So you’ve paid a web designer to build you a nice looking website, you’re happy with how it looks and you’ve spent hours writing the content to tell the world all about what your business can do for them, you’ve got your URL on all your business cards & letter heads, but have you asked yourself the most important question of all? What’s the purpose of your website?
If you don’t know then you are probably wasting your businesses online potential, and if you “think” you know then you’re probably doing the same. Is the site under-performing? Well if you haven’t set any goals for your website how would you know? In fact, we find that many people we talk to don’t even know how much traffic or business their website is generating.
Long gone are the days of just having a “web presence” these days if you’re serious about having an impact on line you can’t just be present you have to be active. Many established companies launched a website in the early days of the internet and haven’t really thought much about it since, they know it’s there but they never look at it and with the pace of change in tech and creativeness on the web the website probably looks dated and out of touch, and they should be aware that those negative attributes will be aligned with their company.
Newer businesses fall in to a similar trap spending time and money on a site and never using it as a tool to complement their businesses, even if the site is modern looking what’s it actually doing for your business?
Businesses who have become successful online know the purpose and value of a modern, active, content rich, regularly updated website, they will probably be using it for one of the following
To sell products or services?
If you sell items or services that can be delivered, scheduled or collected, you should have an e-commerce website which enables customers to pay you for your products on-line. Even if you have a physical location or a shop this is vital as statistics show that the on-line shopping market is growing and is having a knock on effect on the High Street. This isn’t to say that people won’t visit your physical store but unless you have a chain in every town and city with the right combination of a high quality e-commerce website & internet marketing campaign you have the most potential of more people visiting your online store.
This without doubt is the most expensive “website strategy” but also the most profitable. We find many businesses spend £1000’s on kitting out their physical location but only want to spend a few £100 on a website, in the real world that makes no sense because now the real world is as much online as it is offline.
To generate leads or enquiries?
Maybe your service isn’t as simple as posting an item, maybe your business requires you to speak to prospective clients giving you the opportunity to provide them a quote or consultation, or maybe your clients need to hit some certain criteria for you to be able to do business with them.
In this case you want to generate qualified leads and in most cases if people have found your service online after searching then they are in the market for what you do, you arguably can’t get much more qualified than that. (Please see our previous blog on stimulative & directive advertising to get an idea of how powerful internet marketing can be and why.)
A website that fulfills this purpose needs to have easy to find information ideally your main selling points in bullet format, calls to action such as a phone number prefixed with “Call now” and prominent form that they can fill out and have their details sent directly to your email giving you the opportunity to start correspondence with them.
The main focus of this type of website should be on-line marketing such as pay per click & organic SEO, depending on your budget the sky is the limit but be sure to have a strategy to measure your lead conversion rate & your ROI (return on investment) or get an agency like Kandeshop with a proven track record of on-line marketing results to manage your campaigns
To provide credible information and a reference point for clients?
In an earlier blog we discussed your known and unknown markets, don’t take for granted that your known market knows everything about you or that your unknown market has any faith in you!
You need to be providing detailed information on your services, opening hours, product lines etc. so as not to lose your known market to your competitors because they didn’t think you could provide what they needed. Make sure that your website is a reference point for your customers. Blogs are a great way to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, keeps clients up to date on what services or products you offer and will have your target market returning to your website for information.
Your credentials and experience probably won’t fit on a business card, so when you give out your card or a new customer finds your website what differentiates you from the competition? Case studies are a brilliant way to show what you are capable of and how your service has made a positive impact on others. Have you won awards? Are you a registered member of a trade body? What’s your USP (unique selling point) Do you have testimonials? All of these factors help your customers make a positive decision to use you over the competition.
So we ask again, does your website have purpose? If not talk to us about giving your on-line representation some direction and let us get your website working for your business.