5 Things Your Website Needs to Do For Your Business
ALM Web Pros understands the challenges small businesses face on a daily basis. There’s a product you want to show the world, or the need for a service that no one else provides. All beta polls and feedback suggest you have a hit, but you’ve got to take the next step of putting your vision out there. The question is, “How do I get my customers to notice?”
Our answer, “You need an online website!” Your site is the face of your company on the web and should reflect your goals and branding aesthetic to build credibility with potential customers. Even if you have a professional site, it’s useless if no one can find it. That is where online marketing comes in.
You Want Customers to Find Your Site
Online marketing can seem overwhelming at first when simply dealing with certain terminologies such as SSL Certificates, Web Hosting, SEO, BDSEL, Email Listings and many more, but these are all essential tools if you plan to do business online. For example, SSL Certificates help protect your customer’s private information if they buy something with their credit card. BDSEL (Business Directory & Search Engine Listings) puts your company into all major search engines so that you can be found.
Your website should be treated as an extension of your existing brand, this helps major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others to develop algorithms that precisely target your customers. Keeping your branding consistent helps build trust and credibility with your customers. This helps them know what to expect when they interact with you.
Consistency is the Key
Not long ago, companies would section their marketing approach having one team for website development, another for advertising, and yet a third for branding. This approach was understandably ineffective unless each team could collaborate with one other to make a cohesive product.
When designing a website for today’s online marketplace, you have to focus on a singular vision of what you want to accomplish and to do that you need to maintain consistency between your branding, marketing and design. When these elements are put together around this common goal, you’ll be able to create an effective and professional website that customers will want to click on.
Design and Content Go Hand in Hand
First impressions are one of the single biggest indicators of whether or not a customer will come back or turn away. Studies have shown, when reviewing a website, most customers are turned off by both overly busy layouts, slow load times or excess pop up ads. If you walked into a retail store today, you wouldn’t want to be bombarded by service members constantly asking you if you need help, would you? We can imagine the answer would be no. Online customers shouldn’t be treated any differently. The less they feel pressured to ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’ the more comfortable they’ll be browsing your site at their own pace to see what it is you’re selling. This is where content comes into play.
You want to convey information to your customers, but you also want to do it in a way that’s visually stimulating and makes them want to keep clicking. If they have to scroll down a boring list of products or services with tiny thumbnails beside them, they might grow disinterested. Try having ‘featured products’ or ‘call outs to a particular service’. This draws the eyes and keeps the customer browsing your site. Design around your content and you’ll find a more effective means of making a sale.
Turn Clicks Into Conversions
It’s one thing to get customers visiting your site but quite another for them to actually buy what you’re selling. Again, the design of your site and overall brand could make this the deciding factor in whether or not you convert or dive in the online marketplace. Customers want an easy to navigate website that clearly spells out your products and services and often just like browsing, like window shoppers at the mall. Of course, you want them to come into your store and walk out with something that brightens their day. You want to avoid having a cumbersome layout that makes it a chore to navigate your site, otherwise you’ve lost a customer before you’ve begun.
Divide your products or services by category and turn them into easy-to-find tabs at the top or sides of your window, each with their own sub tab that allows the customer to find what they’re looking for. Most recent studies conducted in online marketing shows that an ever growing swath of the public are browsing the web from their mobile devices and tablets. Be sure your site is designed with them in mind. A website that works great on a desktop computer may not translate as well to a smart phone, thus making it harder for a customer to navigate and ultimately costing you their business.