An online digital presence is essential for businesses to engage and connect with customers in today’s competitive market. Creating and maintaining an online digital presence enables organizations to communicate and reinforce the brand with customers or their targeted audience and inform them what the brand offers.
Many customers rely on the Internet to research and compare brands and products by their features, price, and reviews in their purchase decision-making process and make quality informed decisions when investing in products or services. According to H. Tankovska’s 2021 Statista article about online local business searches, a survey revealed that approximately one-third of online consumers used the Internet to conduct daily searches for local businesses in the United States in 2019. Moreover, 16 percent of consumers performed the online searches multiples times weekly.
Solid online or web presence and website aid businesses to attract potential and existing customers or targeted audience and provide them with information about the brand, product, or service that is easily accessible at their convenience and portray why their product or service is the best choice in satisfying and meeting their customer’s needs and wants. Given the available resources online, it is critical for businesses to provide their customers access to their brand, product, or services by optimizing their website flow and usability to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness when connecting and engaging with customers.
According to Dave Chaffey and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick’s book, Digital Marketing Strategy, Implementation, and Practice (7th ed., 2019), website flow portrays a user’s ease of use of navigating between different content pages of the site and interacting with the site, including filling on-screen forms, to find information or experiences they need. Moreover, factors such as the quality of navigation of the website, interactive opportunities, auto-completion of forms, alternative versions, navigation and menu options, rapid download time, and predictable navigation for control and content segmentation based on Internet experience.
Website Flow and Usability Tips
According to Dave Chaffey and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick’s book, Digital Marketing Strategy, Implementation, and Practice (7th ed., 2019), simplicity, context, and consistency are three important facets that enable more straightforward navigation of a website by users that will help enhance website flow.
A limited quantity of website menu options, i.e., two or three levels, is most appropriate and helps make the site easier to navigate.
Informing users of their location within the website increases user engagement by making the customer or audience feel they are not alone in their journey and experience in their interaction with the brand through the customer or audience’s engaging activities. For instance, using specific color or text or rollover features helps indicate where on the site the user is currently utilizing.
Consistent user interfaces when interacting with various sections of the website makes navigation easier.
Success Feature: L’Oréal
Traackr, an influencer marketing platform headquartered in San Francisco, California, aids businesses with promoting their brands and products by focusing on enhancing the website’s web flow. For instance, Traackr develops a software platform that utilizes blocks of varying or staggering images, animations triggered by scrolling, and eye-catching colors to engage the audience or customers.
L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest cosmetics and French personal care companies, collaborated with Traacker to develop and design their online activities with influencers in 150 countries and more than 250 million followers on social media. L’Oréal allocated 38% of its media budget into digital, turning it into one of L’Oréal’s primary marketing strategies and communication sources. L’Oréal could allocate their budget resources better, develop interesting influencer profiles that focus on their influencers’ potential influence in certain areas, and perfect their understanding of the local ecosystem with Traackr. It was critical for L’Oréal to evade message saturation, forecast, monitor activities, and measure their return on investment for each country.
An online digital presence and websites provide a platform in which businesses can communicate and engage with customers, showcase their products and services quickly and easily, increase reach to current and potential customers, and gain credibility to improve growth.
A solid online or web presence and website help businesses build or develop their brand and be easily accessible to customers to obtain more information at their convenience about the brand, product, or service the business offers.
An efficient and effective website flow and usability enable customers or targeted audiences to locate what they are looking for quickly or instantly and increase user engagement with the brand, conversion rates, sales, and pages viewed per session.
Website flow and the ease of use of a business’ website is key to presenting customers or targeted audience with clear, relevant, and concise information that appeals to and encourages them to engage with the brand. Furthermore, it will provide them with information necessary to make quality informed decisions and compel them to take action in their purchase decision-making process and invest in the brand.