What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?
Do You Know What Your Website Says About Your Business?
This doesn’t mean what information it shares with the world. Instead, it refers to how potential customers perceive your website and the business it represents.
Far too many small business owners think of their websites as something nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Which is the wrong mindset to have in today’s highly digitized business environment.
The Importance of an Online Presence for Any Business
Look at some of the biggest, most successful companies. You’ll see why having a website is essential for your business. Think about Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Alibaba, or Wal-Mart.com. These companies all make a tremendous amount of money, all due to their websites.
But wait, you might say. Those are e-commerce stores. They’re different. Much, if not all, of their sales volume, is from online purchases. That’s not how my business operates.
Whatever industry you are in, you must have an online presence. Let’s take a look at localized businesses to see why this is true.
Take, for example, Angie’s List. That website aggregates service providers, contractors, builders, painters, repair, and other services. So why has Angie’s List grown to be so huge?
The reason is they have a massive online footprint due to all the traffic that comes to their site. Because of this, it makes sense for a contractor or builder to list with them. That way, they can be seen by all the traffic on Angie’s List. As a result, clients are actively seeking out provider services, and Angie’s List makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for.
Many contractors might decide they don’t need their own websites. Perhaps they don’t know how to set one up or just don’t want to take the time. So they choose to pay Angie’s List to include them in their database. That way, they can be seen by some of Angie’s List’s traffic. And hopefully, those browsers will turn into customers.
There are many other examples. Real estate is another industry that relies heavily on the internet. Whether you are talking about apartments, condos, or single-family homes, many sites such as Zillow or Apartments.com compile listings. People know these sites have a lot of traffic, so it’s worth the cost to post their home for sale or apartment for rent. That’s where the prospective buyers or renters are looking.
These examples show theimportance of having a presence online. But before you start thinking about how much traffic your site is getting and its ranking, you need to consider how your website presents your business.
What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?
This brings us back to the question we started with. What is your website saying about you?
Your website is more than just an online brochure. It is your first point of contact with someone who visits it. Before they read your material, watch a company video, or have any interaction with your business, their first impression of you and your business comes from their initial look at your website. That’s when your first conversation with this prospective customer begins.
Too often, business owners don’t think of their websites as a vital marketing tool. So they hand the design and development of the site over to a friend, family member, or neighbor who says that they can develop a website for them. Unfortunately, since there are many tools out there to help people build their websites, most business owners end up doing just that.
But you wouldn’t do that if you need legal help. You wouldn’t have someone represent you in a legal matter just because they said they’ve read a few blog posts, watched a video, or even taken a class.
And you certainly wouldn’t take care of your own legal issues yourself. Or, for that matter, hire an accountant who hadn’t studied tax law.
You might be very handy and capable of fixing lots of things and even building shelving or furniture. But when it comes to constructing a new room or adding to your garage, you’re going to hire a professional. Of course, you’ll want to know they obtained the proper permits. And that the wiring meets code, so you don’t have to worry about a fire putting your family in jeopardy.
So, for example, consider the images on your website. Your neighbor (or friend) might put some beautiful photos on your site. But how do you know they are legal to use? And permitted to use for commercial purposes? You might save some money on web design. But down the road, you’ll end up paying more when you get sued for using an image without permission.
Suppose you are using licensed images on your site. That’s good. But is the copy around those images professionally written to motivate a potential customer to take action? Does the copy create a desire to learn more about your product or service, contact you, and buy from you? That’s where a professional copywriter comes in.
Then there’s website navigation. How easy is your website to navigate? Is there a logical sequence that you lead visitors through? Or have you just thrown a bunch of information out there, hoping your customers will figure out on their own how to find the answers they are looking for?
These are just some of the things professional web designers will handle for you. Your site deserves the same care and attention that you would employ when choosing a physical location for your business.
You didn’t invite the neighbor or family friend to come in and tell you how to design the storefront and design the layout of your business. And you certainly didn’t ask them to choose your location. Yet, in the digital world, these issues are comparable to the design and creation of your site.
Websites Done Right Convey the Proper Message
That’s how you should think about your website: that it’s something that needs to be done right to convey the right message. If you haven’t invested in your website, you might be wondering why it’s not producing results.
In other words, your website is a tool designed to bring in business. So how does the design of your business website help turn visitors into customers? Turn buyers into repeat buyers?
These are questions that major companies like Amazon, Facebook, & Wal-Marts are very attentive to. They’re constantly analyzing the experience their customers have on their websites. And they’re constantly changing their sites. So whether it’s the colors, the location of buttons, the copy on the website, the imaging, the layout, they are regularly making improvements to their functionality and user experience. Of course, all this effort is made to squeeze out a few percentage points in additional sales and conversions, which taken at the macro level amount to a massive difference in the long run.
This is the type of attention to detail that a local business owner needs to have with their website in today’s highly digitized age. In addition, a recent study proved that well-designed websites that communicate a company’s value and brand positioning would have major revenue implications.
To illustrate how a properly designed website can set the state for how consumers view your products. The study divided participants into two groups.
The first group was shown the company’s original website used to market their healthy juices. Then the participants were asked how much they would be willing to pay for the juice. The first group said one dollar.
The next group of people was shown the same product alongside a new website with a fresh, polished look, which elevated the product’s brand positioning with clear messaging. However, everything about the product was the same, the packaging and the labeling. This group said that they would be willing to pay three dollars for the juice.
That is a 200 percent increase in revenue just because the company had a website that conveyed the message they wanted to deliver. In addition, the look, feel, and presentation of the brand had changed; this allowed the company’s juice to be viewed as being high quality. A clear, well-defined message, together with a beautiful professional website design, made participants willing to pay three times as much.
The website changed the brand perception because the website elevated the look and feel of the product to the point that people thought that the juice was worth more.
See for yourself in the image below.
It’s black and white. One image gives off a certain level of professionalism, a certain level of brand value. The other one gives an entirely different level of brand value, a 200 percent increase.
I don’t think there’s anything that you can possibly do in your business that can account for a two hundred percent revenue increase, the way that increasing the brand perception of your business can have.
Look at your website. Study it and think about what your website is saying to a potential customer who doesn’t know you. What kind of conversation is your website having with that individual?
Are you comfortable with that conversation? If not, give me a call, and I can share with you ways to make your website communicate the message you want to potential buyers. So you won’t have to wonder what your website is saying about your business.
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