Do you have a website?
People are spending more and more time online and this rise has now reached an average of 2 hours 34 minutes on smartphones alone.
Although this could be considered a cause for concern in many regards, from a business point of view, the time people spend online should be something we consider when planning out online strategies. Innovations within the digital world now allow us to conduct business from start to finish online using a myriad of tools, apps, software and websites; statistical analysis predicts that 53% of all purchases will be made online by 2028.
My previous blog post mentioned how many small and micro-businesses still don’t have the basic requirements for an effective website in place; that is, a site that explains who you are, what you are, and where you are.
Why are websites so important?
As a customer or user, websites can provide us with research, educational information, and the ability to engage with experts, look at customer reviews, product videos and persuade us to buy with confidence online.
As a website business owner, shops can track orders from start to finish in a highly automated fashion all while providing customer service using email and social media. This new symbiotic way of doing business from the comfort of a smartphone or laptop wherever and whenever will continue to shift the percentage of people buying in person to people buying online.
Businesses are not tied to a local physical location anymore meaning an online company can operate from a person’s home; all while making sales locally, nationally and internationally. A lot of people struggle to make time for shopping; having a physical store limits the availability that people have to view products, whereas online shops provide a browsing service for all of those late-night shoppers!
How can a website help your business? (In a nutshell)
- It can make it easier for people to find your business on the web.
- Your business can have broader exposure locally, nationally and internationally.
- You can advertise to encourage customers to visit your website and increase sales.
- Using statistical data you can track the effectiveness of ads, products as well as to measure your website’s traffic.
- You can sell online; avoid rigid shopping hours and overheads.
- Go from being a local business to a global business.
Successful websites need visibility!
You may have the best products and service in your field, but if you are not being discovered then you are not going to make sales. A website can bring eyes to your products and services through several avenues:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process which gives your website the ability to rank highly in Google searches and gain more traffic to your website because it can be found easily. Paid marketing is also very beneficial too, such as Google Ads which allow you to pay to appear at the top of a Google search; great if you have a large budget and not ideal if you don’t! There are ways to gain improved visibility organically, thankfully; word-of-mouth will always play a role in people visiting your website as well as something known as backlinks. A backlink is when your website features in the content of another website; if the website is credible, you also gain some of that credibility too and your Google rank will improve.
Social media and indexing websites for your local community will also provide a steady rate of visitors to your website if set up and utilized correctly. When posting on Facebook, include links to your products and services or try to encourage people into your desired action. If you are selling clothing, for example, you want people to visit your shop, so they can not only see the amazing t-shirt that grabbed their attention but all the other amazing items they could buy as well. Consider when creating all social media content, what is the end goal here? and make sure your post enables customers to reach that goal easily.
All of your online presence has to feed into your website, your website without traffic cannot generate paying customers! Having a website and waiting for customers to come is not enough, you must push your company’s brand from all platforms so that online users can reach your website and become paying customers. Here are 20 ways to increase traffic to your website.
Now you have visitors, your website needs action!
Potential customers are not paying customers, just yet… Just because you have visitors, this doesn’t mean you have sales. Similarly, to social media likes, your latest product could have 1 million likes, but very few sales. Why might this be happening?
A lot is going on behind the scenes of a website, such as collecting visitor data, making sure your website is running quickly, collecting email addresses, processing sales, being responsive to the range of different device screen sizes that are loading your website etc.
To make sure your website is generating sales you must create the ability for customers to act. If you do not have a smooth sales process with clear ways to purchase your website visitors will leave your website and go elsewhere!
‘CTA’ stands for call to action, and this is the process of telling a user exactly how to purchase your products or services. ‘Buy Now’, hyperlinks and ‘Subscribe’ buttons are all examples of CTA. CTAs are important for achieving your marketing goals; Ad Expresso shares 50 examples of call to action as well as advice on how to create and use your own CTA’s.
Businesses always have a main goal, usually sales, but a website must consider that not all visitors are ready to make a purchase or meet your main marketing target. Good websites can capture a second or third goal to help turn a potential customer into a future customer.
An example of a secondary objective is obtaining a visitor’s email address so they can be emailed discount codes and promotional content in the future. This method allows you to remind the almost purchasing customer time-after-time, that a good deal is available to them! Therefore, watering a seed that will hopefully grow into a loyal customer.
The third objective for your website could be brand awareness, even if a visitor leaves your site without purchasing or subscribing to a newsletter, they can leave feeling a sense of brand awareness.
A solid example of brand awareness can be found on Gracie Barra Nottingham’s website; from the onset, you can see the logo and colour scheme runs steadily through everything Gracie Barra does and offers. There is a consistency throughout all the pages, images, programs, and more, which cultivates a sense of strong brand awareness.
The benefit of brand awareness is when someone then searches elsewhere for a similar deal, but then remembers your website because of the professionalism, or it could be the websites humour or a range of other impressions your website had to influence a customer to hold you in high regard. Brand awareness can also lead to word of mouth recommendations; 88% of customers placed high trust in word-of-mouth recommendations, meaning we should even target non-paying customer because they can still help build a pipeline of future custom.
Want a successful website?
Contact us today and start the journey of expanding your business growth online. As your competitive advantage builds over time you too can experience improved sales, marketing strategies and enhanced brand awareness.
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