Most businesses have figured out they need a website. If a web site is just going to be a checkbox on your list of “things to do” you already have a problem. Many businesses have a basic notion that they need a site. Most don’t go much farther in thinking this through. They don’t plan out what a well designed web site will do for their business. It becomes a situation where you want one because “they” have one. Unfortunately without purpose and planning your web site will not be successful.
Quality web site design has a lot of moving parts. At a minimum a site must be responsive, optimized for performance, and secure. Too many web sites fail these basic steps much less what comes next.
1,500 new web sites are launched every day. With so many new web sites coming online every day your site must have purpose and provide value to stand out. That purpose can’t be to tell them how great your company is. That purpose can’t be to show them the commercials you run on TV. In other words if your site is only about your company, products and services you have failed.
Here are four steps to creating a stronger customer centric web site for your business.
1.) Know Your Web Site Purpose
Wiat do you want your web site to do? Sell products online, generate leads, or provide customer service? It could be one or all these things or some combination of them. However, even if it has more than one purpose then answer the question what is the primary purpose of the site? Rank your priorities in order of importance from first to last. Once you know the purpose you can focus on designing the site to achieve this goal.
2.) Build Your Web Site Around The Primary Purpose
Build your web site around your purpose. For example, if you goal is to build a site that generates leads then you need to focus on creating ways to get visitors into your sales funnel and moving them from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Your achieve this standard by delivering quality content in a variety of formats at different stages of the funnel. For example, at the top of the funnel your content could be blog articles. Your middle of the funnel offerings could be a well-designed lead magnet. In addition, you can sprinkle in trip wire offers (low priced products/services) to change a visitor into a buyer.
If your purpose is selling products online then get visitors to a sales page and get them to buy something. If your main purpose is lowering the load on customer service calls then move customers to FAQ pages, online videos and knowledge bases.
Have a main purpose. Use design, navigation, color, layout and other strategies to help your visitor achieve this main purpose. Do this as fast as possible with the least amount of friction possible.
3.) Offer Value
If your web site is a basic brochure about you or your company that ranks very low in providing true value to a visitor. Visitors don’t come to your site to get your free literature or watch your commercials. Do you get in your car and drive down the highway to read billboards? Do you watch TV shows for the commercials? You don’t do this and your visitors don’t come to your web site so you can market to them. They come because they have a specific problem they want solved. They get to your web site either through an ad or search engine because they believe your site can solve their problem.
New visitors are looking for quality content first and learn if you have a product or service that can solve their problem second. Offer articles, free reports, videos, checklists, links to other sources, infographics, and tools. Give people a reason to explore your site and share it with others. Doing this will give them a reason to come back in the future. This is what is called content marketing.
If you don’t offer value you may get visitors once, but they won’t stay long and will never come back. You want to create a web site that is vibrant, alive and a destination for visitors. A web site that they will come back to and share with friends. The key to getting this interaction with your visitors is value. Offer valuable content and they will come.
4.) Measure Progress
Once you have something of value to offer now you need to measure how successful it is. However, measurement of useless information isn’t going to help. Figure out what really constitutes a useful measurement. Is it sales, visitors or the number of leads generated? Whatever “it” is be sure you not only know and measure it but have the goal in mind of what this measurement needs to be to constitute success. There are several great management tools and metrics that you can use to evaluate the success of your web site, content and visitors, but without the right stats and goals that information is about as useful as ice in Antarctica.
It is too easy to build a web site today, so easy that most become a failure. Don’t let your site become a failure because of lack of purpose and planning. Know why you need it and what the goals and plans are to achieve the “why” then like any good plan execute it and measure your progress. If you apply this strategy your site and business will be much more successful.
If you have a web site that doesn’t perform as you want, or you want to learn about getting a web site consider signing up for a free 45 minute, no obligation consulting session. You will get a minimum of 3 actionable items you can implement today and it will be a valuable use of 45 minutes of your time.