If you’re in business, it’s likely that more prospective customers will visit your website than your actual storefront.
In fact, your online presence is a vital determinant in whether visitors will buy from, support, work for, or donate to your cause.
This vital micro-decision to engage or leave your site is made intuitively, rather than logically, and influenced by subconscious elements that most people can’t even articulate.
Creators of great websites understand this and artfully use the tools that can convert your visitor into a customer. You can too.
KNOW WHAT MAKES YOUR CUSTOMER DECIDE TO ENGAGE WITH YOU
It’s starts with knowing how today’s viewer makes the decision to engage with your company:
How credible you look
How well you appear to solve a problem they have
How well you tell your story
How easy it is to find what they’re looking for
How your website and logo compare to other companies they admire—within and outside of your industry.
Consumers have never had more options—which means the battle for their attention must be engaged in with skill, art, and resolve. Today, more than ever, your customers are comparing your business to companies crossing all geographies and with all levels of resources.
TELL YOUR STORY BETTER
Often, the businesses who tell their stories best are the ones who sell more. Don’t be misled by the idea that having a superior product or service is enough to become a market leader in your industry; even if your product or service is better than your competitor's, if your prospective customer doesn’t know about it, or don’t perceive value (as they define it) within a few seconds of visiting your website, you’ll lose them.
PUSH THROUGH THESE BARRIERS
A website, logo, and digital package is your first impression. It’s more often than not the deciding factor that determines whether a visitor becomes a lost prospect or a new customer. So why do businesses who spend millions of dollars developing their product or service cheat their image with a poor website, logo, and digital presence?
First, it’s a much newer field than most business disciplines like finance, personnel, or product development—and a field that’s changing daily. Small businesses don’t have the resources to retain this level of expertise full-time in-house, and even large companies are outsourcing very specialized work in this area. But all sizes of companies can purchase this expertise if they don’t have it in-house.
Secondly, it requires a new mindset that sees this part of the business as a vital investment in their success. It makes no more sense to relegate this work to someone who isn’t skilled than it does hire an amateur to do your accounting, legal work, or facility design. Just because someone can build a website doesn’t not mean they can build a successful website. If you spend $1 million on a new business, hire professional architects, interior designers, and financial experts, but hesitate to spend much at all on your logo, website, and digital presence—you will miss out on huge opportunities to attract and retain prospective customers through your website and digital strategy.
DO AN INTERNAL CHECK-UP
How does one go about ensuring that your digital presence is working?
A successful digital strategy should bring together the skills of experts in marketing strategy, design, SEO, writing, photography, user experience, coding, videography, and the rules of digital marketing. Engaging talent that has experience and an understanding of what makes today’s viewer buy can save you from mistakes that could end up costing you far more than in lost business than you paid for their expertise.
If you’re ready to step up your presence and claim more clients, here are things to ask yourself:
What do our web analytics tell us about our web visitor behaviors?
How does my website compare to my competitors?
If my prospects knew nothing about me, what does my home page tell them?
Does my logo telegraph the brand attributes that will advance my business?
Am I using the latest techniques to engage readers: video, strong images, “snackable” content, persuasive writing, good design?
Is my website content easy for me to update, if I need to do it myself?
Am I getting good analytics from my website, and adapting my site based on what I’m learning about visitor patterns?
Does my website have the necessary e-commerce functions?
Where does my company’s name appear on Google search results?
An effective website, logo, and digital presence can be within the reach of most businesses. If budgets are tight, do a phased-in approach where you develop the basics first, then add functionality and features as budget allows.
Set aside marketing dollars for your launch and ongoing resources to advance your presence using all of the digital channels that make sense for your type of business. While your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are the most common ones, they don’t all apply to every business.
And finally, create the team of in-house and external experts who understand your goals, have the needed skill sets, and can help you make smart decisions about where to put your resources for maximum return on investment.
You wouldn’t turn away business at your storefront by making it hard to find your front door—so don't turn them away on your website.
With the right resources, you can make it easy for prospects to find and choose your business—and become your next new customers.