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Despite what you might think, simply having a website doesn’t mean it will automatically be found and make money. While a website has the potential to work for you 24/7, it can only do that if it attracts people who want what you’re offering, and if they can find it.
This week’s experts share tips that will help you focus on building a website that works for you and your business goals.
Mike McRitchie, Career and Small Business Strategist suggests:
- Focus on your prospective client, not on you or your product. By focusing there you’re more likely to create marketing that engages your ideal client and connects with them on an emotional level.
- Write like you’re talking to a close friend or buddy. Keep blog posts and other written elements more conversational where possible. It connects better than the formal gobbledygook you learned in school. You’re not trying to impress them with your vocabulary…you’re trying to connect with them. Keep it simple and understandable.
- Take the opposite view of the crowd (or what everyone else is doing). By going this route you’ll catch their attention, spur controversy, and more likely get a fully engaged client.
Terri Trespicio, Brand strategist and co-creator, Lights Camera Expert
- Don’t get caught up in the company name. Everyone makes a big deal out of a company name, but when you’re starting out, and it’s just you for instance, you really don’t need to create this illusion of a huge company behind you. The bonus of working with a solopreneur or business owner of a small operation is that I get to work with you directly! Or at least partly. Use that to your advantage! Don’t worry about the domain and the co name, etc. If you can, get YOUR name as a domain, and make a name for yourself, because that’s what people will remember.
- Think clear over clever. Trust me on this: Clever taglines, puns, anything subtle or insider-y is not going to work in your favor. Far better to connect with the user/prospect/client and speak to THEM. Make it very clear what it is you do and who you do it for. And the answer can’t be everyone. Remember, in the world of online business, if I’m confused, it’s a no. So be clear and simple first.
- Make a promise. What does your customer or client need most? What will you deliver? And don’t just say you’re the best in the world or you offer the highest standards, best service, or anything like that. Those are big, empty claims. I’d rather know what you’re going to do for me, clearly, specifically, and confidently. Think smaller and sharper. I’d rather know you’re for me or not for me, right away. You don’t need to promise me the earth, moon, and stars to get my business. You just have to be a fit.
Rachel Stephens, SEO and Customer Behavior Analyst for TotallyPromotional.com
“A modern site with high quality imagery is now expected as the norm. To make your site stand out from the crowd, give the customer an experience that they can interact and engage with. Our customers can experiment with our unique design tool when ordering custom tote bags, allowing them to create their own look with colors and personalized designs to leave a lasting impression!”
Mark Tuchscherer, President, Geeks Chicago
- Be unique and don’t use templates. Most websites we see today are built using some type of WordPress template, or something similar. No matter how you change it, most people can tell it looks like 100 other websites they see all the time.
- Try to avoid do-it-yourself website services. Companies like Weebly or Squarespace allow you to set up a basic website, and most of the time, they will limit what you can do. We have many clients who come to us after setting up one of these websites; they outgrow them quickly, or they simply end up unsatisfied with them. You are not a web developer, so why are you building a website?
Alice Bedward, Helpling Singapore
- Optimize your website for mobile.
If your site is not mobile optimized, the user experience will be poor from smartphone and tablet devices. It will be more difficult for users to click on buttons, read the information, or make their way through to the checkout. As a result, they will likely move on very quickly. Something which Google may then pick up on, which will then result in your site dropping down in search results.
- Produce quality content, often.
There’s no use in creating a great, fully optimized website, and then failing to update it for weeks or months on end. Many websites are not updated regularly, with outdated content and expired promotions easily visible on the homepage. If you produce quality content regularly, both users and search engines will see it as a measure of how up to date and relevant your website is.
- Turn numbers and data into illustrations.
Compelling websites often contain info-graphics, instead of endless lists of facts and figures. A well planned and well designed info-graphic will quickly present users with the information that they’re looking for, in a way that is easy to understand. Illustrations are a good way of giving meaning to otherwise abstract statistics, plus, the really eye-catching examples often go viral.
These experts have great tips that I hope you’re review over and over. I’d like to highlight a few that I think are most important:
- Focus on the needs of your market. People don’t care how great you or your product/service is. They care about how you or your product/service will help them. Focus on giving value and being a solution because that’s what people buy.
- Own your site and domain. To stand out, you need to have your own domain name and site that is unique to your business. It doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy. But it needs to stand out to your market.
- Be easy to read and navigate. There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a site and not being able to find what you want. Don’t be that site. Make your website clear, easy to navigate, and include resources such as a search box, so people can find what they came for.