What Do You Expect Out of Your Website?
Today’s column is the first in a series I’m doing specifically on websites.
Despite the fact that technology is advancing rapidly, the website remains the single most important marketing material you have. If your website stinks – meaning it doesn’t tell your story, showcase your products, highlight what makes you different, etc. – then I guarantee you are losing potential customers. A website is still the first place people go to check your company out. A bad website means an opportunity has been squandered.
If you haven’t taken your website seriously in the past, it’s time to start. The first step is just deciding what you want out of a website. Begin by evaluating your viewpoint.
Do you view your website as a lead capture machine for your company? Do you view it as a brochure that just needs the occasional update? Is it both?
One way to think about a website is it’s a marketing material, just like any other – its purpose is to drive its viewer to an action that benefits your business.
Your perspective on your website – and the expectations you assign to your website based on your perspective – is the first step in making a website.
Before the first line of code is written, the first picture taken, or the first bit of search optimization happens you have to know what you are expecting of your website.
While you’re considering what you want out of your website, first think about what a potential customer wants out of your website:
- They want to know what you do
- They want to know why you’re better than anyone else
- They want to know how to contact you
- They want to know that other people think you’re great
Those are four basic needs, and if your website is not currently executing that consider making some updates as soon as possible!
What potential customers want out of a website is important, but you must hold your website to a higher standard.
Here is a list of a few other basic but important elements you should expect out of your own website:
- It has a good, memorable domain name
- It works well on desktop computers and mobile devices
- It’s easily found on search engines – desktop and mobile searches (that means Google and Google Maps!)
- It is secure and shows its trustworthiness
- It is easy to contact you – by phone, email, social media, and physical address
- It clearly conveys why you are better and different than all of your competition… (in other words, it should be possible for you to communicate what you do well in fewer than five seconds)
- It is easy to navigate, so it’s easy to learn more about you
Some of this might be obvious. But, if you go visit five websites right now you would probably be surprised how few of them include all of these basics.
Take a look at your own site. Are you covered?