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Use Your Website to Attract More Customers

By Heshy Friedman

Sometimes customers come to me and say, “Build me a website—my competitors all have them, I guess I need one, too.”

I ask, “What can you tell me about your specific business? Why is your product the best? What’s your value proposition?” And the answer I get back is often a variation of, “I’m too busy to spend time with you on all that, just put up a website.”

That’s a profound waste of time and money.

The primary purpose of a business website is to increase sales.

That’s it. There’s lots of ways to get there, but that’s the goal.

A website is a virtual window to your organization. It takes the place of yesterday’s storefront, business card, receptionist, and signage.

This is especially true in the COVID-19 environment, where people are increasingly doing business exclusively online. I spoke recently on this subject during one of my LinkedIn “hike talks” (two-minute video):

So, these days your digital profile may be your most important way of connecting with your prospects. And like a storefront or a sales pitch, it needs to be custom-made to suit your particular offering.

In effect, the website is a virtual salesperson for your company. Can you imagine a salesperson who didn’t know—or care—what your product or service advantage was? Would they be able to represent you in any way whatsoever?

Just as a salesperson needs training, a website needs to be tailored to your specific business, market, and audience. To accomplish this takes a clear corporate mission, executive buy-in, competitive research, and tight integration with current branding.

How does a website perform that function? What makes a website search engine-friendly, customer-friendly, and effective?

These are the critical factors:

  • Visibility: easily found via search inquiries and a suitable, memorable web address (site name).
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) through research-driven, customer-focused content.
  • Regional market support including Google My Business—your “home page” on Google Maps.
  • Visually attractive, intuitive design coupled with clear, persuasive messaging.
  • Speed and efficiency: the site must load quickly and perform well, even on mobile.
  • Highly secure, while being easily accessible to authorized users.
  • Positioned at the core of a comprehensive social media, email, and reputation strategy.

After you’ve brought your perfect website online, you’re off to a great start. But success requires follow-through.

First of all, a website needs to stay current. Links break or change, styles change with the times and web technologies progress, and the business environment evolves. A successful website is continuously improving. A web blog is a good way to keep Google on notice that you are relevant and current, and other content should be regularly reviewed.

Then there’s online customer support. Whether it’s designating a person to manage incoming inquiries or fulfilling incoming sales orders for an online-shopping site promptly and correctly, it’s surprising how often this key function is overlooked. Nobody likes being ignored in a store—and it’s ten times worse online, where the customer is one click away from moving on to one of your many competitors.

Finally, once you’ve got all the pieces in place and a process to support them, you can consider expensive supporting strategies such as pay-per-click (sponsored search positioning) on Google, as well as other advertising, both online and in the real world. But don’t waste money on these strategies without a solid foundation in the form of a great website in place.

There’s lots more to explore on this topic—we’ve just scratched the surface today. You’re welcome to review this comprehensive video on this subject (68 minutes total):

Bottom line: We don’t just throw up a website and hope for the best. Come to us for comprehensive solutions that work. Contact us today.

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