You need a small business website. Your competition has one and so should you, right? It will bring in more customers which will lead to more sales, and who doesn’t want more sales?
Small business websites are typically marketed and sold to be beautiful, effective, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and search engine optimized. All important aspects of a good website design, but these aren’t the end all be all for success. If this is where the list ends for you, your small business website is likely not making you money.
If you’re one of the thousands of business owners whose website is just a pretty online brochure, it’s time to get serious. It’s time to focus in on what you can do to ensure you website is increasing your bottom line.
Small Business Website Game Plan
Your small business website should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. There is no point in having a website if you don’t have a plan in place for how it will work for you. First thing you and your web designer should do is map out all your business goals. Why do you want or need a website? Who will your website serve? What action will visitors take when they land on a particular page? Without a clear goal, your small business website will become just another out there collecting dust on the web.
Visitors to your small business website have to resonate with you and your brand. What? You don’t have a brand? That’s a mistake that could cost you dearly! It’s important that you have a consistent brand across all mediums and your small business website is a huge part of your brand. Once you and your web designer have developed a brand image, it’s time to figure out who you are trying to attract to your business. Determine who your target audience is and build your small business website around speaking directly to them. Speak in their language and solve their problems. Don’t just talk about what you do! Instead, talk about how you can help your customers achieve their goals or solve their problems.
Use your small business website to sell your visitors on how you can help them and why your product or service is the better choice. If you stick to all about what you do and not how it benefits your customers, your sales will flatline.
Another important part of you small business website game plan is your navigation. If users are confused about how to use your website, they’ll likely go elsewhere. Once you determine what you want your website to do, it’s essential that your web designer lay out a clear navigational structure. This makes it easy for visitors to find the things they’re looking for. If it currently takes 5 steps to locate your ebook, could visitors get there in one or two steps instead? The clearer the path, the more likely visitors will take it.
A big mistake I see a lot of small business website owners make is not telling visitors exactly what you want them to do. Worse yet, businesses tend to have too many buttons, links or opportunities to draw attention away from what their primary goal is. If you want visitors to “Get A Quote”, make that call-to-action very clear, repeat it throughout every page of your site, and do not give visitors anything to distract them from taking that action.
Having too many choices is not in your best interest. Instead, determine what the primary action is you want visitors to take and make that the focus so visitors are clear on what they should do. Your bottom line will thank you.
Engage and Nurture
The reality is a lot of your visitors are, well, just that. They are surfing for a product or service trying to figure out if your small business website is the one they want to engage with. What do you do about those tire kickers who are just snooping around? Do you let them just peruse your website and then bounce? Not if you want them to be a future customer!
It’s important that you give your visitors something that has perceived value. For example, using our organic baby food example from above, what if you offered a free ebook on the harmful effects of pesticides on growing babies? It can be 1-3 pages, easily consumable in under 15 minutes, but completely informative to parents. Not only does this create value to your visitors, but it sets you up as the authority on organic baby food. Your small business website becomes the one visitors trust because you’re sharing important knowledge that could improve the quality of life for their baby. You become the go-to business on organic baby food!
Once you’ve engaged visitors by offering them a free ebook, you’ll need to nurture them with a few emails. Tell your story. Share stories or testimonials of other’s who’ve benefited from your product or service food. Continue to educate visitors on why your product or service is the best choice for them. All the while you’ll build trust with your potential customers. Once customers believe in you and your small business website, the sales will become effortless.
Want more valuable insights into why your small business website isn’t making any money? Request a quote today to see how I can help your business make more money.