How To Create A Good Business Website
It should come as no surprise in 2017 that having a website has become the market standard for businesses and professionals. The internet is the number one resource for information on the planet and we access it constantly through a variety of devices. Sure there are the obstinate few who are able to navigate the modern world without using a cell phone, but to be a business owner and expect to sustain a profit without a website is a foolish mistake, but one that can be avoided. You should also know that this value will only continue to increase each year. Professional websites are like investments that continuously appreciate in value at almost exponential rates. The internet seems to find a new way to “boom” every few years. The latest surge and up-tick in internet usage came from the rise of smartphones and internet-capable mobile devices. Whether you choose to admit it to yourself or not, we are now always connected. No matter where you are, your phone can connect you to the rest of the world in a matter of seconds. Every company needs a website. Period.
THE GOALS OF CREATING A PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS WEBSITE
When you opt to develop a professional website for your company, whether it be a small business or a large corporation, there are a variety of different goals that you can choose to pursue. The most important thing is that you clearly identify what your web development goals are and pursue them with vigor. Not only will this make you and your business more successful in the long run, but it will help to better define certain expectations during the development process. So many companies simply slap up any old website and wash their hands of it. They do this because they at least understand that having a website for their business is now the market standard. However, meeting minimal requirements in today’s market is almost like doing nothing at all. This simple version of online presence is best understood as the presentation of the company. It is a good goal to set and accomplish for your business because it is better than no website at all. Unfortunately, if this is the only step you take with your company on the internet, you are not very likely to increase your customer base. It is actually more likely that this will have little to no effect on your business as it currently stands.
Another website development goal is boosting company image. In certain industries, especially ones where professional aestheticism is something to be expected from the company, this is the overarching priority. These types of site are indeed very beautiful, and it’s no secret that beauty prevails over functionality for most users. The most common web development goal for most businesses from the moment they create their websites is to promote their products or services. These types of projects are quite normal and we hear clients come into our office all the time saying things like, “I want a website for my small business to increase sales,” or “My website needs to increase the amount of customers I have in Philadelphia.” For us at Direct Line Development, these goals are ideal because we specialize in bringing higher conversion and increased profitability to our clients through their websites. Plus it gives us a chance to showcase our work in a mutually beneficial way!
Aside from these broader goals, there are more specific ones as well. Some websites are created to attract investment in a particular product or company. Some are developed for the purpose of finding new employees to hire. Some companies are required by law to have a website to display certain types of information. The list goes on. Let’s consider in detail the three key reasons for which someone may consider building and launching a website for their business.
PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE AS A PRESENTATION OF THE COMPANY
When giving an informative presentation on most things in life, your goal is usually to give answers to questions such as “who, what, where, when, and why.” This is no different for a website whose priority is to provide potential (and current) customers with information about the business that they are (hopefully) considering. There are no hooks or snares on this website and no fancy tricks. It is to simply serve as a convenient avenue by which customers can gain access to more information on you and your company.These types of sites will offer information in a clear and concise manner. They will describe things such as a what the company does and how successful it is. They will tell customers which brands operate under the company’s name. People will be able to find which regions the company operates in and who represents it. A professional business website of this type will clearly display its mission statement, and brand values. It is also common for these types of websites to offer up a brief company history as well a prospectus for the future. And in all of these tidbits of information, the company should be offering up information that helps to differentiate it from its competitors.
USING A WEBSITE TO BUILD COMPANY IMAGE
There is a difference between presenting your company’s information and presenting your company’s image. Firstly, as we mentioned just before, in industries where the services you offer are to appeal to your customers’ aesthetic appreciations, such as photography or painting, your website must be beautifully designed in order for your services to appear as legitimate. But this is not the only reason. Certain industry sectors, like non-profit, also use websites to boost their company image. The reason for this is moreso an appeal to morality and to “humanize” the company. For instance, if your company is often engaged in philanthropic pursuits, this could be featured on the website. Some companies will try to emphasize their values and what they do to promote them in our society. Others will directly list the ways that their company has already benefited society. They often include resources for their customers to get involved in their value promotion work and also offer information as to how the company specifically goes about this promotion. These websites usually have more detailed descriptions of their brand, since this information is likely to be important to visitors of these companies’ sites. It is important to create a lasting impression with a website that has been developed for image. This often entails the use of bright and memorable images, well-produced videos, or eloquently drafted blog posts. The point is to show that your company is more than a group of people looking to turn a profit. You want to show your audience that because of what you and your company do and accomplish, the world is a better place.
CUSTOM BUSINESS WEBSITE TO BOOST SALES
Your website is your most dedicated employee. He works for you constantly, all day every day. But just like a real person, your website must be equipped with the proper information and tools necessary to be successful. If you’ve got an employee willing to work 24/7 selling cars for you, but he knows nothing about them, chances of his success are slim to none. First and foremost, you must understand what it is potential customers will be looking to find when they come to your website. This includes detailed descriptions of products and services you offer. It is helpful to have clear images when necessary. Customer reviews are huge. Over 50% of online shoppers use customer reviews in order to make their purchasing decisions. These should be honest and should be easily accessible on your website.
Often overlooked but incredibly important is the ability to make purchases directly on the website. You would not believe the amount of people that come to us saying “I don’t get it. My website is responsive, it has all my products on there, and the phone number is right at the top of the page. Why won’t people call?” The fact of the matter is, some people don’t even talk on the phone anymore. They would much rather be able to find what they are looking for online, punch in their credit card information, and be on their way. The amount of people that prefer to online shop in this capacity is much higher than one would likely expect and it is therefore incredibly important for you as a business owner to ensure that ease of purchase is never an issue on your website. If a customer makes the decision to buy from you, you have a limited amount of time to get them from selection to checkout before you run the risk of them changing their mind or searching for other companies with similar products. Knowing that your goal is to increase sales, you should keep all of this in mind. The more of these tactics you implement, the higher your customer conversion rate.
SEO IS A MUST-HAVE FEATURE FOR WEBSITES REGARDLESS OF SPECIFIC GOALS
You can spend all the time in the world planning and concocting the perfect website to fit your company’s goals and represent your image in a way that perfectly matches the culture of your business. But none of that matters if no one even sees it. The fact of the matter is, your website needs traffic in order for it to work for you. The cheapest and most efficient way to increase that traffic is through search engine optimization. We have a variety of articles dedicated to increasing customer conversion and traffic influx to your site and recommend that you consider some (or all) of the SEO advice we have to offer.
LET’S SUM UP WHAT GOES INTO AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WEBSITE
In order for your business to be effective online, it must be developed professionally. There is no getting around this fact. But there are other things to take into account as well. The website must be fast, convenient, and user friendly. Your website should clearly reflect the goals you set for it from the outset of its development. A site with no goals will have no direction. Finally, you need to incorporate some SEO techniques in order to bring traffic to the site and begin to convert your visitors. Yes, it’s really that simple. Of course, theory is one thing and application is another. We understand that most things are easier said than done, so if you are looking with some online help or seeking a professional web developer in Philadelphia (or anywhere really), then come to Direct Line Development to create a truly effective business website!
Original publication can be read in our blog!