There’s no doubt your business needs a website. You may think your industry is so obscure or specialized that you don’t need one, but I’m here to tell you, you do. Even if you’re a tool supplier to the Aerospace industry, or you specialize in llama feed – your customer will use the internet to find or research you. Not just any old website will do, however. It’s important that your site is working for you – helping to maintain and attract new customers to your business.
Whether your existing website needs a bit of a facelift, or you’re starting from scratch, there are a few questions you should be able to answer in order to create a site that’s effective:
What Does Your Customer Expect to Get From Your Site?
Sure, you’ve got an idea of how you want your site to look, and how you think it should function, but I have a bit of a newsflash…your website isn’t for you. It’s for your customer. What are their needs? Why are they seeking you out?
Put yourself in their shoes, and focus the direction of your website on providing a rewarding experience for your customer. Are they coming to you to buy something? Gain valuable information? Review a portfolio of your work?
There may be more than one right answer for your business, so make sure you’re providing the solutions that will matter to your audience.
Will Your Customer Be Visiting Your Site From a Mobile Device?
Many businesses miss sales opportunities because their website isn’t optimized for mobile devices. You’ve done the work to get them there, now make sure you’re able to convert!
In May of 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had officially surpassed desktop…meaning more people are looking for information on Google using their smartphone or tablet than their computer. If their search leads them to your website, but they’re unable to contact you or make a purchase, that’s a wasted opportunity.
Your business simply cannot afford to have a website that doesn’t function well on both a desktop and mobile device.
What Do You Want Your Customer to DO When They Get to Your Site?
You’ve decided what your customer wants from your website, but what do you want from your customer? Don’t get so caught up in the design that you forget to utilize your site as a marketing tool.
Make it easy for them to take that next step with a strong call-to-action on every page. Put your phone number or email address in your website header. Want them to make a purchase? Showcase your featured product items on the home page.
Make sure you’re not only including these features on your website, but also keeping them front and center. Give your visitors what they want right away – don’t make them dig.
How Often Will You Need to Change Your Website?
Oftentimes, a business will hire a website development company to create a custom-built site full of bells and whistles. Which is awesome…until you realize that you’ll need to utilize that development company to also make any future changes to your website because you’re a restaurant owner, not a coder. This can get expensive.
If you’ll be making any kind of regular updates to your website – employee bios, blogging, changing forms, menus, job listings, etc – consider a CMS (that’s industry lingo for content management system) that is user-friendly.
We love WordPress and use it to build our clients’ sites. It allows even the tech-challenged to make content changes with an interface that is similar to a Word document. It’s easy to create a website that is branded for your business, can still contain all of the bells and whistles, but doesn’t require fluency in html in order to keep the content fresh.