Few businesses can get by without a website nowadays, because regardless of whether you sell coffee, clothing or life coaching services, the vast majority of people will first find you online. A quality website can give you a significant edge on your competition, helping your business to embrace its target audience and stand out from the crowd. For best results, keep the following essential elements in mind.
Always look your best
Your website needs to make a positive impression and do so fast. Eye catching colours and imagery will encourage your visitors to stick around and explore, while custom photography can be a great way to create an authentic look and feel. However, don’t get carried away with your creative efforts as it may distract from your core messaging, and embracing a consistent theme throughout your site will look most professional.
Make life easy
Your website should provide a potential customer with everything they could possibly need to make a decision right now and all that vital information must be easy to find and understand. Avoid jargon, use simple language and resist the urge to get overly fancy with your layout and design, because if you want people to explore your site you need to make it easy for them to do so.
If you expect people to drop by your site regularly you had better give them something new to look at. Whether you add blog articles, post instructional videos or review your latest products, you should add something fresh to your website at least once each week. Sites with a steady flow of quality content will not only attract more frequent visits, they will be rewarded by search engines with higher page rankings.
Embrace responsive design
Now that more than half of all internet searches originate from mobile devices your website needs to look good on everything from desktops to smartphones to wearables. Responsive web design adjusts the parameters of your site to suit the device it is being viewed on, providing a more user-friendly experience and making your content easier to share. Google considers responsive design to be so important that it punishes sites that are not responsive with lower page rankings.
Give your customers a voice
Rather than shamelessly promote yourself let your customers speak for you, as it will be a lot more impressive having unbiased opinions willing to vouch for your products or services. Include comments from a diversity of people representing a range of situations, as this will make those testimonials easier to relate to.
Make it easy to contact you
Your contact page needs to be prominently displayed and contain a variety of ways to contact you. Apart from including all those regular details, such as your phone number, address and social media contacts, if your clients are likely to want to connect right now consider adding a live chat option as well.
It can be hard work driving traffic to your website; therefore, if your business is to be successful you need to make the most of each and every visitor. If you need quality content for your website, I can help. Contact me today for a free consultation and quote.
Standing out among a sea of competitors is no easy task, especially when you are a small business still trying to get off the ground. As tempting as it may be to chase passing fads or embrace cheap gimmicks, stick to the basics – the following guide will help.
Showcase your specialties
While it is hard to be the biggest or the best known player in your industry, there are sure to be plenty of qualities that make your business unique. Whether you are the fastest, the friendliest or have the most knowledgeable staff, identify those things that set you apart, highlight them and look for ways to improve. Updating your tools and equipment can help, as will investing in extra training and development for your staff. Showcase client testimonials that support your claims of supremacy and keep an eye on your competition so you can stay one step ahead.
Know your audience
The better you know your target audience the easier it will be to give them what they want, how and when they want it. Your website analytics can reveal how and when customers are connecting with you, as well as which parts of your site they like best, while social media tools such as Topsy and Ice Rocket make it easy to monitor mentions of your business online. Use your brand voice to mirror the style, tone and language of your customers and keep it consistent throughout every tweet, blog and touchpoint.
Offer an amazing deal
Few people can pass up a truly great deal, so while you shouldn’t ever sell a product or service at a loss, offer something that is simply too good to refuse. Be very clear on exactly what you are offering to avoid confusion and restrict the deal to a limited time only to encourage people to act now. Advertise in places where your target audience are likely to notice and prepare to get busy, because you won’t want that much needed rush to undermine quality or service.
Blow people away with your customer service
Go above and beyond with your customer service and you will have no problem encouraging repeat business. Allow people to customize their orders if they wish, provide a rock solid guarantee on everything you sell and make it easy for people to contact you the way they are most comfortable, whether it be via email, phone, twitter, Live Chat or in person. Ensure that your website contains all of the information a potential customer could need and take every customer complaint seriously, regardless of how small it may be.
Shake things up
Trying something new can be rather lucrative, especially if you can find a new way to deal with a common want, need or problem. Startups Uber and Airbnb have made a fortune by taking a new approach to the simple tasks of hailing a taxi and booking accommodation, while shoe company, TOMS, has sold over 10 million pairs of shoes by agreeing to donate a pair for every one sold. Whether you offer your products or services on a pay-what-you-can basis or allow your customers to make their own bookings online, trying something different is a fantastic way to turn a few heads.
If you need quality, original content that speaks your customers’ language, I can help. Contact me today for a free consultation and quote.
Since the beginning of human history people have relied on stories. They have shaped how we think about ourselves, our cultures and the world around us and provided a way for us to inspire, trust and relate to one another. Stories give us a way to stand out, a means to fit in and they make information easier to digest, remember and share.
Every business has a story to tell and telling yours can make it easier for people to understand who you are, what you do and why. For best results, keep the following tips in mind.
Keep it simple
A strong and simple message will have the greatest impact, so whether you are a long running family business or a rapidly growing start up, focus on the core values of your business and clearly describe exactly what it is that you do. Use simple language, avoid jargon and try to explain things in a way that your target audience is likely to understand.
Generate some hype
A good story needs to be inspiring, especially if you are trying to convince people to believe in you and jump on board. So go ahead, share your grand vision for the future and give everyone a reason to get excited about your business. While you will need to back up any big claims you make, there is certainly nothing wrong with being ambitious.
Use humour (carefully)
If you can make someone laugh you are well on your way to forming a connection with them and a funny story is also far more likely to be remembered and shared. Just be sure to keep it professional and steer clear of anything that could be considered offensive, because while the right style of humour can make a story more engaging, getting it wrong can cause a PR disaster.
Reveal a secret
There is no better way to form a bond with someone than to reveal one of your secrets, particularly if it is something surprising, interesting or entertaining. Admitting a mistake, talking about a personal challenge you overcame or revealing an unusual habit will not only show your human side, it will make it easier for people to trust you. But, obviously, don’t reveal anything that could potentially harm your credibility.
Hold something back
A good story should be interesting enough to draw the audience in yet hold enough back that they are left wanting more. Break your story up into segments, have them build upon each other and unveil them one at a time. Whatever you do, don’t give away everything all at once as there will be no reason for people to come back.
If you need help crafting your business story, I can help. Contact me today for a free consultation and quote.
Regardless of your business or industry, your website content is vital. It can establish you as an expert, help you stand out from the crowd and it provides a crucial opportunity to engage with your target audience. You can tell a lot about a business from its website content, be sure that yours is saying the right things about you.
Don’t blow your own horn
Your website should be focused on providing a quality user experience not shamelessly promoting yourself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate winning an industry award or completing an impressive project, just don’t overdo it. The best way to promote yourself is to have your customers do the bragging for you on your testimonial page.
Address the big issues
If there is something big going on in your business or industry address it on your website. Whether there is new legislation being passed or an exciting new tech development on the horizon, discussing those hot topics is a sure-fire way to generate plenty of interest. Address any of those closer to home issues as well, because if your business is re-branding, expanding or has become embroiled in some sort of scandal, addressing it will prevent rumours and confusion from undermining your business.
Fresh is best
Regularly adding content to your site will mean there is always a reason for people to come back and every visit is an opportunity to develop relationships, deepen awareness of your brand and, of course, make sales. An added benefit of fresh content is that search engines love it and will reward you with higher page rankings. For best results, add something new to your site at least once each week.
Maintaining a consistent style and tone throughout your content will not only sound more professional, it will slowly build familiarity and make it easier for people to trust you. Consistency is also important in regard to when you add content to your site, because if you want people to drop by regularly you had better give them something new to look at.
Master your keywords
A keyword is any word that someone might use to search for businesses like yours online and incorporating the right ones into your content can boost your visibility. There are countless free tools online that track the most relevant industry keywords and your website analytics will reveal the words people have used to find you. Just be sure to use your keywords naturally, rather than stuff them in as an afterthought; otherwise your content will be viewed as spam and your search engine rankings will suffer as a result.
It can be hard to keep up the flow of fresh, quality content when you are busy running your business. I can help. If you need content that is engaging, consistent and original, contact me today for a free consultation and quote.