Why Your Website Matters
Many of us recognize websites are important, but how important are they for the modern small business? Simply put, websites are today’s backbone of building a brand and reaching customers. Treat your website as though it is your digital homestead; not as if it were a hot dog stand or display booth at the fair.
“Do It Yourself” websites may only cost the time and effort of your keystrokes, but can be clunky, poorly wired, and missing important craftsmanship. On the flipside, those who need custom-built sites to run a significant amount of data often can run tens of thousands of dollars to construct and keep up. A properly done website not only offers an enormous return on investment but is nearly mandatory in today’s business environment.
Finding Your Place
Think about how you traditionally get directions to a store or office. Some folks have seen it while driving around. Often they have been recommended the place from friends, or signs are pointing to it from a community center. Likewise, people stumble upon your website when looking for something online. Your business can become pushed to the top of these meanderings through search engine optimization. A well-maintained social media platform is as good as the local community center. Their purpose is to foster the conversations and relationships that matter to your business and then drive traffic to your home base. Facebook or Yelp reviews offer word-of-mouth recommendations and are natural stages in the funnel that drive people to your website where the homepage greets them.
The street facing side of your digital homestead is your home page. The home page is the most visually appealing part of your online presence. Keep the lawn mowed, and welcome mat clean with beautiful visuals and not too much clutter to attract visitors inside. Additionally, the text should make it very clear whether a visitor should open more doors to the website. An efficient street view of your digital homestead should inform of what the residence is all about, and intrigue the viewer to want to find out more.
The websites that welcome guests inside will strategically direct them inside to give a tour of the place. About us, services, products, and portfolio pages are examples of rooms inside the web house. Your customer checks these out to make sure the house offers everything they need. If there are unfinished, cluttered, or odd-looking rooms, the customer may be turned off and decide they don’t need to see any more before they bounce. Your copywriting acts as the voice of the tour guide and is critical here. You don’t need to have the most lavish pictures on the walls. As long as you have well-placed and appropriate text, you can still explain the character of the house. Of course, the combination of the two is most effective.
Now, the visitor is ready to make a purchase. It’s got to be easy for them to navigate to the exit, whether it’s a checkout stand or call now feature. The exit is the call to action. A clear call to action shines like a bright red exit sign. It is how you drive sales, get sign ups, or receive calls. Even if your visitors don’t leave with a purchase, make sure they have had a quality experience by providing value to them. Give your guest free cookies and milk with a free guide, a discount coupon, or entertaining content, and they will surely be back for more.
In recap, make sure you provide an easy path to visit your digital homestead. Invite visitors in with a welcoming landscape that provides them with just what they need to know. Then, the visitor should naturally get a tour of the house, supported by the copy and artwork on the walls to describe your product or service. Finally, leave them with an easy exit, and make sure they have been delighted by their stay with a free download, coupon, content, or other gifts.
We continue to rebuild and renovate the Mountain Valley Marketing website as we shape our digital homestead. Today marks the completion of our 3rd website creation. It shows the continually improving process that we encourage everyone with a website to go through. Go ahead, take a look around our new site, the doors are wide open.