How To Create A Website Your Customers Will Love!
Q: Does a traditional brick and mortar business need to create a website? A.J Anderson Palo Alto, CA. USA
I have been getting this question a lot this week and the answer is YES! Every business needs to create a website and must have an online presence. If you are wondering how to create a successful business website or if the website you currently have is not really generating much business for you, I have 8 essentials tips for you that should get you on track by the end of today. Who knew it could be that easy!
Focus On Your Customer
Content should always be developed with customers in mind in a language they understand. It is easy to fall into the trap of writing content that is full of jargon, littered with corporate speak, or worse, it’s all about you and how good you are. The use of jargon, however, may be necessary with a technical audience or in certain specialist industries (e.g. science, engineering). In general, content needs to be persuasive, credible and engaging. The best way to do this is to answer a simple question most customers quietly ask: “What’s in it for me?” Then write it as if you were explaining to a friend what you do. Abandon corporate speak and strip your message down to plain English – clear, intelligent with personality to boot. Your primary focus in creating your business website should always be about the user experience of your customer.
Keep It Updated
A website design should be seen as a sales channel that needs proper management, constant maintenance, and vigilant monitoring even if you don’t physically sell anything on your website. Research shows that people tend to look up a website before they pick up the phone or visit a store. Your site therefore has the important job of convincing prospects or customers to shortlist you as they make their buying decision, even before you see or speak to them. So, make sure your website is always up-to-date, has a strong call-to-action, and the contact details are easily accessible.
Easy Web Address To Remember And Spell
There is nothing worse than coming up with a web address nobody can spell. It is best to avoid words that require consultation with a dictionary. If you have a generic name, try to avoid double vowels or consonants (e.g. homeentertainment or weddinggarden). Hyphenated names (e.g. business-cards) can also be problematic because people tend to forget the hyphen. Abbreviations and acronyms (e.g. jsdf.com for Jen Smith Discount Flowers) can also be tricky as it is harder to remember letters than meaningful words unless it is commonly used that way in speech such as SBA (Small Business Association aka. www. SBA.gov.). However, if you must use a name that is potentially problematic, it is a good idea to register different variations including the most common typos and redirect traffic to your main website so you capture as much traffic as possible.
Use Key Words As Hyperlinks
If you use “click here” to entice users to follow a desired path through your website, your message is probably not clear enough. I am guilty of this one myself. People will follow hypertext links if they feel it will take them where they need or want to go. More importantly, hypertext links are like doors with name plates that tell users and search engines what’s inside. Instead of using “click here”, why not use keywords that explain what users (and search engines) will find if they enter via the link? It will help your search engine optimization efforts and keep visitors happy.
Offer Opportunities For Customer Feedback
If your website pages are not social media integrated, they need to be as soon as possible. This provide an opportunity to gain valuable customer feed back and creates a since of community with your customer base, both of which are essential to the ultimate success and growth of your business. Invite your visitors to leave a comment, “like”, or “share” at the bottom of each page.
It is no longer necessary to spend thousands of dollars on building a website, let alone maintaining one. If you are in the market for a redesign, opt for a website with a content management system. You’ll be able to easily update web content (product information, pricing, images, etc) at any time with a click of a button(We highly recommend GoDaddy. We have been using them for years!) There are a variety of website platforms that now offer very simple website building tools at very reasonable prices. If you can click and drag, you can build a professional looking website of your own.
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