As a small business owner your website is your most valuable marketing tool.
It’s your base station. Your online home and the first place potential clients will visit to check you out.
But what does your website say about you and your business?
Does it actively coax potential customers to pick up the phone, or does it turn them off?
Is it winning you business or damaging your reputation?
Is it working as hard as you or is it letting you down?
Let’s find out…
1. A living, breathing workhorse
Gone are the days when you could put up a website and tick it off as a “done job“.
Identify opportunities to keep your website fresh for readers and relevant for Google. Your business will benefit from your time and attention.
2. Be congruent
Your outlook on business has probably changed since you first launched your website.
You learn new stuff. Get more experience. Understand customer drivers. Receive useful feedback. Identify new products. Change your offer.
Check your website’s message is in harmony with the impression you currently want to give customers. If it doesn’t. Change it.
3. Showcase your personality
Your individuality is one of your biggest advantages as a business owner.
More often than not, people will want to do business with you because of you. So don’t be tempted to hide away behind your logo or your company name.
Instead set out to ensure visitors to your site get to know you.
Pin your picture in a prominent position on your website.
Give people an idea of what you’d be like to work with.
Build that likeability factor.
If people get a good feeling about you, they’ll give you a call.
4. Grow your list
Permission marketing is one of the most cost effective tactics for touching base with customers. And you can use your website to collect the personal details you need to make it possible.
First time visitors are probably not ready to buy. But they may be interested in more information. If you can convince a potential customer to join your list, you can invest time nurtuting that relationship.
Firstly you need to offer a valuable free incentive to convince people to sign up.
And then you need a strategy to communicate with your list.
Explore an Autoresponder. Simply prepare a series of emails and send them out to a subscriber in a prescribed sequence. You determine the trigger and then over time new subscribers receive the exact same message as the people that have gone before them. It’s a great way to stay in touch, build your relationship and turn readers into buyers.
Blatant pitch alert: And if you want to see an autoresponder in action, simply sign up for my list :-).
5. Add value to your audience
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be sold at.
In fact, I find blatant attempts to sell a total turn off.
But I am interested in hearing from people who enter into the conversations I’m already having. And I’m very interested in people who offer a solution to my problems, or enable me to learn about the stuff that benefits me and my business.
You can use your website in a similar way.
For sure you need to talk about your products and services, but you can also provide a valuable resource of information to help people who are looking to fix the sorts of problems you solve. I’m talking about helping as a route to selling.
- Write blog posts that solve common problems your target audience face.
- Create a valuable free download in a similar vein.
- Provide tips and ideas and give this away for free.
- You’ve demonstrated you know your stuff.
- You’ve proven you can help. And…
- When someone needs help, who do you think they’ll call?
6. Make it easy to choose you
Customers should arrive at your site and be absolutely clear why they should work with you.
- Tell them what makes you unique.
- Make it clear why they should pick you over your competition.
- Then tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do next with a clear call to action.
7. Get your words right
The web is noisy.
There are stacks of websites competing for the attention of your target customer. So how will you ensure you get them to stick around you?
The secret is in your words.
- Write to persuade.
- Talk your customer’s language.
- Focus on benefits (not features).
- Focus on your customer (not you).
- Give people a clear reason to call (or sign up).
- And be different.