WEBSITES ARE one of those funny pieces of marketing collateral – most businesses understand they need one, yet for many it’s still seen as a grudge purchase.
Learning to code and compile a website if you’re that way inclined is pretty easy to do.
Unfortunately, understanding what content you should use and how you should display it is knowledge gained only from experience – and this is where many websites fall short.
Credibility and trust
If you’ve ever seen the custom where the brides and grooms stand at the altar updating their Facebook statuses, then you’ll understand the following statement: It’s not real until it’s on the internet.
This is the first thing you need to understand about having a well designed website – it makes you look more credible and trustworthy.
There are a number of reasons for this, not least of which is that it takes time, money and effort to create good-looking marketing collateral.
So by simply having a decent website that is easily findable, you help to prove that your company is established and it’s safe to do business with you.
Likewise, a large and impressive website can actually make you look significantly more established than you are, encouraging larger companies to do business with you as well.
Why this really matters, though, is that the majority of people in business today will do their research for new local and international suppliers online.
So if the deal that could boost your business is out there searching for you now, are you confident that your website could close the deal for you – or at least generate the enquiry so that you can close it yourself?
A good website, like a good salesperson, knows everything there is to know about your products and services and how to present them in an appealing and easy-to-understand way that generates confidence and closes sales.
As an effective digital sales tool your website should be built around the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) you’ve created, so that you first capture the kind of traffic that is relevant for you.
Once the potential client has landed on the relevant page, does your website invite them to stay and explore and are they prompted and guided to visit other related pages exposing them to your full product and service range? Or will they simply bounce and leave the website from the page they landed on?
And if the client is excited about your offering, have you made it easy for them to contact you?
Do you have telephone numbers and email addresses that they can see clearly on any page and do you have easy-to-find forms they can use to submit an inquiry?
Do your forms contain auto responder emails that will automatically send a response to the client so that they feel confident that their inquiry has been received? And will you receive a notification of that inquiry immediately too?
Mobile and tablet devices have exploded into our lives in a big way over the past five years. If you’re involved in the analytics on any website, you’ll know that, in some cases, up to 100% of a site’s engagement happens on a cellphone or tablet.
Newer website designs, when coded properly, will be fully responsive and render almost perfectly across any device, including cellphones and tablets.
What’s more, you should not have any information or data loss on the mobile version of your website and it is really not necessary for there be a cost to develop a separate mobi-site if your main site has been coded properly.
The last important thing your website should be doing for you is building a marketing database. Do you have the elements you need in place to encourage visitors to give you their contact information?
It’s always a lot easier to sell to people who are already convinced of the value around your products and services. So does your website capture the contact details of already-interested parties when their curiosity has been sparked?
Have you given them something they can sign up and download for free or do you have a clear spot where they can easily and quickly sign up to your mailing list or newsletters?
Keeping in contact with existing clients and people who have already expressed interest is always going to be your fastest way to generate ongoing, sustainable business with the least amount of effort.
A good designed website will help you capture and make the most of this kind of low-hanging fruit.