As a business owner in today’s global economy, be you a small business or a small one you need to have a website. Gone are the days where you could just get by, on word of mouth referrals, or on the hopes that someone might find you in the telephone book. Today it’s all about websites and search engines and even if you do still get referrals almost every one of them will first check your business out online, before contacting you.
For the last twenty years I’ve been playing on the Internet, building websites and making a living working with clients all around the world. I pride myself on helping businesses achieve their online goals and tailor my solutions to meet client goals. I also follow the Samurai creed in that whatever I do, I make it the best it possibly can and includes the best possible solution and value, so let’s share a few things so that you can have you achieve the dream of most, a successful website.
What Are Your Goals For Your Successful Website?
You cannot achieve anything unless you know exactly what you want to achieve. There is no point saying I want to generate leads or I want to generate sales, that’s too generic. You need to work out how many leads and how many sales per week, per month, etc… you need for you to class your website as being a success.
When setting goals they also need to be realistic, for example if you wish to generate thousands of visitors to your website per week, do you have the time to carry out the required content marketing activities, do you have the funds to pay someone to do this or the funds to advertise to generate these visitors. Oh and let me dispel a myth you cannot build a successful website, by doing nothing except letting it site there, it’s never going to happen.
You need to know who your target audience is, I ask clients to give me one, two or more target audience personas so that I can understand who the website needs to engage. I like to target the website at just one person and the more information I have about that person the better, because by knowing their age, marital status, employment history, interests, etc… I can use this information to make the website really personal for this person. The end result being a website that really engages your target audience, because if you can engage one person in your target audience group you’ll engage many others.
You need to have a value proposition statement, this is the hook that draws your target audience in and makes them want to read more. A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered by your company, it’s the primary reason someone should buy from you. Let me share mine with you as an example.
“I help businesses set realistic online goals and then using website design, content marketing and conversion optimization I make it all happen.”
Websites Should Be About the Customer
Business owners like to talk about their businesses, they are rightly proud of the businesses they run, however a business website should actually be about the customer, or more precisely your target audience and their needs, wants and pain points.
Too many so called website designers, gain an order and then ask the client what they want on the website without any guidance or advice whatsoever. So the business owner, often the least qualified to make such a decision decides to do what he does best, talk about his business, with the end result being a website that is about the business and not the customer.
A website can display a healthy amount of information about your company in just a few minutes. It’s true that you only get one chance to make a first impression, so it’s essential to get it right.
Websites come in all different shapes and sizes but if you’re trying to run a business or develop a brand, you need to look professional. If you were interviewing to be the CEO of a company you wouldn’t show up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt, so take the same approach when it comes to your website.
Web design is constantly evolving and what looked modern yesterday might be out of date today. Unfortunately you have no choice but to keep up. If you’ve been around the internet for a while you should be well aware that visually there’s a big difference between the websites of the 1990s and today. Always make sure to keep the look of your website up to date because if your website looks outdated, why would anyone have reason to believe that your business practices are any different. I love this statement however sadly even many of the business owners I call friends, fail in this regard and still expect to gain online leads.
Another thing to stay on top of when it comes to establishing your brand through a website is to make sure you update your site frequently. Adding a blog to your site can work wonders and give people a reason to come back. A site with a lack of updates says that you’re not focused on building your internet presence and it also says that you don’t feel the need to keep your customers updated on what’s going on with your business.
Information gets around fast in today’s society. You obviously want people to spread the word about your brand but in order to do that you need to give them something to talk about. Updating your website frequently gives people something to talk about.
Always make sure that your website is easy to navigate. If a customer or client comes to your site looking for something specific and they can’t find it, they will immediately go somewhere else. Keeping your website organized shows that you care about helping people find what they need. Take a look at your website from an objective point of view and make sure that if you were someone looking at it for the first time, you could find what you need as quickly as possible.
Once again, you only get one chance to make a first impression and every click counts. If you get people on your website, the goal is to keep them there. Always make sure your website looks modern from a visual standpoint, is updated frequently and is also easy to navigate and has a real purpose. By simply following the tips here, your website will stand heads above your competitors and you’ll have a successful website in no time.