What is your business website doing for you? Having a website for your business is not just a bonus anymore, it’s a necessity. But just having a website isn’t enough. A great website generates more traffic and converts more of that traffic into customers.
A great website serves three different purposes, and mastering all three will help your business thrive.
Website as Brochure
At the most basic level, a website provides information about your business. Essentially, it’s a brochure for your business. When someone hears about your business, they can look you up, browse around your site, and learn about what you do.
For a website to succeed as a brochure, it needs to provide all the important information about the business: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? If a customer is interested, the website should tell them what they need to know in order to make a decision and whether your business is the right one for them. The website as brochure tells customers what they need to know before deciding to do business with you.
Website as Online Storefront
At the next level, your website becomes an online extension of your store. That means more than just giving a general overview of your business. Once the customer understands what you do, the next question is what specifically you can offer them.
That might mean adding eCommerce capabilities to your website, to sell goods and services online. Or it could mean listing and displaying specific products and services for customers who then do business in your store or by contacting you. The important thing is directing customers to the exact solution they need for the specific problem they have. As a brochure, your website got people’s interest, but as a storefront it gives them an answer.
Website as Customer Resource
At the highest level, your website is no longer just about you. As a resource for customers, your website establishes your business—and you in particular—as an expert, as someone who is trustworthy, as a leader. Your website becomes a place customers return to over and over again—and tell other people to go to, too.
To make your website a customer resource, you have to start by thinking about the problems your customers have, and what they would like to know. If you give them that information and become a helpful resource they can turn to whenever they have questions in your area of expertise, then they’re more likely to turn to you when they want to do business. Your website as customer resource creates top of mind awareness and a powerful reputation. Give away information like industry trends, do-it-yourself tips, and relevant community happenings, and you can create a loyal following for your business.
Building a website that successfully serves all three of the important purposes for a website takes time and commitment, but the results can be remarkable. See how your website can explain what your business is, be an extension of your store online, and provide valuable information to visitors.
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