Your website is your shop front to the world; and the internet the digital highway that gives you access to millions of consumers, and consumers’ unprecedented access to choice.
With so much opportunity, choice and competition, why is it then that so many businesses fail to understand how important it is to differentiate themselves from others online to ensure they grab attention?
The internet is a great leveller, allowing even the smallest business to stand out from the crowd. But the challenge we all face is that when people land on your website, you only have a couple of seconds to engage them. If you don’t, they will just abandon your website for one belonging to your competitors.
We engage with customers daily who:
- Fail to grasp the strategic and growing importance of having a website
- Have a website that gets traffic, but a very low conversion rate
- Often spend lots of money on SEO and SEM, just to lose those visitors when they get to their website because there is no compelling reason for them to stay or engage
- Wants a website, but don’t want to spend money on it, or don’t see it or include it as part of their overall business strategy
- Often rather spend their budget on items and activities which will have little impact on their growth or bottom line than on their website
- As businesses we first need to understand who visits our websites and why
- Visitors are looking for something they want or need
- They have a challenge or problem they want to overcome
- And in many cases they go to our websites to establish our credentials before making a buying decision or supplier selection
The second most important thing we need to remember when it comes to our website is that it is not about us, or what we want or think it should say or look like.
In fact, it’s all about:
- What consumers want and are looking for
- What we can do for them
- What we have done before
- For whom we have done it
- How they have benefited
- And what they say about us
The way people buy and sell has changed.
Forced selling doesn’t work and brand trust is at an all-time low. Today we as consumers are more likely to trust businesses and brands that are trusted by others, who have a proven track record of delivery and who have a brand ambassador in every customer. When customers ask you for referrals you should be able to direct them to your website and have the confidence to say to them, “Although we have lots of case studies and testimonials on the website you are welcome to contact any of our customers”. Your website strategy, design and navigation should be aligned to the “buyer’s journey”.
If a brand new prospect engages your brand and website for the very first time you need to have a consumer centric buyer’s journey embedded in your website and homepage that includes:
- Content in the 1st person – prospects must feel that there is a human behind everything on your site
- Making them aware and affected, when landing on your homepage they must feel they are at the right place
- Getting them to rationalize that they need you, by providing them with compelling reasons content and references
- Help them select by giving them proof of delivery and success. This includes a showcase of your work, case studies, testimonials and thought leader articles
- If these are compelling and the results are tangible enough they will in many cases make an immediate decision to engage with or buy from you.
- In cases where it comes down to a budgetary decision, if their experience is compelling enough they often would re-prioritize their purchases and re-arrange their budget to buy your products and services first
There is no doubt that your website is not only strategically important but is fast becoming the most important showcase for your business. Its relevance and importance will continue to grow and become central to your growth and success.