Today the one tool every business has is a website. The sad fact is that many companies put little to no effort into their website. Delegating to experts is a smart business decision, but it still requires your attention to direct the content and branding.
Creating a website that actually helps your business takes thought and planning. Here are 7 critical factors that are key to creating a business site that will be a sales machine.
- Know your target market - your competition and opportunities
- Provide content they want and need - update to keep it current
- Flashy doesn't mean better - make it easy to navigate, fast loading and relevant
- Focus on your prime consumer - don't try to sell to everyone
- Clear call to action - provide opportunity to engage prospects as well as close a sale
- Brand impression - build it at every opportunity
- Over pay or under pay - this is a business tool, winning an award is not its purpose
You may be able to make a decent dinner and choose the right equipment for your office, but building a website and your brand is not as easy. I cannot emphasize this enough... your website is one of the most important tools in building your business and brand. It is as critical as making the right hire. Short cutting any of these factors can greatly impede your business.
Know Your Market: Technology has changed how your customers shop. It is foolish to think what worked is still your best way to connect with your customer or engage with prospects. Along with knowing customer habits you need to stay innovative within your industry. Do you choose to be a leader or follower? Running your business in a reactive mode will not provide opportunity to gain the market share needed to overcome competition.
Provide Relevant Content: Think like your customer. As an expert in your industry, you need to provide this insight to your web developer. Web designers know their business and how to take your insight and data to make it a force for converting visitors. A mistake companies make is thinking their business success is only through one-on-one, direct contact with the customer. They limit the information provided on their website believing it will encourage prospects to call for more information. Answer this question with web content: what does the customer need to know before they will make the purchase.
Is Flashy Neccessary: Websites using flash are no longer SEO friendly. Visitors need to be able to easily find information includng on mobile devices. Like billboards, you have 3 seconds to capure their attention. Don't overdo it. Including video can be an asset but let the visitor choose to see it.
Focus on Your Target: Trying to please everyone leaves no one satisfied. Most businesses can identify multiple targets. These need to be segmented into primary (best), secondary and fluff. Others outside this target buy your product or service and you don't want to turn them away. Focus your content on your priary money making target where you get the biggest ROI.
Have a Clear Call-To-Action: Your site provides meaningful experience for your visitors. Now that you have their interest, what are they suppose to do? Depending on your business it could be make a purchase or complete a contact form. Assuming you have built a website that answers their question, "What is my benefit?", your call to action would tell them how to get it. For some businesses the sales process is longer than just find and buy, so you need a way to retain a communication link with the visitors that are your primary target. This can be accomplished through offers of ebooks, enews subscription, samples, etc. A great websites holds the visitors hand and leads them to the next step.
Continually Build Brand Relevance: Your website is never done. You have to keep content current, update regularly and provide a reason for customers to return. That could be accomplished easily by keeping a blog. You can also start a video library.
Your Business Website is an Investment: Consider the value your website can deliver to your sales goals as your online presence. You go to a dentist to maintain your teeth. Does it make sense to take short-cuts when building your sales engine, your website? Your website delivers the first impression of your brand to new customers and maintains impression with existing customers. Brand impression is everything. It is the promise of ultimate satisfaction. Can you afford to use a cheap designer or take the DIY path?
Your website is the most obvious and basic marketing tool your business has, so it is vital that it is done right. After reviewing the 7 critcal facts of building a website that engages and converts visitors to buyers, how do you rank your website? Have you managed to create a great functioning website?