There are so many options when choosing a resource to help you get a website live for your business. These days, you can find someone online that says they can get you a full-blown website and blog for $500 all the way to small local agencies that want to charge you two months of your revenues to get online.
The sad thing is that from $500 to $20,000, I have seen many websites appear with out the fundamental elements all websites need in order to achieve the business owner’s business goals.
Regardless of the cost of your website, or how beautiful the design, all websites need:
- to speak to one primary target audience.
- to highlight and elevate the small business’ point of difference.
- to simply communicate how you can help your target audience.
One Primary Target Audience
If you have one website that is trying to speak to everyone, it will most likely resonate with no one. When you have copy on your site that tries to include every potential demographic or profile that could use your product or service, it tends to water down the message so that no one target audience sees themselves as a good fit with your company.
Everyone likes to believe that they have unique needs and pains. That the solution they are looking for takes expertise and experience in helping people just like them. Can you imagine a commercial for diapers that targeted both babies and geriatrics? (Need I say more?)
The more focused you are on one specific customer profile, the higher likelihood your messages will resound with them. By being able to describe your ideal customer to your web designer, you will get a website that matches the customer, not the designer’s artistic license or even your personal taste.
Point of Difference
There are so many small businesses out there that do exactly what you do. Well maybe not exactly, but how will they know you are different if you can’t explain why to them.
With more and more people shopping online and making their decision on vendors and suppliers based on the website alone, your website has to elevate the message of why you are different quickly and easily.
Most web designers don’t do branding or write copy. Make sure when you agree on an estimate, that you understand what you are getting for it. Does it include any branding, point of difference identification, and copy-writing in the package? If not, then you need to find help with this piece, too. Having a website that looks pretty, but doesn’t explain why a customer should choose you above all of the other businesses in the industry, will not provide you with sales.
One of the easy mistakes we make is saying things like, we have the “best customer service” or the “highest quality products and services.” These statements are too generic and everyone defaults to this.
It is more important to explain your customer service policies and why they will make a huge difference to the customer. Of course, you have to do this in a positive way and not insult your competition…that doesn’t win any brownie points either.
Or you may expound on your specific process of manufacturing the highest quality product and how it ensures this quality.
The bottom line: Don’t just tell them what you do, tell them how well you do it and why.
How You Can Help
This one is interesting because I realized over time that several blogs I read actually provided specific services for customers to purchase. The reason I didn’t know it at first was there was no place on the website that highlighted services or how to work with the company.
The only way I figured it out was because I read the blog regularly and saw times where the blogger mentioned working with clients on this or that. Then I would go look all over the site. The services were either not listed or were listed in one line at the bottom of the website’s About page.
If you are in business your website should help you gain customers. To accomplish this, your site must say what you do and how a customer can purchase from you.
You may think I am making this up, but seriously, many websites (especially blog sites) are missing this fundamental component.
I look at so many websites and these are the three biggest things missing from small business sites. Yes, you need the social media icons on your site, and don’t forget to have Google Analytics installed. You also may need to remind the web designer that you need to have a way for visitors to sign-up on an email list.
However, even with all of these small features, you won’t truly grow your business through your website without targeting your ideal client, highlighting and elevating your point of difference, and telling people how they can work with you or purchase from you!