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A Website That Works

Monday, October 10, 2011   By Mike Reddy

 



Small business owners often find themselves discouraged with their websites and their inability to attract a large amount of clientele.

According to my business coaching book there are two main things to remember when creating your website: to attract and engage. Without both of these features working for you, your site will not be working to your advantage.

When it comes to attracting, your site must be unique and professional. No matter the size of your business, professionalism is what will keep you afloat; and the appearance of your site should reflect your desired reputation.

Include adequate imagery wherever possible to keep the site attractive – include photos of your location, your products and your team.

Refrain from overusing fancy internet gadgetry and stick to the basics. Include graphs or other visuals when appropriate.

Pay close attention to your copy and content. Consider investing in a freelance copywriter to handle your needs, as many are trained in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the set of strategies applied that make your site appear most frequently in internet searches.

With the right keywords, you can increase your internet presence, and therefore expand your client base.

However there needs to be an integration between SEO and your marketing strategies.  Being on the first page of google is worthless unless you are able to convert that position into sales.  And getting that message across is one of my biggest business coaching battles!

Also refrain from being too 'pitchy' – overselling is known to be an internet user turn off. If the user has found their way to your site, most likely their interest has already been piqued.

Most importantly, consider how easy and secure your site is to use. While the internet boasts more than two billion users, we make the incorrect assumption that they are all web savvy. The easier your site is to manipulate, the less potential clients will be lost due to frustration alone.

No matter what level, all users are concerned with safety so ensure that not only do you invest in the highest levels of user protection, but also lay them out clearly on the site. Always include detailed contact information including street addresses. It has been proven to make users feel more trusting.

Generating leads that create sales is usually the objective here. Keep your potential clients engaged and offer a detailed section describing your business and its background, usually titled the 'About Us' section. Offer a full description of operating hours, locations, guarantees, special offers and your services. Also recommended are a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section and Testimonials.

Imagine the site is a stand replacing a personal sales call: prepare for a full-blown sales pitch. Generating leads that create sales is the goal: stays focused and clear to put potential clients at ease.

And as a business coach I urge you to remember the website is there for sales.