3 Must-Have Features for A Website That Works
Promoting your website and the world of digital marketing can very quickly feel like a deep rabbit hole. Forget the confusing tech-nerd jargon - these 3 must-haves are common-sense, straight-forward features that will turbo charge your marketing both online & offline.
Web design & digital marketing can often feel like working in the military - everything is about CRMs, SEO, SERPs, finding the best CMS and always remembering your USP. And that’s coming from an industry insider! Talking to small business owners who are fed up with the whole field is all too common.
Yet they keep coming back, not because they want to, but because they have to. They know this stuff is crucial to the ongoing success of their business as we power through the current information age.
We hear you, and we’re here to help.
We’re blowing the lid off all the bells and whistles to give you the fundamental elements that should underline ALL your marketing ventures including your website.
No matter how un-technical you are, I promise:
This. Will. Make. Sense.
You can’t sell a secret.
If your target audience doesn’t know about you, they're not going to visit your website. If they don't know about your business, and don’t know where to find you - online or in person - how will they know how amazing you are? How will they learn about how you can solve their problems & meet their needs?
Create brand awareness by developing a range of different content with your target market in mind. This may include:
|Social Media||Actively manage your Facebook Page. Check out the Facebook Business Manager and learn how to run ads that zero in on your audience by age, gender, location or interests.|
|Email Marketing||Be in constant contact with your existing customers - they already know how great you are, and are far easier to encourage to continue working with your business. Have a simple subscription form on your website so those that are interested, but not quite ready to buy, can stay in touch and see what you get up to.|
|Networking Groups||Connect with other businesses in your area, or those online who are in your industry with complimentary products/services. Don’t be afraid to turn competitors into allies.|
|Print Advertising||A flyer with a product/service teaser and directions to your website can be a great way to encourage people online, especially if they know a special offer in on the table!|
|Direct Mail & Promotional Products||I’m a long-time lover of the humble fridge magnet - I visit my fridge at least 10 times a day, that's 10 times I’m seeing these brands in my own home. I have magnets that are 5+ years old still holding up bills!|
|Radio||This has particularly good ROI in regional areas where there is limited competition in other stations.|
|Community Involvement||Champion a cause that’s close to your heart, or in line with your brand. For example, hairdressers can get involved in World’s Greatest Shave, landscapers can promote National Tree Day. Why not even create your own charitable event!|
|SEO||Make sure your website is primed to show up in search results for keywords your target market is likely to use.|
In all instances, ensure part of the item directs the user to your website for more details.
Remember: all roads should lead to your website.
Give them a reason to engage.
Far too often, websites have a ‘here if you need’ approach to the visitor in varying degrees of confidence but with similar rates of success: limited.
Everyone can have a website now, so you need to raise the stakes to convince the user that you are the one they should try first.
Give them an offer too good to resist.
Think about your typical products and/or services, and look for an opportunity to ‘break a bit off’ that you can give away for free, or at a heavily discounted rate, that still holds a great deal of value to the user. It must have clear value, or it won’t be enough to inspire action.
|Offer: Free restyle-haircut with every colour for the first 10 responders. A restyle cut can be anywhere in excess of $35, which represents a very real saving.||Offer: $10 deal where website visitors can get any regular-priced menu item for $10 in that month. This gets the customer in store, where the opportunity is created to upsell sides, drinks & desserts.||Offer: create an Open Day Event where a stylist will be instore to offer free styling advice. Great for potential clients needing help in selecting clothes to compliment their individual shape & size.|
In each of these instances, there is enough tangible value to get people in the door.
Which is the ultimate goal for a website.
Get people in the door.
Stay on the radar. Keep them in the loop.
There will always be the website visitor that isn’t ready to buy. This can be for any number of reasons:
- They haven’t seen enough value for money in your business - YET
- It’s not financially viable - YET
- They’re not at the point where they need your product/service - YET
This is where nurturing comes in - this is about continuing to build your relationship and establish rapport. People buy from businesses they know, like & trust.
- If they don’t know you, they simply can’t buy from you.
- If they don’t like you, why would they give you their money?
- If they don’t trust you, they can’t buy in good faith knowing your product or service will deliver what you have promised.
Nurturing is about continually creating content that educates, encourages or informs. Think about who your target audience is: what do they want to know? What do they want to do? How does that relate to what you can do for them?
|Emails||Offer weekly advice, first-looks at new products, discounts on packages, reviews or insider tips.|
|Blogs||These are a great way to talk about your industry & business whilst also letting the reader get to know you. Write in your voice, be enthusiastic with what you share - your personality & brand will shine through.|
|Social Media||Share content that resonates with your audience, give sneak-peaks and behind-the-scenes access to your business, show how products are made, share ‘we’ve all been there’ anecdotes & customer success stories. Reply to comments & thank people for their reviews. Worried about negativity? Don’t! Often, publicly handling a rude customer by being professional & genuine can really boost your credibility with your fans. Just check your feedback regularly so bad feedback doesn’t go unattended.|
|Videos||Create how-to’s and tutorials so your customers can get the most out of your product. Current smartphones make it super easy to create high resolution videos & share them instantly. Don’t worry about over-producing them too: people want to connect with you and your product, not your lighting or post-production guy.|
Take Action. Get Noticed.
None of these 3 must-haves need to be expensive or complicated. However, they do need to be consistent. Set aside a bit of time each week to create a piece of content: a great tip is to write a blog article, publish it on your site, email your list letting them know it’s there and then post a link on your business Facebook page.
Use the rule: Make it once, use it lots!
This 3-step process will drive traffic to your website, fill them with information and then encourage them to engage with your business. Approach everything you do with the desire to educate, inform and assist - rather than pushing a hard-sell, taking this tact allows them to see your passion for your industry and your desire to meet their needs.
They will come to know, like & trust you.