Today’s interactive and collaborate websites include links to social media; constantly evolving blogs; and videos and interactive activities like games and contests. Most also allow you to modify or delete content on a collaborative basis.
No matter how attractive you company website may be, though, its main purpose is to engage prospects, serve customers and build your business.
Here are 10 tips for crafting a successful website:
- Establish goals. What is your goal for having a website? Is it simply to have a web presence? If that is your answer, you are missing out on a valuable marketing and sales tool. Your website not only establishes your presence and provides contact information, it allows potential customers to engage with you.
- Use your site to make life easier for your clients, prospects and employees. Identify areas where you can supply information:
- What customer questions do you field on a regular basis?
- What information do your salespeople tend to provide over and over?
- What answers to client questions do you want to standardize for company consistency?
- Establish credibility for your company. Your website’s goal should be to provide enough information to overcome natural buyer hesitance, create rapport and a sense of trust, and make it easier for customers to take action - no matter what time of day.
- Go with a clean, professional design. The majority of consumers search online before making a purchase – so your website, not your place of business, may be the first impression you make. A well-designed site can project a great image; a poorly-designed, out-of-date site will turn customers away.
- Make your site easy to navigate. Don't assume your customers know where to look for important information. If your customers want to view new products, make that simple. If they primarily look for how-to advice on using your products, make that information easy to find. Pretend you are a new user, or better yet, have a friend try out your site to make sure visitors can easily find what they want and need. During the development phase, use customers to provide feedback about design elements.
- Publish useful content. Provide helpful, knowledgeable information about your company, products and services. Make the visit worthwhile for potential customers and you will build trust and sales. Your content should include features and benefits of your offerings, as well as customer testimonials and stories about your company, staff and products.
- Include a great "About Us" page. People love stories. Tell potential customers who you are. Give them a sense of your company's personality, values, goals and business approach. Tell them why you started the company and what you see as its purpose.
- Incorporate a “Call to Action” on every page. Your “call to action” could be as simple as a “click through” to content, a phone number or directions on how to place an order.
- Track results. Use Google Analytics and other tools to monitor page views, click-throughs from other sites, email and social media. Monitor leads and sales that can be attributed to the site. Use this information to constantly improve your site.
- Make your site dynamic. Nothing kills search engine optimization like a site that goes weeks or months without updates. Regularly update the content, which can be handled most easily through a blog.