Your company website has the role of a sales person, working 24/7, representing your company, answering questions, educating the prospect. Many times it will be the first impression prospects will have of your business and should convey quality at every turn. Like any good sales rep, its appearance should be a reflection of its audience, wearing tennis shoes if it’s selling skateboards and a suit if it’s selling financial advice.
A website is in many cases the first impression someone has of your company and doing it right can make a huge difference in the sale of your products and services. For traffic to translate into sales, you need a solid message, a unique selling proposition, and content that engages the prospect, answers questions, and addresses key concerns.
Let the Designer Design
When you work with a designer, keep your focus on the message and let the designer design. You hired a professional for reason and becoming too involved with the design will often compromises the results. In the end, the money you spend on quality website design, content and copy writing will pay dividends in sales for years to come.
Don’t go cheap
Companies who wouldn’t think twice about spending thousands on booth design, promotional items, and direct mail for a trade show, will often attempt to market the same products and services on the Internet with a budget they might allocate for designing a brochure. Or worse, hire a friend that “does websites”, paste in some blurbs from a brochure, and feel they have covered their bases.
A website is not a brochure
Unlike a brochure, a website can be an interactive portal to your company and its products and services. It can enable customers to ask and get answers to questions in real time. It can capture leads, provide product demonstrations, take orders and solicit reviews and get product feedback.
Keep the copy crisp and write in common terms
The copy should be carefully written to convey your understanding of the market and the solutions you provide. Care must be taken to avoid proprietary terms, techno-babble and unverifiable marketing hyperbole. It must be both brief and detailed. Pages should be brief enough to capture the attention of the prospect surfing the Internet aisles for a solution, and yet enable a prospect to drill deeper when they are ready to know more about your solution.
People want to do business with an authority in the field
They want to know that the company they have chosen to work with is a safe choice and a leader in the market. Listing your credentials, years in business, and memberships in trade associations, Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau help clients know you’re for real.
Keep the noise down
Getting noticed at a large trade show was almost always a problem, but you didn’t want your booth to become a circus act either. While giving away tee shirts and hawking your products over a megaphone might generate a lot of traffic, in my experience, the “show” detracts from your message and rarely translates into sales. The same is true for your website. A site that is overly busy with too many colors, icons, buttons, and animated gifs, can be confusing and detract from your message.
Don’t clutter your Home Page
Your home page should briefly describe what you sell and who you market to. Divide other content into logical sections and let each page do its job. When people search, they will enter on the page that most relates to the topic they are researching and your website will rank better in the search engines.
I don’t design websites, but I work with many local designers who can help you with this important part of your marketing effort.