We’ve simplified the feature list that you need for your website to improve it’s success and draw the right type of customer.
Having a website just isn’t good enough in today’s market. You are not guaranteed one single customer just because you have a website. In the vast sea of competition the biggest problem to solve is how do my customers find my website once it is online? Isn’t having a website enough? Once it’s live, don’t customers magically and suddenly find it? If not, how come?
The answer to these questions are simple and complex at the same time. We won’t bore you with the complex answer. Instead, we’ve narrowed down the long list of website features and options into a short top five in order for your website to have any success in being found at all.
1. Valuable Content
Whatever mode of content delivery; cable, Netflix, RedBox, YouTube, etc.; content is king. It always has been and always will be. The quality of content and what it provides to the consumer drives how successful your website is. There are a lot of companies offering “SEO” services that pump up your website with front end and back end language that is artificially designed to generate traffic to your website. The problem with this approach and with most of these service providers is the ever evolving element of the web. A traffic generating technique that may have worked in the past no longer will because the search engine providers such as Google are constantly upgrading their search technology to de-prioritize fake or low quality content. If you hire a company to pump up a small amount of authentic content with a bunch of repeated low grade content then the analytic technology of a search engine will see your website like an artificially plumped chicken nugget and spit it out. Generate content that provides value to your customers. Whether that value comes in the form of entertainment, product knowledge and application or how-to information be sure to extend and share the best of what you offer to your customers.
A brand, in it’s simplest form, is a visual on an object that communicates it’s owner or origin. The practice of branding is not new. Displaying a brand to communicate ownership dates back to ancient Egypt in approximately 2700 BC according to hieroglyphics found that storyboard the practice of branding on cattle and livestock. Modern day brand marketing involves creating a visual that makes an impression on a persons neuro network. The practice of branding involves implementing various techniques that will make a lasting impression that consciously or unconsciously drives a person to an intended action such as purchasing the item that contains the brand.
Consumers are so brand bombarded that when they take in and evaluate a company, person or service that does not have a brand they assume that it is less quality. Because our market is flooded with branded items we have come to expect glossy branded items for purchase, otherwise the assumption is that it must not be worth our time or money. The only exception to this is if an item is under the “brand” of grassroots or independent in which case the branding that moves someone to purchase is word of mouth which is another type of branding. It is worth investing in creating or upgrading your brand if you want to compete. When a customer clicks into your website there is only a three second window before an action will be taken. The action will either be to click out of your site and onto the next in hopes of finding the desired goal, or to click or call you. If you have a brand that helps communicate trust and the essence of what you are offering, your chances of capturing that customer engagement increase substantially. Develop a high quality brand – it will be an investment that will pay off especially over the long run.
3. Contact Information
Believe it or not, one of the primary complaints of customers searching a website is that they have difficulty locating contact information such as the phone number, address, hours or contact form. Once someone has heard about you or your company and they want to reach out the first thing they will do is go to your website to find your phone number and GIVE YOU A CALL. If they cannot do that the frustration will drive them away with no plan to return. The same goes for your address and hours of operation if you are a retail company. Your contact information MUST be visible on all platforms, above the fold, in one single glance, in one single second. And do people a favor, don’t make the font too small.
Choosing your website’s platform is an important decision that has long term implications. A website’s platform is the foundational structure it is developed on. It is the software that drives your website. In order to select the platform that is right for your business you need to begin by defining what your long term goal is. Consulting with a business and Internet consultant is a wise investment at this point unless you already have your long term game plan worked out. You may not realize all the options and implications there are available. A strategy that fits your business is very important and will most likely make or break a successful outcome. Only after you determine your long term goal strategy can you back it up to the current business situation and resources you have available to select the platform that best fits your current business needs.
You may not be able to move onto the platform you really need right away but at least you will have a defined growth and migration path. On the other hand you may settle into a platform that will grow with your business and not need to be changed in order to obtain your long term goals. In most instances, if you do experience the need to upgrade your platform it means that your business has outgrown the standard start-up solutions and you’ll be happy to pay the upgrade price in order to get better tools to better manage your expanding business. When you do migrate it will be important to be able to migrate all of the data you have built up through your website. This is another reason to plan ahead for success and make sure you have the right platform and right data migration plan in place.
It’s a good idea to prioritize your product or service offering. What is your cash cow offering? What are you currently providing that brings in the most steady cash flow? That is your top priority offering. After that, what products or services are you most likely to sell? Maybe you want to eventually shift into a different offering. Is there a service or product you would like to sell more of than you currently do? That should be placed in your secondary offering priority.
After that, what additional items or services do you sell or would you like to sell in addition to your primary and secondary offering? This makes up your third selling segment. Having these three segments clearly defined impacts all of your communication efforts. All content displayed and developed for your website should follow this prioritization rank in order to maximize time spent developing your content assets. You don’t want to waste any time, effort or resources spent developing content for a segment that does not have priority.