, more contrast and simpler navigation to help them find what they’re looking for.
Gender matters. The business website preferences differ among men and women. If your target audience is female, certain elements of your business website will be more (or less) important than others. For example, female consumers are more likely to contact a local business if the business has a website. One-third of male respondents still preferred local businesses with websites, but the presence of a website was less important to their decision to contact the business. One caution: males had a strong preference for local businesses with a good-looking website, so if your target consumer is male, make sure your website is attractive!
Universal preferences. The good news is that all respondents were able to identify some preferences that are more or less universal. Product and service descriptions, hours of operation – particularly what time the business opens, a phone number, pricing information and a physical address all ranked highly among consumers of all age groups and both genders. Younger consumers prefer to contact the business by email or web form; older consumers want to make a phone call.
Looks matter. The youngest consumers – those 18-34 – ranked the attractiveness of a website as being only slightly less important to them than the physical address. A bad looking business website is a turn off to the youngest consumer bracket, and can actually cause them to bypass your business. If you cater to young consumers, keep your website fresh at all times! And mobile friendly! Mobile-responsive websites are a must.
If you’d like more information about business website design, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: Svilen Milev, via FreeImages.com