When it comes to your business website there are a lot of different things you can accomplish if you choose to. The key is understanding what your website can do.
When you know what is possible you might find that yourself raising your expectations for website. Then it’s just a matter of having the right tool for the job and learning how to use it.
Here are some of the expectations I see businesses have for their websites.
Very often the highest expectation that businesses have is that their website be sort of an online brochure. Everyone knows you need to have a website for your business, or many customers will immediately wonder if your business is even a serious enterprise.
When the expectation is set that the website will just be an online brochure, pretty much the only visitors that ever make it to the website are folks who are handed a business card by someone, maybe an employee, who says, “Check our our website.”
All About Looks
Usually the main focus of an online brochure type website is that it looks good. Don’t get me wrong. It is important to have a good looking, professional website.
However, it is a bit ironic that so many businesses use that as the only factor of determining how “good” their website is. You see, the main argument for fixating on “pretty” over any other feature is the understanding that, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.”
While there is some truth to that, the irony is in the fact that really the only people who visit their website are people that get referred directly from somewhere else, usually an employee. So by the time most people actually get to a brochure type website they’ve already had some exposure to the business somewhere and their visit to the website isn’t a first impression at all.
From my perspective lead generation is one of the highest expectations for a website. Ideally your business website actually attracts new visitors who have never heard of your business but may be looking for what you offer.
For lead generation to be effective your website needs to have a few things going on.
First you need to be attracting visitors who, most likely, have had no previous exposure to your business before they stopped by your site. That means your website needs to rank well in the search engines for a wide variety of keywords that people might be searching for that are related to what you offer.
Not only that, but in order to generate leads for your business your website should have some way for you to keep in touch with those visitors. A great way to do that is by having an email newsletter opt in form for visitors. When they sign up you have a way to stay in touch with them and greatly increase the chances of them buying from you at some point.
Educating the Marketplace
Many business have some sort of educational sales process. In order to effectively sell their product or service they have to educate their potential customers on what problem they are solving and how their solution is better than their competition’s.
You business website can be a great tool to accomplish that, especially if your website has a built in blog. Then it becomes a simple thing to publish a series of blog posts that explain things to your potential customers. As more people learn about the amazing things your business has to offer through your website, you’ll find that people will begin to contact you to find out more.
And all of a sudden your website is generating leads for you!
Integrate with Social Media
By this time you probably understand that social media isn’t going away anytime soon. Not only that, but social media is a huge potential reservoir of potential customers.
There is no reason why your business website can’t integrate with social media sites and become a strong healthy hive of activity for your business on the web.
When that happens, guess what? You’ll find your website will start generating leads for your business.
Build Customer Trust
Your website can build customer trust, especially if you publish informative articles about your industry or business niche on a regular basis. Nearly all blogging software has comment sections for each blog post where people can interact, ask questions, etc.
By engaging people in the comment section and responding to what they say you build trust. Folks will see that there is a real person (or people) behind the business. Since people prefer to do business with other people and not with faceless entities you will find more inquiries coming into your business as a result.
And your website will be generating leads for you!
Raise Executive Profiles
One thing your business website can do is raise the profiles of your executives in the industry. This can accomplish a whole lot more than just stroking their egos too.
If your top executives have a regular column that is posted on your business website, more people will begin to know who they are. As they become more recognizable in your industry so will your business.
The way we said it back in my maritime industry days is, “A rising tide raises all the ships in the harbor.”
And as your business profile is raised in your industry you will find you get more leads coming in too!
Increase Market Awareness
This works exactly the same way as raising executive profiles. As more and more people start visiting your website because of the great information you publish then more people in the marketplace will learn who you are and what you offer.
And the more people who know about your business, the more leads that come your way!
Which Track Are You On?
So what are your expectations for your website? If you just want to have an online brochure then there are tons of web development companies out there.
But if you have higher expectations for your business website then we can help you achieve them. Just give us a shout!