For many small businesses, a website is the only form of marketing they do – either offline or online.This may surprise those of you who are investing thousands of dollars a year in advertising, attending conventions, direct marketing, or other traditional marketing techniques.
We’ll talk about the Golden Rules to creating an effective website, which does all the hard-lifting for you, in lesson 3 of this component.First though, let’s explore three aspects to your website that grabs a visitor’s attention from the start and prevents them clicking off to your competitor sites.
A website should be:
- A positive introduction to your business
- About your clients’ needs first
- A showcase for your products and services
1. A positive introduction to your businessA website is the introduction to the business and, as such, should represent the brand and tone of the business positively. This means primarily that it:
- Should be created with an attractive, modern design
- Uses color, pictures and spacing effectively
- Is easy to navigate via an intuitive menu system
- Is viewable from all devices ie PC, tablet and phone
- Loads quickly
- Has interesting and appropriate content which is presented in a tone that is authentic to your business.
2. About your clients’ needs firstFurthermore, the site should always be about the clients, not the business. This may feel counter-intuitive but it isn’t. By your website saying “How can we help you?” instead of “This is what we do” announces to the viewer that you are ready to serve them, and that you are open to participating in helpful dialogue. This is very important. The days of presenting a website with just a welcome page, a list of services, an about us page, a contact page and a mission statement are over. It may sound harsh, but few people are interested in why you are in business at least not at this first glance, that’s something they can explore later.
The first questions visitors are looking for you to answer when they first come to your site are: “Can you help me?” and “Do I want to do business with you?”
3. A showcase for your products and servicesOnce your visitor has established that you are (as represented by your website) a business that looks approachable, and they’ve read enough content to determine whether or not you can help them, they are now ready to look a bit further into your products and services. This is when they will start to understand whether the detail of your service or product is a match to their needs. Yet, this should still be handled with more than a bland list of services and prices, it should showcase products and services in an accessible way which focuses on the benefits the offerings will bring – not the offerings themselves.
Ask yourself when determining how best to present your offerings on your site, what benefits will my clients gain by purchasing this product or service? Think about both emotional and physical benefits.In the next lesson we’ll look at what benefits you will start to see if you approach your website from this perspective.