As a business owner, you know that having a website is vital to your business. But why? What does it do?
The Website Challenge
Of course, you know that it is the equivalent of hanging your sign on your storefront, but in the digital world. The challenge is, rather than competing with 20 other businesses on your street, you are competing for consumers attention against hundreds of thousands of other businesses…around the world! (Of course, this all depends on your industry and target market as to who you are really competing with).
Website Optimization (to Be Found on Search Engines)
Essentially, just because you build a website doesn’t mean people will find you. When building your website, you should optimize it to be found on search engines (so that the search engines can then share your site with people who are looking for your products/services). This is standard for a website development project, but make sure it is covered if you go for a budget option.
Optimizing your website includes:
- – Planning the content that is on your website (that it matches what your ideal customers are searching for)
- – Matching that content to title and page descriptions
- – Having a mobile version of your website
- – Purchasing an SSL certificate to have a secure https:// URL
- – Optimizing the layout with schema to appear on Google search results
- – Creating a website sitemap
- – Submitting your website to search engines
- – Connecting it to Google Analytics (more for tracking than optimization, but a best practice)
Ok whew! So, you’ve done all that, now what?
Well let’s backtrack a little. Those are the technical details that your web developer should be handling for you, but what about the front end of the website – your user experience? What does your website do for your customers? How does it lead your potential clients through your services to help them make a decision (yay or nay) for your services?
Planning Your Website (Purpose & Customer Experience)
The most important thing you can do for your website is plan out the user experience; how visitors will explore your website.
To do this, you need to understand your target market: what pains/challenges do they have, what are they looking for, why are they on your site, how can you help them?
You want to understand these so that you can address them as quickly as possible on your site. It is important to have a visually appealing website, but it’s even more important to have an effective website!
I talk about target markets and client personas a lot because they are so integral in creating an effective marketing message and strategy.
When you know your target market, you can use the language that speaks directly to them to address their needs. You are magnetically attracting them as they know you are the perfect solution to help them – this message is shared on your website as well.
When I first start discussing websites with my clients, the first thing I ask is, “what do you want your website to do?” “Are there any features you specifically want to see or to have it offer?” and more. I also help with this brainstorming process as this is my area of expertise and I can help direct clients to solutions that they didn’t know were available. From there, the design process includes these elements so that the website is built with a purpose behind it.
Making Your Website Work for You
The purpose of a website is that it attracts clients, educates them, and preps them to work with you before you even talk to them. That way you aren’t talking to a cold lead! You are talking to a potential customer who is excited and eager to work with you so that you don’t even have to sell them on your services/products.
This can include:
- – Having a free guide/offer to help educate them on their challenge/problem
- – Adding them to a drip campaign educating them on you and your business, including them on your monthly newsletter (which is entertaining, adds value or offers insight and updates), etc.
- – Automating your scheduling process/lead sales process
- – And more!
The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your needs and imagination. I had fun the other month developing a quiz to help a client screen out her ideal clients. I was strategizing the automation process for another client’s new website for setting up a hiring and client application process to increase closing rates / decrease no-show appointments.
If you’re wondering how your website could be doing more for you – let’s chat! Also, this guide on website must-haves is perfect for you to review!