There’s a lot of pressure to have a website but your first question should always be, “What do I want my website to do for me?” I see so many sites that simply reel off what that company does rather than the most important thing in the business world – why you should buy off me rather than my competitors.
It is the age-old Features vs Benefits sales process. Don’t just tell me what you offer, make it clear why it will help me.
In this age of clever website landing pages and social media, people want to know what’s in it for them instantly. So your homepage needs to highlight how you can help solve that visitor’s problem or pain. The days of 28-page websites are long gone and even though they may look impressive, the longer that people “hang around” on a website, the less likely they are to buy off you. If any web designers try and direct you down the longwinded route, say no!
The most effective way to focus on the benefits is to put yourself in the visitor’s shoes. What would you want to know quickly and clearly? Why would you choose Business X over Business Y? If you can convey that on your homepage, you are half way there.
I’d also consider capturing customer data. Imagine if you had a nice meal in a restaurant then never heard from them again. You might go back, you might not. But how about if they offered you a half price meal the next time you came, just for filling out a contact card? They may go one step further and ask for your birthday. Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an email off them a couple of weeks before the big day offering you a free bottle of Champagne if you book your celebration meal there…. All fantastic marketing that doesn’t really cost anything and a capture form can easily be incorporated into your website. Building up your own database will give your business so much more power and influence.
Basically, getting a customer to buy off you more than once is easier than getting a new customer.
If budgets are an issue for website design, maybe consider building a business Facebook page instead. They can be even more effective if designed correctly and populated with the right content on a regular basis. I would be wary of any free website packages. They may give you a website at the end of the day but it would cost you a lot more in time and hair-pulling than having a professional site designed. And I’ve yet to find a free site that worked as well as a professional one.
If you’d like to know more, or if you’d like a free website audit, call Key 3 Media on 01743 851976 or visit www.key3media.co.uk.
By Andy Rao