In our last Vistage meeting, my peers asked me about the importance of a good website for their business and on promoting the same. Due to time constraints, I could talk about only a few points. Here, I put together a list of everything that is important.
1. Your First Salesperson
Your website is the first salesperson for you. Your customers, especially millennials read about your company first, before deciding to do business with you. If your website doesn’t gain their interest in the first 30 seconds, it’s a hit and miss.
2. User Reach Across Devices
222.9 million Americans own a smartphone in 2017, and this user base is growing fast. Research shows that more people will own a smartphone than a computer.
Your website should be responsive so that it renders correctly on any device- smartphones, computer (small and large screens) and tablets (iPads, Microsoft Surface, Android tablets, Amazon Fire, etc.)
3. Building Your Brand
A well-structured website is essential to building your business brand. Branding implies what your customers or to-be-customers think about your business. Your brochures, fliers, business cards, website, videos and everything that represents or becomes the face of your business should have the unique logo, colors, fonts, typecasting that helps people identify you at a glance.
4. Online Selling Tool
Whatever your business deals with, if there is something you identify can be sold online, you should update your website as an e-commerce tool. An e-commerce website generates revenue for you even while you are sleeping. The success story of Amazon and other e-commerce sites and the decline of retail in recent years is a clear indication of where the world is heading. Warren Buffet dumped 90% of his Walmart stock a few weeks back, and it is not surprising.
5. Secure payments digitally
Whether you sell products or services, you need to have a natural mechanism where customers can pay their bills online on your website.
The easier you make it for your customers to pay online, the better it is for your business. It is of utmost importance to implement a secure payment system. Your website should have a clear defined policy for user privacy, content, etc. It must be SSL certified to ensure data confidentiality.
6. Wider Popularity and Relevance in Search
Gain the attention of people searching for your services or products, by having your website featured on the first page of Google for relevant search keywords. SEO ensures that genuine visitors will be channelized to your website. This inbound marketing is easier, has a better conversion rate and is effective compared to billboards or newspaper or radio/television ads.
You need a monthly budget for your search optimization. A good SEO company will charge between $500 to $3000 for SEO.
7. Harness the Power of Social Media
Your website should link to all your social media channels like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. All your business channels like newsletters, the blog should be connected to your website. Relevant content across all the channels is important.
8. Hiring the Best
Having a well-branded website helps with recruiting suitable candidates for your job openings. All the best candidates do research on the company they are having an interview and having a good presentation of your business, and your media activities help a lot.
9. Ensure Customer Satisfaction
It’s all about how can you delight your customer by providing the best service every day. It’s great to offer customer support via online chat, video calls and automatic call back from your website. The same applies to finding sales opportunities and reaching out to aspiring job seekers. FAQs and forums where people can get answers to their queries, build a good interactive system for you. Adding a proper ticket management system connected to your facebook and twitter accounts makes it so much easier for your customers to reach out to you.
10. Online Advertising
Have a budget of at least $500/month for online ads for your business. Social media websites like Google, Facebook, and Linkedin are good advertising platforms that deliver excellent results. Go for this only after your website is optimized, so that the traffic increases your conversion and not your bounce rate.
11. Build a mobile application for iOS and Android that helps to better service your customers. Whether it’s paying an invoice or getting in touch with support, a mobile app can do wonders. Having a branded mobile app for your business is like owning the real estate on your customer’s phone. It helps with the following:
(a) An average smartphone user has 20-25 apps installed. Seeing your brand logo every time he scrolls through your phone helps with branding. Unlike a computer, a person carries a smartphone all the time with them even when at the shower.
(b) Makes it easier for the customer to communicate with your team, be it sales or support or to pay a bill.
(c) Upsell, yes Upsell – Smart sales people know its easy to sell a new service or product to a happy, loyal customer. When you have a new product or service or a better offer – push notifications to the client through the smartphone app gives you the advantage of quick and real-time reach. Smartphones are the best platforms to create loyal customers.
E.g., For a car dealer having 1000 customers, an app installed on their phones enable them to schedule or reschedule service, get informed on manufacturer recalls or paying lease, etc. Your customer base gets notified when there is a new model and hence, the opportunities with smartphone apps are manifold.
Cutting edge technologies give you enormous leverage in a competitive market and help you be the best in the industry. If you fail to adopt the right solutions, your smart competitors will render you insignificant. Good websites are of utmost importance for a business and if you do not have one, get one right away.
I am happy to answer any questions; please post below as a comment.