A lot of people come to us saying, “I need a website.” but when asked why they think they need one most people can’t say anything more than, “Because I need to be found online.” While it’s extremely important that your business show up in a Google search, there is more to a website than just the ability to be found.
Asking the question “Why do you need a website?” a different way will probably be helpful, so think about it this way:
Once a potential customer has found you online, what would engage them and sell your business?
Now I’ve forced you to give a specific answer, but that can be hard to do if you’re not familiar with everything a website can offer. That’s why I’ve put together a list of ideas for how a website could benefit your business by engaging customers online. My hope is to jog your mind into action so that you can begin to form a plan for your online marketing presence specifically relating to your website.
As you read through the following list, think through whether or not you need to utilize these ideas on your website. The more of them you use, the better engagement you will have with your customers. When you’re done, try to think about other ways you could engage customers from your website since this list is by no means exhaustive.
A website could benefit your business by:
- Displaying contact information and offering a way to contact your company
This is the most basic information and functionality you need on any website. Often times people will visit website for the sole purpose of finding contact information. That’s why it’s best if your contact information is available in multiple places throughout the site so that it can be easily found. The header, footer, and contact page are all common places to display this information. It may also be a good idea to have a well placed link to your contact page within the content of several different pages on your website.
Here’s an important tip when it comes to your contact page. Never build a website without a way for people to contact you through a contact form. Contact forms make it much easier for clients to contact you. Also keep in mind that there are people who don’t check their email or don’t know how to use email. You need to be able to contact them by phone, so make sure you’re collecting phone numbers in your contact form.
- Gathering potential leads
Anyone who has visited your website is a potential lead therefore it’s important to think of a way to gather your visitors contact information. You do this by thinking through needs people have which your company meets. Once you’ve done that you can need to offer them a place to fill in their information to receive a special offer, or the ability to get closer to fulfilling that need online.
An example of this would be, if you were a real estate agent you could offer people the ability to search houses from your website. Then, in order to gather their information, you could have a form pop up after three searches that tells them that if they want to search more they will need to fill in their information.
- Offering an online quote or estimate or by displaying your prices
When people visit your website they will want to know how much your product or service will cost. If you sell products, you might want to give people the ability to find how much you sell your product for so that they can compare your prices with similar companies. If you’re a service driven company you might want to offer people the ability to receive a quote by email or get an instant estimate online. The important thing here is that you at least give people an idea of how much they will have to pay. Most people are a lot less likely to commit to paying for something without knowing how much it’s going to cost them, though I know there is a lot of debate about this one, so of all of these ideas this one is the most suggestive rather than necessary.If your struggling to decide whether or not to include your prices online here are a few online articles that might help you weigh the pros and cons:
5 Reasons Your Content Marketing Must Address Price
Why Your Website Should Not Display Prices
- Teaching people about what you do
If you work in a field that isn’t widely understood, you need to have at least one page dedicated to teaching people about what you do and how you help your target market. This is important because if people don’t understand you, you’re not going to gather very much attention. If you’re in a field that is better understood yet you have distinctives that set you apart, these are also important to display.
You’re field may, however, be very misunderstood. In that case it might be a good idea to have a blog because it’s likely your website will need to host a lot of information which you will need to write over a long period of time. An organization that specializes in helping troubled youth would be a good example of a field that is widely misunderstood.
- Displaying information about products and by selling them online
If you’re a product based company you need to display your product information online. You should also be able to sell your products online. Everyday the market becomes more Internet based and if you don’t sell online, you’re going to be missing a lot of potential customers. Service based companies which only sell one or two products can also sell their products online.
If you’re a service based company and don’t have any products to sell, it may be a good idea to try to think of a product you could sell. This is a good idea because after someone has bought a product from you, if the product meets or exceeds their expectations, they will be more likely to use your service in the future. This is exactly what a friend of mine, Dean Spears, who cleans carpets has done. He sells a small bottle of carpet cleaner and because it’s the best carpet cleaner I’ve ever used and he has his logo on it, he reminds me of his company every time I go to clean a dirty spot on my carpet. Selling a product like this only helps to garner a good reputation for yourself, which leads me to my last point.
- Increasing your reputability
Having a website that increases your reputation is a non-negotiable for any business or organization and there are many ways you can accomplish it. You can display badges for certain certifications you have, display testimonials of happy customers you’ve served, or display a portfolio of work you’ve done in the past. A few other ideas for you is to have a page dedicated to tips and tricks that you’ve learned over time from working in your field or to write a few paragraphs about your experience in the field.
When you scan through these ideas for how a website could benefit your business I want you to consider the fact that every idea is simply a way to engage potential customers and sell your business. That is the purpose of a website. If you’re able to implement every one of these ideas on your website, your level of customer engagement through your website will sky rocket.
If you have any other ideas for how to engage customers through your website add them in the comment section below, and if you’re ever asked why you need a website don’t ever again reply by saying “Because I need to be found online.” There are endless reasons why people need websites. Know yours.
Ready to begin developing a plan for your website?