It’s impossible to understate the importance of your business’ website. Many people consider a company’s website to be a critical source of information about the company, and this ends up being a major factor in the customer’s decision as to whether they want to do business with you.
So, we’re clear that you need to have a website, but as with most things in life, the bare minimum is likely not going to cut it. You should be doing everything you can to make sure your website is the best that it can be so that you can take full advantage of everything that it can do to help your company grow.
To help you transform your business’ website into a powerful tool to help you attract and retain customers, consider the following upgrades:
Keep a blog
One of the first things you can do to help improve your website is to have a blog. Most website platforms allow you to do this rather easily, and the benefits for doing so are numerous.
One really practical reason for keeping a blog is for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. By having lots of pages indexed, Google and other search engines will view you more favorably, increasing the chances your website shows up in search results.
But blogs are great for other purposes, such as branding. This is your platform to tell current and future customers what you are all about, and it’s also your chance to increase your relevance to your audience members. Posting relevant, useful and actionable content that members of your target market can use is a great way to boost your image, and it also helps to create a more engaged audience.
The value this brings to your company comes in two forms. First, it helps to better position your company in your market, giving customers a reason to choose you over the competition and to remain loyal to you. And second, it creates more sustainable growth prospects, something you’ll want to demonstrate should you ever decide to sell your business someday.
A blog makes your company more well-rounded and is a relatively easy way to help make your website better and more effective at supporting your business goals.
When it comes to website design, always keep in mind that less is more. There is a tendency to want to include lots of information on the website so that visitors will learn all they need to about your company. Generally speaking, this is a misguided approach.
Instead, you want to convey the most relevant information as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means sharp, straight-to-the-point copy and eye-catching images that align with the message you are trying to convey.
Single scroll layouts are very popular these days as they give you the chance to deliver your message to your site’s visitors on the front page. Then, on the supporting pages you can include more detailed information. The key is to not overload people with information right away. Your job is to set the hook so that they want to dive deeper. You may need to invest some money into getting the design you want, but it will be well worth it if you do.
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your website is to have a detailed “Contact Us” page. People like to know who they are doing business with, and they especially enjoy knowing they are dealing with real people.
Consider including an email address that isn’t “info@…” as this sometimes comes off as impersonal. You can create a separate account so as not to spam anyone’s inbox, but consider using a real name so that people connect with you more personally.
Another great thing to do here, or on a separate page, is to include some pictures and short bios of members of your team. Again, knowing they will be dealing with real people is comforting to customers, and including these things is a simple way to use your website as a way to connect with your audience.
Another thing you can do to help make your site better is to include a live chat feature. Customer service is so important these days, and many times it’s what helps one company set itself apart from another, especially for small companies.
By being able to instantly chat with someone, or to send a message to a customer service rep, you are letting your customers know you are there for them and are willing to do what is necessary to help out. Again, this may require an additional expense, as you’ll need the right personnel to answer these questions. But this investment is well worth the improved customer experience you’ll be offering.
Optimize for mobile
People use their phones for everything these days, and you need to make sure your site works well on these devices. A lot of platforms will have a function that automatically adjusts the site for mobile devices, but it will pay off big time if you can go one step further and create a customized mobile site.
The goal is to make visitors and customers happy, and adapting your site to the devices they use is a surefire way to do this.
You need to score with your website design. Your homepage is your window display and your chance to attract customers and convince them to do business with you. Consider implementing these five improvements to make sure your website is working hard to help your business grow.
About the author
Jock is an online business broker. He specializes in the buying, selling and appraisal of online businesses. He has built and run several online businesses throughout his career including Digital Exits, a successful business brokerage. He has found website design to be absolutely critical to the success of any company.