Websites as a Business Tool

by Sydney Cooke

Websites are a necessity these days for businesses, but why?

Ultimately, you need a strategy that encompasses all of these things and more!

One of my teammates sent us this article for tips on blogging. It was a great read for bloggers but as I was reading there were several items on the list that I felt applied to building websites.

A website is often the first impression for your business so it is important to understand who will see it, why they are looking at it, and also what you want them to do with it. You can have a beautiful design but if you don’t think through its use from a deeper level, your website will not function as a tool for your business. Ultimately, you need a strategy that encompasses all of these things and more… (see #13 on the link above). Why do you need a website and how does it work within your entire business toolkit?

Thanks to Dreamhost for this content that I am unashamedly borrowing – you get all the credit. Let’s pull out some of the more significant items on the list.

Who is your audience?

This is important for any business, website or not. It is a foundational piece of your marketing and sales which are necessary for growth. Know who you are selling to and talk specifically to them. This goes for your website, your pitches, and even how you answer your phone.

What value are you offering?

This goes back to knowing your audience and customer. If you understand who you are talking to you can directly appeal to them by clearly communicating the value you bring to their life. This information should be on your homepage. Make it clear and hard to miss!

What credibility do you have?

There are a few ways your website offers your business credibility. In some ways, just having one is the first step! Professional design and images are another way to make people understand you are legit. Offering testimonials and client logos are great to immediately illustrate credibility. We often recommend having these as a small section on your homepage.

What is your call to action?

This goes back to knowing what you want your client to do while on your site or what their next step is. Do you want them to contact you directly? Fill out a form? Buy something? Determine your call to action(s) and make it very easy for a visitor to follow through.

Think mobile

People will visit your website on their mobile device before and more often than your desktop, especially B to C sites. (See this study.) It is important to understand how interactions change on those handheld devices. Some things just don’t translate well. We design and build websites with a “mobile first” mindset, knowing that is how most people will interact with each site.

Invest in professional equipment.

I would be remiss in not stating that your website will benefit tremendously by hiring professionals, from the photography to the copy to the design and code. More than likely you are not an expert at all of the necessary elements to building a strong site so if you can, hire help. There are certainly ways to minimize the financial investment and we make sure that we work with our clients within their means and make recommendations to be budget-friendly. Not sure what this means, contact us.

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