If you want the most return on your investment, your website needs to be more than just a place to advertise your business or organization. It is important to consider, besides telling people your company exists – does your website actually matter?
Literally, do your clients care about your website? It should be a useful resource for potential clients to learn about your company and answer questions to influence visitors while making their decision. Current clients should see your website as a resource of information to find answers to pressing questions.
Your content needs to have more than just contact info and a typical “About Us” profile showering visitors with useless facts about your company history. That information rarely influences a decision maker’s process. You need to learn what your customer wants and serve it up hot on a platter.
What Do People Care About?
If you want your website to be taken seriously, the first step is having a sharp appearance, with a bold and clean, well-organized layout. We’ve all seen the website that looks like either it has never been updated, or there was never a lot of thought put into the website to begin with. Maybe you even own one of those sites!
Sure an outdated website “hurts your credibility” and “brand image” – you already know that. More importantly, wrong information confuses and frustrates your customers. People care about accuracy of information and in today’s Twitter-fied world your information better be up to date! Make sure the services listed on your website are actually services you offer and if you’re showing price information, make it up-to-date or take it down.
Not only does an outdated website make visitors less likely to inquire about new business, you could confuse a lot of people! Customers will eventually ask “Why did I get charged $20 when your website says it costs $15?” or “I thought your service included a spell check!” when you stopped that service months ago.
Make sure your information is up to date, and well organized. Information that is hard to find might as well not be there! Think about the questions that customers bring to you most often and find a way to bring those answers to people on the web so that you do not have to repeat yourself on the phone and via email day after day.
A little bit of planning with the right developer can create you a design that will retain a professional appearance and make it easy for you to update content.
How Do I Know It’s Working?
You know you have provided useful information when inquiries come in via web or phone with specific questions like “I see on your website that you do XYZ service, I would like to find out more” – When users are asking specific questions based on your content, they are at least half way to choosing your service or product. Now it’s up to you to study how many questions your clients have that can be answered ahead of time so you can make their decision-making easier and more in your favor.