Websites 101 – The Basics
Websites need to do three things:
- Have accurate information about the problem you solve
- Have information about how you solve that problem
- Have a call to action to encouraging people to buy from your company
There is a lot more detail than these three items and yet at the core of it, this is what a website is typically doing for your business.
How you do that, how many times you state it, and how detailed your content is makes a really cheap site different from a more expensive website.
Here is a great little story about the importance of having accurate content on your website.
I was recently assisting a young friend of mine, she was working for a company this summer and needed to make travel plans home. She was trying to find out when exactly she was done with her final day process. She had been told a couple of things, by different people and did not want to make plans based on conflicting information.
She spent an hour trying to find the information on the website of the company. She found it really frustrated. I told her to call and ask.
She said, “Why wouldn’t they just have it on their website? They have us find all of the other details on the website, it has to be here. Someone at the company knows, so why wouldn’t they post it on the site, so people don’t have to waste time calling them?”
It made no sense to her that this information wouldn’t be easy to find on the site.
In the last couple of years, there has been a shift in our expectations of the content on websites. I can see it in my own use of the web, in my clients use and expectations of websites and in statistics from websites. We are starting to expect a lot more content and detail to be available on the web.
Does your website live up to your clients expectations? You would be surprised if you asked.
I am not just giving you this advice, I am taking this advice for myself. I am revamping my website because of this shift. I am adding more content and details.
A great question to ask yourself is, “Does my website Support or Sell?”
Simply put, does my website support the customer or sell to the customer?
Typically, a really basic and sometimes cheap website is a selling site. What makes it only a selling site you ask?
- Very few call to actions and/or call to actions are not custom
- The home page talks only about how to buy from the company
- The graphics change from page to page- no continuity of brand
- Content is a paragraph or less on pages
- No blog on the website or a blog with only a couple of posts that are really old
Typically a detailed, next level, informative support website has the following:
- Paragraphs of content on each page
- Case studies
- PDF’s you can download
- The right balance of call to actions
- Continuity of branding from page to page
- Good photos and graphics
- Explanation of the process
- Log in section for clients
- Blog/News with lots of content and regularly being updated
- Hours of operation
- Map to location
- Phone and email
- Form for questions
- Good SEO
- Free give away item
Giving the customer detailed information helps support the customer in making the right buying decision and keep your current customers coming back for your knowledge. This isn’t to say that a support website doesn’t sell, it does, but less through flash and more through substance.
For the best the results, you want a website the supports and sells. You want your website to take the best of both worlds, combine them, and create a unique customer experience.
In the information driven era, knowledge is king and the only way to keep a customer interested is helping the customer make the right decision and keep them coming back for more.
Take a moment to pull up your website and look it over. Is all the content that is there correct? Can you add more content to some of your pages? Is your website a basic or a detailed website? How much more retention and business could you be gaining by moving it up a level?
Websites are not optional and they are no longer just something you can toss out there and ignore. Websites are the most important sales and marketing tool you have for your business, so take time quarterly to look thought your #1 business communication tool.