If you're looking for effective website strategies to build your business, here's a start:
- Immediately address the needs or problems of the site visitor, whether it's a problem with sales, lawn care or hair loss. If they don't feel that you're listening, they'll go elsewhere. Likewise, if you don't show that you understand what they're going through, they won't believe you have the solution.
- Explain how your company has the solution to their problem. This doesn't mean a big sales push, but it may mean talking about how your products or services match up with the problems they're going through.
- Show examples of how you've solved similar problems for other people. If you're a designer, show your portfolio. If you help solve complex problems, write case studies. If you want to demonstrate social proof, use testimonials. BTW, video testimonials can have a huge impact if you can get them.
- Educate a portion of your audience and make them better consumers. (Which should help you, if you're as good as you think you are.) Very often people aren't looking for a business to solve their problems, they're just trying to get educated. By educating this section of your audience, you've established yourself as the expert in the field, meaning that you can charge more than your competition.
- Lead visitors gently down the sales funnel. This means clear calls-to-action that a visitor can understand. Don't assume your site visitor knows the appropriate next step to take, and certainly don't make them scroll up to the top of a very long page to see your 800 number again.
- Provide compelling reasons for visitors to leave their contact information. No one needs yet another email newsletter, so you'll need to come up with a compelling reason why a visitor should sign up for yours. Maybe it's a giveaway, or a white paper, or discounts in the company store. Likewise, to get them to fill out your contact form you should entice them with a free consult, or whatever makes sense for your business.
- Be visible and shareable. Most of your online leads will come from strangers who never heard of your company before they Googled “organic beef jerky,” “HR outsourcing,” or “VoIP business services.” Your content, from the title tags to the body content to the intrasite links, needs to be optimized for the search engines. Likewise, once people find your resource center, or trove of archived email newsletter articles, or blog, you need to make it easy for them to share this with other people to extend your reach even further.
That's just the first seven things I could come up with on just over one cup of coffee this cold morning in Maine. Would love to hear what you feel is essential for an effective website, so please leave a comment!
Photo credit: Jakob Montrasio