The days when a business owner could simply choose not to have an online presence are fading fast. Today, if you want your business to thrive and be able to connect with your customers, a decent website is necessity. Not experienced with web design? Don’t worry! You don’t need to learn programming to set up a highly effective site for your business. Here are some basic strategies that you need to keep in mind.
Identify Your Site’s Function
As implied above, you might well start out building a website simply because you feel you need one. In order to make your site successful though, you need a goal more specific than “have a website.” Think carefully about what sort of site is best suited to the needs of your business and your customers.
One major factor to consider at this point is whether or not you can (or should) engage in online sales. If you sell a product that’s well-suited to e-commerce, then setting up an online store is definitely in your best interests. If your services are more suited to face-to-face salesmanship, then it’s more important to make your website a tool that your customers can use to get information and allow them to contact you.
Offer A Strong Value Proposition
No matter what purpose you want for your website, it won’t do you much good if you’re not offering your visitors something useful and valuable. Even if you’re not selling anything on your site, you can use it as a tool to convince potential customers of the value of doing business with you.
Most good business websites are educational in one way or another. For some businesses, education itself is a great commodity to offer their visitors. Professionals like lawyers or accountants, for instance, are served well by offering genuinely useful advice on their websites. Other businesses may need to concentrate more heavily on persuasion, teaching visitors that it’s in their best interests to do business with the owners.
Nudge Visitors Towards Your Ideal Path
If your site presents a good value proposition and has a clear function, you’re already most of the way towards defining its “sales funnel.” Whether or not making a sale is actually your end goal, the funnel is a useful metaphor to keep in mind when designing your site. Imagine your ideal visitor and think about what you want them to take away from your site, what you want them to do next.
Feel free to flesh out this visitor’s ideal experience as fully as you like. You can use it as a guide for what to add and what to remove from your site. You want a finely-tuned machine that does everything possible to nudge real-world visitors as close to your ideal as possible. A great business website will take some tinkering, but if you keep a clear vision of the ideal path in mind you can build a highly effective site.
Your specific needs for your business’s website will vary greatly depending on what sort of work you do and what kind of site you want to set up. The general strategies outlined here should be universally effective, though. Always offer up something of value, give your website a purpose, and shepherd your visitors towards the next step that you want them to take. With these ideas you can build a great website for your business no matter what industry you’re in.