5 Reasons People Are Online and How to Improve Your Site to Meet Their Needs

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When was the last time you “googled” something. Google is basically a verb now (used by many). It was probably right before you found this blog entry, right? The vast resources in the world wide web bring trillions of searches to Google, Bing, and other search engines each year. People are online more every month and they can quickly find information through search or through websites. It’s important to understand consumer intent and behaviors when developing a site strategy. You can utilize customer intent for the good of your users and for the benefit of sharing your site’s purpose. Let’s take a look at the top reasons people are online. As well as explore how you can update or improve your site strategies to compliment your customer’s intents and behaviors.

  • Reading
  • Researching
  • Buying
  • Entertainment
  • Staying Connected

People are Online to Read

People are going online now more than ever to consume reading materials. Most people in the US and developed nations in Europe are now spending staggering amounts of time online consuming news, emails, eBooks, and more. More people are learning online than ever before. As print continues to decline, people are turning to social media, eNewsletters, eBooks, and news websites to get informed or to read for leisure. People can also take courses online on a plethora of topics, everything from college credits to how to play solitaire. You name it and you can learn it right from a Google search. But like it or not, some people are online seeking the opportunity simply to read.

Reading Takeaways For Your Website

Because so many people are looking to learn online it behooves many businesses to include an element of learning on their website, no matter what product or service you offer there’s always an opportunity to share knowledge. You can educate audiences on your product, how it’s made, and what people can do to better understand or utilize it. At the end of the day if you can teach a client or potential client something they are more likely to keep coming back or stay interested in what you do. Loyal readers can and do become loyal customers. Offering a blog section, creating an educational eNewsletter, having how-to videos are all great examples of how companies are using online learning resources to bring in and keep new customers.

People are Online to Research

“Just Google it” is basically the first action someone takes to find out anything. From times at a movie theatre to learning about new causes to help support, or looking for a place to live. The amount of research taking place on the internet is staggering. Top searches are happening on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and a few others with Google holding the crown of the market of search at 86% (according to April 2020 research). Finding the answers to your questions is quite literally a click and a type away. People have questions and Google has a way to find the answers. Many people are spending more time online researching than anything else. It should be no surprise to you if you’re tracking your google analytics data that people are very inclined to look for their answers very quickly or bounce right off your site. Search engines in general make Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) necessary practices for all successful businesses.

Research Takeaways For Your Website

Our first tip here is to make the most of researchers’ time on your site. Ensure you have a very clear call to action up front and center on every page of your site.

Consumers spend only microseconds on your site before determining if they can can meet their needs. Having your site set up for success with appropriate and strategic SEO and SEM meta tags helps searchers find what they’re looking for or not. In fact, not finding what they’re not looking for can be equally as important. Because when it comes to ranking for paid advertisement, how your site gets tagged in Google, and so much more keywords and tags do matter.

We highly recommend creating a strategy around SEO and keeping in mind who you’re looking to target, who your audience is and ensuring that all the images, words, videos, and site setup help will help cater to what those people are looking for. Going through these types of exercises will save you a ton in marketing dollars and will help expedite your site to the top of appropriate searches organically.

Great SEO simply can’t be understated. Researchers looking for answers will be grateful for a well laid-out, planned, and clearly understandable website. Just think about yourself as a user, reader, researcher, and ask yourself the golden rule. Better yet, our next tip includes Beta test your site. Spend time asking people for user experience feedback. You could also get focus groups involved to help you better plan out your site. Making your site easily searchable, easy to navigate, and relevant to your keywords and relevant to people’s search inquiries can go a really long way in the success of your site, or business.

People are Online to Buy

One interesting and fluctuating trend has been how people are researching, buying, and consuming services and products online. Online shopping is one of the main reasons people go online. People research their future purchases both big and small now in many countries at increasing rates. Buyers are more savvy and knowledgeable than ever before. Also, money is increasingly tighter for many people with COVID-19. In fact, back in 2018 63% of all purchases in the world began with research or visits to websites. Basically, we can thank Amazon for changing the online shopping game for better or worse. Now the quality of your product and services will be heavily researched and scrutinized and the demand for information and reviews are high.

Buying Takeaways For Your Website

With Amazon as a high competitor for all online shopping, it’s important to know your audience, and know how they like to buy, a survey is a great way to do this. It’s also important to make buying easy for your audience if you’re offering products that can be purchased online. One tip for services especially is to offer testimonials and reviews (preferably video). Testimonials help buyers to feel more informed, like they’re getting a friend’s point of view. We suggest asking your most dedicated audience to leave reviews, make it easy for good experiences to be found. Encourage loyal audience members to leave Google reviews too. Google reviews help quite a bit when it comes to SEO.

Another piece of the pie to remember for your consumers is online safety and security. A bad PR campaign due to lack of security for your customer’s data management can be detrimental. It impacts the loyalty you build with your customers and any future customers at that.

We also suggest offering a referral program for service companies, and including an easy way to point pleased customers towards leaving online reviews not just for your site but also for Google. There are a lot of paths to success and we can help you get there.

People are Online for Entertainment

Many of the younger audiences are spending a lot of time online looking for entertainment. Many people now stream T.V. and movies, listen to or find music, watch YouTube videos (everyone loves a great cat video), and consume other digital entertainment avenues online. 72% of frequent internet users are consuming the internet for entertainment.

Entertainment Takeaway

It’s always important, for all of these takeaways and business decisions, to understand your audience’s behaviors and motives. You have to ask, as a brand, if you’re interested in appealing to those who are spending their time seeking to be entertained. Many brands can certainly use it to their advantage. There’s room for integrating entertainment elements into site strategies. Something to consider here is whether or not elements of humor can be used with your brand for entertainment. Not all brands have room for humor but many do. For example, if you’re selling funeral services it may not be appropriate for your brand to have humor in your messaging. However, car insurance companies such as Geico and Progressive have figured out how to also be entertaining. It’s definitely an option for most.

We also suggest using a social media presence to help bring this to your customers. There is usually a way to bring an element of fun with some brainstorming and creativity, but that looks very different for every business.

We recommend thinking about using fun polls, surveys, memes or gifs to share that element of entertainment. Make entertaining your customers a line of thought in your strategy. Think it through, we believe it could help you bring more awareness and interest to your business. Your website can help you do that with links, pop ups to new things you do, and animation or video.

People are Online to Stay Connected

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world right now. Millions of people from countries around the world use social media to stay connected to their family, share memes, jokes, memories, and news. People are beginning to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and other social media outlets to share and learn. Social media platforms are also leading in the advertising world. Companies use these platforms to reach heavily-targeted audiences, sell their products and services, and create brand awareness. Many millions of consumers and businesses are heavily utilizing many social media platforms every month. It’s imperative to be mindful of the social media platforms your audience spends their time on.

Stay Connected Takeaway

Staying connected isn’t just for families and friends; businesses are building relationships with their audiences by staying connected to them through social media. Facebook campaigns, sharing news, and keeping company pages up-to-date are just a few of the ways companies are connecting their websites to social media platforms.

Another takeaway is to ensure your audience can find you on the social media platforms you actively reside on. Be sure to keep an appropriate cadence in mind, keep content flowing for your audience, and have the connection between your brand on social media and on your site cohesive.

What’s Next for Your Strategy?

In conclusion, there are a lot of reasons people are online. There are also a lot of ways you can connect audiences with your website. The goals, missions, and purpose for your website or business can be shared and elevated by understanding your audience’s intents and behaviors online. There is no shortage of benefits to first understanding your audience. Once you know how your audience uses their time online, you can create a full-proof strategy to connect them your website.

Here at One Eighty Digital, we’d love to help you develop and continually enhance your digital footprint. We can help you align your business with the needs of your audience and help you develop a marketing strategy that will minimize frustration and maximize your return on investment. Let us know if you would like to have a free strategy session to think through your website, branding, marketing, SEO/SEM, automation, or any other digital element of your business.