25 Jan 5 Steps To Getting The Most From Your Business Website
There are so many stories about people in other countries who have made fortunes through websites and other online channels. I want to share with you, five steps that you can take to make your business website a valuable business asset.
You don’t need to know how to program to understand and implement any of them. All you need is to have a desire to grow your business through digital marketing.
The commonest opinion among the business leaders today is that ‘we are not yet in the internet age in Zimbabwe’. However, everyone can acknowledge that the internet usage is rapidly growing. What I can tell you is that every business can benefit from a good business website.
It’s important to know that websites are business tools not ‘IT decorations’ on businesses
For most businesses, the website is there to give contact details to clients, show a company profile, some history, and maybe investor relations information. These are great, but how many people go into a grocery store and asked for all these before buying bread? That makes most of the information on the website useless in helping visitors become clients in some way.
A lot of information contained on business websites is to support someone who has already decided to buy but not to get new website visitors buying. What do I mean? Nobody would ask for a company profile unless they are seriously convinced that you can supply what they need. So, it’s much better to use the website to convince people about your products and services rather than giving them sales support materials.
To get the most from your website, take these simple but powerful steps.
1. Align your website with business goals
If we look at your current website and compare them to your business goals, do you think we can match the two? Are any of your business goals being pushed forward by the website? For many organizations, the two are disjointed totally.
If your website is going to be a business asset, then it must be used to achieve business goals. Let’s take an example of a lodging business.
If the website is going to be an asset it must help them get more clients. So how does this work? As much as possible, the website must be able to help the website visitors with information to make the necessary decisions and leave a booking. It must be possible to leave a booking on the website. The website must ask the visitor to leave a booking.
It’s important to know that websites are business tools not ‘IT decorations’ on businesses. It’s usually not the technical issues that make websites become useless but usually there is no definition of purpose for its existence.
To align a lodge website with the business goals involves taking a few moments to think. Ask these questions:
- How can each of the business goals be achieved using the website?
- Which actions can website visitors take to become leads, customers or users of our products/services?
This doesn’t come from the designer or programmer but from the business owner. This is nothing too complex or out of reach to anybody who is into business or marketing.
2. Make visitors take business oriented actions on your website.
The second step to making your website a business asset is to make it easy for website visitors to take an action that makes business sense to you on the website. After giving full details on what you are selling, what do you want users to do?
So many people would want ‘the client to come to our office’ or ‘call us for more details’. I think that’s not the best because we are making a lot of assumptions.
We are assuming the visitor can make a phone call right away or come to the office. The action I am talking about here is something that can be done right there on the website by visitors with no human involvement on your part.
Examples of such actions include making an online inquiry, placing an order, purchase online or signup for a discount. Why is it important to have an action which can be immediately taken?
It takes away all the excuses they have for not doing business with you. For example, if the only option is to call the office then if they are looking at your website at midnight that person should wait until the office is opened. By then they may have taken immediate actions on your competitor’s website or simply forgotten about you.
3. Present your offers as solutions to problems.
People are looking for solutions to life and work problems not products and services per se. What they need is problems solved, needs met and wants to be fulfilled. To make your website an asset, it shouldn’t just describe who you are and your offers but it must go ahead and give details on how the products and services are useful to the client.
It’s important to show how the tools you sell are used. Avail downloadable copies of manuals if applicable.
For example, a Lodge business website may include information about what a client needs to bring when coming to stay at their place to be comfortable.
Your website will become more than a sales corner but a place where people refer to and eventually see more offers from you.
4. Focus on generating business leads
Make sure the website at the very least can generate business leads. Any website that doesn’t help in generation of new business leads or helping keep the current customers is useless.
There is something called a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something that you offer website visitors so that they may sign up to get it. It can be a free resource, free trial or discount value.
Why do we need this? So many of the people visiting the website may not ready to buy yet but could are very interested in the offer. A lead magnet will help you gather long lists of future clients.
Creating a lead magnet and generating leads will make you create a list of people who are interested in your product or offering even though they are not ready to buy today. It means your website is helping in creating future business – that’s an asset.
5. Measure and improve
Most websites are built to the taste of the business director or the person in charge of the project. In most cases, website visitors or customers are not the top priority even though it’s meant for them. In the end, the website may be very irrelevant to clients.
To solve this problem, the performance of a website must be measured, analyzed and improved after over time. The performance discussed here is generally how the website is converting into business leads. How are people interacting with the website?
It’s possible to track user activities, demographics and much more information which can be used to determine the improvements the website needs.
If you build a website and forget, you will be making a big assumption that all the visitors are like you and they like what you like. Allow the collected information to speak for itself on what really interests clients.
The easiest way to measure the performance of a website if to use Google Analytics which is a free but powerful tool. You can learn how to get Google Analytics installed here.
You cannot afford to have a website because it’s the ‘in thing’. A good website is a business asset if its availability has a direct effect on the business’ performance.
‘But we have been making profits without all these things!’ Good for you but it means that you have not exhausted your potential.
If you manage to make sure that all the above points are cleared on your website, it will be ready to start generating business for you and qualify to be called an asset.