In yesterday’s blog, I went over the importance of setting up a marketing program to drive traffic to your Website. Organic search engine optimization takes time (and often a specialist) — so if you want instant traffic, it is best to try something like Google Adwords or Facebook ads (and preferably hire a company that specializes in online conversion). Today I want to talk a little about the Website design process — because if you are spending money to drive traffic to your website, then you really need to make sure that your Website is designed to convert that traffic, or you will waste your money.
First of all — in the examples of both my relative and friend yesterday — they did not use a professional design company. They used a programmer to build their website. There are a lot of great programmers out there building websites these days — and everyone probably knows one. And it’s true that a programmer can take a template, pop your logo and content in, and give you a site that technically works. However — building a site that works is not the only thing you need: you need a Website that is designed by someone who understands marketing and branding. There is an art to a good Website. It is more than just a bunch of words on a page and a generic template — and most programmers are not skilled in this art.
The importance of having someone who understands marketing cannot be underestimated — because there are many subtle factors involved in converting prospects to customers. For instance — have you ever searched for a business and gone to a site that uses odd grammar — or looked very generic? Sometimes the mechanics are even more subtle — you don’t know what it is, but you don’t like the feeling of the site. It does not feel ‘real’ — it lacks a certain ‘soul’, or feeling of a real person/business. With small businesses — it is very important to make sure this personal element is there — that is your ‘brand’. Your website needs to tell your unique story, as people will respond to that.
Next, you need to make sure that your site uses the right kind of language and tone. For example, in marketing — there is a term called a ‘call to action’. You need to use affirmative language — like ‘call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to receive a free consultation’. These calls to action — whatever they are (they need to apply to your business) — should appear in the right place on your website, as well. A well-written call to action is an invitation, and people respond to those . . . for example, in the real world you might say: “come to dinner tonite!” Or, “let’s watch the Hunger Games this weekend!” Using positive, affirmative calls to action in your real life actually work — as they create a strong invitation to which you feel inclined to respond. You need to do the same thing on your website : welcome people to call you, try your service, get a consultation in a firm and inviting way.
Third — you need to make sure that your site is well organized and that you are marketing your business in the right way. You have to think like your prospects do — what are they looking for when they come to your site? Make sure that you feature your most important offerings (what people want the most) prominently . . . and think about why a prospect should choose your business over another. Because when a prospect comes to your site — that is exactly what they will be evaluating. Why your business over another? You need to win them over quickly — with a genuine, well-conveyed value proposition.
The last thing I’d like to mention is that it’s VERY important that you have a mobile-ready site, because so many people access the Web using mobile devices these days. Just last week, I tried to pull up one of the most popular restaurants in Jacksonville on my phone — and not only did they lack a mobile-ready site, they had their phone number stuck in an image, so I couldn’t click on it to call (which meant I had to look, type, look, type). How silly I thought — this successful restaurant making such a big mistake with their website!
So all of these factors are important — and yes, they are fairly complicated. This is why it often makes sense to use one company over a group of unconnected individuals to build your site and design your marketing program — because then you have one company that is accountable, instead of a bunch of disparate people that you need to manage.
Web.com was created to help support small businesses in this process of navigating all of these elements to achieve success online. We are here to support you in any way that we can, so if you have questions about how to make your website and marketing program work — feel free to call us at 800-338-1771.