The single most important part of having a strong web presence is of course, your website. Your website is the first look potential clients will have at your business and they will infer much about the products or services you offer by what they see online. Here are some tips to creating a solid first impression online:
First, you must determine what goals you will have for your website; what are your expectations going to be? Most business owners will have three goals at minimum: to create an online presence, to make their business stand out from other businesses, and to acquire leads from their website.
The most basic reason for building a website is to create an online presence. The essential pieces of that website should include information about your business, a demonstration of what makes you special, and a way for customers to contact you.
Making your business stand out is a little more complicated. Part of this may be captured in the design of the website, part in the actual content, and the rest in external pieces of the website.
Capturing leads is probably the most important reason to have a website. Getting your customers attention, showing them that what you offer is worthwhile, and directing them to a contact form will help to convert traffic into leads. The rest is up to you.
When considering your website layout, realize that the home page is the first point of contact and that most consumers will decide within the first few seconds of looking at your home page whether or not to move on to another company. Your home page should be warm and inviting, easy to navigate, and should answer the questions, “What do you do?” and “Why should I trust you?”
Including an About Us page or a History page will help to establish trust by showing what qualifications you have, how experienced you are, how involved in your community you are, and why you do what you do better than anyone else.
Another essential of any good website is a contact page or contact form. In order to get the most out of your website traffic, you should have both. You should include your address, phone, email, and even a Google Map that shows the location of your office.
Beyond these pages, you can determine what other pages or resources would best suit your company. However, in order to get the most from your website, you should consider several external factors.
A blog (or a news and updates section on your website) is a chance to show people that you are knowledgeable in your field. You can establish yourself as an expert, and through constant updates, give your customers a reason to come back. Customers want to know more than just basic information about your products/services. They want to know how they work, examples of interesting things that people use your products/services for, and how you make their life easier.
The more interaction you have with your potential (and existing) customers, the more they will trust you. Having a newsletter (or mass mailer) is another way to reach out to customers on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis and share what’s new with your company and/or services. Also, getting consumers to sign up on your email list (which you should offer on your website) enables you to go to them, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Another method of interaction with customers which has become increasingly popular in the last several years is through social networking. Creating Twitter and Facebook accounts lets you find your clients where they already are and communicate with them in an environment that they already feel comfortable in.
These tools are a great way to share news, show what’s going on with the company and your products, run promotions and specials, and engage your users in discussions and even contests.
By building a Facebook Fan Page you can establish a fan base who will not only listen to what you have to say, but will tell their friends about it. This viral method of advertising is enormously helpful in creating a sense of trust in your community.
When you have set up your Facebook and Twitter pages, you should include “Fan us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter” buttons on your website to make it even easier for people to stay involved with your company.
The most important aspect of your online presence is your website. Are you using the right tools to make the most of your web experience? Contact an expert at Cybernautic today to find out more about how you can realize the vision for your website today.