Just like the children’s classic story book, Snow White, business owners are constantly weighing up the many factors that make their business unique and invaluable to customers. Similarly, a web presence’s ability to attract website traffic and promote conversions is also dependent on many factors. These include website design and online marketing activities but importantly, what’s happening in your business:
Even the most established companies know the year in, year out struggle to deliver their message on the web, in order to stay relevant and competitive. They not only take a look at their customer’s needs but also a deeper look at business, to identify new opportunities.
Now more than ever any business can be its own media agency:
Without a marketing team at your finger tips your business is still able to create digital marketing collateral and online customer experiences, thanks to the web and its abundant array of soft-tech solutions.
50% of SMB owners said a website improved their business in 2017 (source: Sensis)
Having a website increases market exposure and creates a positive impact on customer sales. So with more businesses aiming to start or improve their digital presence in the future, how does a business develop a competitive web presence? Do the old strategies work? In 2017, websites were used to provide the following information to customers:
- Company history and information
- Location maps
- Product descriptions
- Email enquiry form
- Product pictures
- Company news
- Special offers
- Independent reviews/testimonials
- Investor information
- Transaction functionality
So what’s wrong with this list?
Customers have a tendency to research products, services, offers and testimonials/reviews, and then ask questions later. The list above shows that website development was focused first and foremost on company history and information. To achieve a better online service to customers, it would be best for SMB to refocus on the customer’s needs, so that access to information on prices, special offers and reviews/testimonials are priority. Clearly the web is a critical source of information and staying relevant to the end users of the web – your customers – is vital. In doing so, two things occur: first, the online experience is boosted for the customer, who is ultimately looking to spend money, and secondly, you optimise your business in Google’s unpaid search results, while inadvertently optimising any applicable Google AdWord campaigns.
#1 – How to get your value out to customers
With more businesses getting online, taking the time to communicate your value proposition to your customers is important, because it may very well be the deciding factor between you and another retailer who is offering the same product. Your website should look to communicate these values with an eye-catching design and easy web page layouts, otherwise the information about your value becomes lost in pages of paragraphs. Design is the answer to overcoming the issue of endless paragraphs of writing that don’t get read unless the customer is in that mindset. So after you create these lists, you can then create chunks of text to explain each value. With content at the ready, you can use a WordPress visual website builder to design web pages with ease.
#2 – What you can do to find out what to say
Unlike the prolific online tools that make digital marketing easy for SMB, determining your value proposition isn’t as simple as completing a two-field sign up form. Not having a firm idea about your value proposition is quite different to having a broad understanding of your value. For some businesses, determining value proposition can take a few months or a year. During this time, you can still update your website to convey the other essential details of business. So what else can you say on your website that your customers will appreciate? Below are a few ideas to help develop customer-focused website content:
- Outline your products and service with easy bullet point lists. Use the lists to include your unique service features. For example, a bullet point list for a box of assorted hardware items can end with bullet points that convey details about shipping, refunds or product swaps within x days.
- Create single web pages for each product/service category. Include a mixture of paragraphs, photos, bullet point lists and internal links to your top selling products. For each top selling product, develop a web page using one of the many WordPress visual website builders that are available.
- Think about your customer’s top three frequently asked questions for each product/service category. Develop short answers for each and display the FAQs on the product/service page. You can elaborate on each answer FAQ answer by placing a ‘Read more…’ link after the answer, and linking this to a detailed post article.
In recent times, Google has announced a desire to shift to mobile-first indexing, to better serve their customers, who primarily search using a mobile device. The result? Better access to information designed for the mobile market, and therefore, happy Google users. How you help your customers and marketing this on your website, will keep you relevant with customers and Google. The result? Happy customers and happy you.