In this day and age, having a website is more important than having a business card or a phone. The first thing people do when they don’t know something, is turn to Google for answers, so it makes sense that you would want to make the information about your business easily accessible so that potential customers will find you.
Businesses are operating in an increasingly competitive environment, so you should be using the greatest, most cost effective marketing tool in generating real enquiries and driving sales.
Websites provide few limitations on how a business chooses to project itself to visitors. Whether your business is big or small the Internet does not discriminate. If you have a professional looking site that search engines can find easily, you can compete with more established businesses than your own, levelling the playing field.
Your website is a powerful marketing tool, the key is using it to its full potential. Here are 8 pointers on how to get the most out of your online storefront.
· Create a trustworthy looking site
Customers purchasing online don’t have the reassurance of face-to-face interaction so trust has to be established in other ways. Ensure your website is high quality and professional looking. Sub-standard websites will not do your business any favours. Poor looking websites cause distrust and result in visitors searching for alternatives.
Your website should be designed around your logo and corporate style guide, while considering positioning, corporate personality and competitive set. To establish credibility include high quality images of your products and services on your website making them desirable and tangible to your visitors.
· Establish credibility through content
Give visitors confidence in buying from you, through your website content. This can be achieved by outlining accreditations, credentials and experience and when possible (within the laws of your industry), place customer testimonials on your site explaining why your product and service was beneficial to others. Finally, have a strong call to action to encourage visitors to buy.
· Provide useful information
Planning your website’s architecture and content before anything else is essential. A business website provides the opportunity of being more accessible to customers both inside and outside business hours. Including useful information on your site about your products and services means a customer doesn’t need to be in-store or pick up a phone. At the same time, you should be easy to get in touch with, contact details should be easy to find and clearly displayed.
· Be transparent with your customers
Customers don’t like unwelcome surprises especially when it comes to pricing and delivery costs. Transparency leads to customers being better informed and creates trust.
· Quick and easy navigation
Ensure you have a well laid-out site where customers can find what they want easily, if it takes too long to access information, customers will find it elsewhere and are unlikely to return. The unofficial rule of web design is that users should be able to find any information they’re after in three mouse clicks.
· Capture information
Every opportunity should be taken to engage with potential and existing customers. An effective way of doing this is to capture customer details through Opt-In Forms.
Opt-in Forms are a tool for building an email list over time. In the future you can send newsletters, information on promotions, and general useful correspondence to customers.
In saying this, Opt-in Forms should be voluntary, compulsory sign ups will discourage customers and will have a negative impact. Opting out of receiving regular correspondence should be equally as easy for customers, giving them control over the information they wish to receive.
· Get traffic to your website
Search engine optimisation (known as SEO) and Google AdWords are important tools in appearing on the first page of search engines.
SEO techniques such as, keyword research, technical optimisation, page titles, having friendly URLs, metadata tags, submissions to search engines, and site traffic analysis software, are guaranteed to improve your business’ web presence, boosting sales.
· Seek regular feedback
To analyse your website, seek regular feedback from your customers. Surveys are a great way to find out what customers like and dislike about your website helping you improve its look, feel and functionality.
Websites are excellent for brand building, credibility, attracting media interest and are one of the best ways to connect with people, because millions of potential buyers are on the Internet every day!
Vividus can also assist with market research and surveys so you can gain expert knowledge into your customer’s perceptions and improve the quality and efficiency of your products or services.
Contact us today to add value to your business.