Your company’s website should be a professional, multi-faceted selling tool for your business. Much more than an online brochure, it should be optimized to generate leads and build your brand.
Done right, a website will give your business credibility and help you to capitalize on marketing opportunities. Keep the following 10 principles in mind as you create (or recreate) your corporate website.
When visitors come to your website, they’re looking to get answers to a question or, more specifically, solve a problem. Determine what that problem is and pinpoint their pain with descriptive, easy-to-understand copy.
This concept gets to the heart of why your products or services exist. Once you understand what your customers really want, you can develop a powerful message that positions you as the best solution.
Don’t be that guy at the party who talks nonstop about himself. Your website shouldn’t be a lengthy tribute citing all the ways your company is terrific. Yawn.
To engage your target audience, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and identify what’s important to them. Shape your website’s content to provide useful, practical information that gets ranked on the search engines and positions your company as the authority in your field. That’s how you’ll convert visitors into leads and sales!
Visitors to your website will sense if you’re genuine. If they believe you’re sincere, they’re more likely to trust you and buy from you. Websites that use corporate-speak and stock photos are boring. They’re also ineffective because they fail to establish a connection with the visitor.
A good website uses conversational copy along with real photos. It reflects the personality of the company and, in doing so, builds its brand.
Today’s consumers are sophisticated. They want the facts, and they want something more – social proof. Provide testimonials and reviews from third parties, such as customers and vendors, that support your claims of quality and service.
Even better are case studies in which you explain your customer’s problem and demonstrate how your product or service was the solution.
Gone are the days when you could create your website and forget about it. Keep your website up-to-date with compelling, up-to-date information about your company and your industry.
Add a blog, articles, and even videos to help make your website a valuable resource for your potential clients, and current clients as well.
Studies show that the more information you provide, the more likely you are to generate leads and sales. A detailed product description complete with photos, for example, will almost always out-perform a short description with no pictures.
People on the web want information. So give it to them. Be transparent. And stop worrying about whether your competition will see it. If you’re hiding things from competitors, your potential customers can’t find them either. And that’s not how you make sales.
Offer a free informational report or coupon in exchange for your visitor’s email address. Free works. Otherwise, visitors who come to your website and leave are likely gone for good. If you can capture their email address, you have an opportunity to stay in touch and prove to them that you’re the solution to their problem.
As in personal selling, you have to ask for the sale. If you don’t ask, you won’t sell. Convey a strong position and tell your prospective clients what they should do next – contact you, click on this link, subscribe, buy, etc. Take visitors by the virtual hand and lead them forward toward the sale.
Make it easy for your prospects and clients to contact you. Place your phone number and email address where they’re easily visible, preferably on every page of your site. Include both. That gives people the option of contacting you whichever way they prefer. And, by the way, what you prefer isn’t relevant.
On your About page and Contact page, you should give your mailing address. Customers like to know where the business is located, even if they have no intention of ever visiting. A physical address provides legitimacy and helps inspire trust.
As for contact forms, nobody likes filling them out. Not only are they time consuming, but they also ask for information that the visitor may not want to provide yet. If you insist on using a form on your website, still offer your email address and phone number so people can choose their method of contact. Remember, if you don’t include them, the visitor is but a mere click away from competitors who do offer those options.
The reality is that even with all the hard work, time and money you put into your website, it still won’t be perfect. It’s more important to get your site online giving your business visibility than it is to keep it offline while you agonize over every detail. Then, shoot for growth by continually refining any areas that need improvement. Now, roll up your sleeves and get to work!