Do you remember your first time? Awkward, wasn’t it? You were nervous, unsure, a million thoughts going through your mind: What position? Is this the right angle? Will they like it?
Yup, you’ll never forget your first selfie.
Of course, selfies are all about you, that’s why they’re called selfies. Your website, on the other hand, is definitely not about you – so why do countless business websites drone on and on about how great they and their company are?
In the 90s, just having a website was quite an accomplishment, since building and managing a site took a great amount of time and money. In those days, how a website looked was secondary to what it did: tell or sell. The site either told you about the person/company without a call to action (the online ”business card”), or offered products for sale. Of course, anyone who started selling online in the 90s is probably sitting pretty right now — just ask Jeff Bezos.
Since the last century, the technology of websites has evolved so much that their affordability now reaches the bottom of the totem pole, giving even the smallest businesses the ability to get online. And with the advent of CMS (i.e., WordPress) sites, SEO and social media, how websites are built, managed, found, accessed and utilized has changed completely.
In many cases, the only thing about the web that hasn’t changed is the way business owners think about their websites. It’s not a business card anymore. Your website needs to be your sales force, admin, customer service rep, consultant and yes, therapist — all rolled into one. Your site needs to show, not tell, why you’re the best choice for visiting clients and prospects.
When it comes to making your website work for both you and your clients or prospects, your site should include the following elements:
1. Strong imagery. No, not of you and your company, although these images should be included on your About Us page. Imagery has been shown to be the key lure for users to spend more time on social media platforms, blogs and websites. When users come to your website, they should see large, vibrant images that convey such things as the services you offer, the problems you address and the solutions you provide.
2. Calls to action. The main objective of any website is to incite the user to action. Why not make that easier to happen? Think of at least 2 services/solutions you provide, and feature them at the top of your homepage, linking them to more information so that the user can make a decision as fast as possible.
3. Testimonials. No, not “So and so is awesome!”, which says nothing of value. You should feature testimonials that state the problem a client was experiencing, why they came to you and how you solved that problem. Of course, if these points are made, then they can say “So and so is awesome!”.
4. Blog, News or white paper. Blogging, posting news articles and/or offering white papers relevant to your industry are great ways to build a credible reputation. These types of content are further testaments to your knowledge, skills and problem solving abilities, and show why and how your company can help the user.
5. A standout About Us page. Yes, it is still a little about you, but you’re only one element in the story of your business — others include your team, your company philosophy, history and mission. The About Us page is frequently the second page a user visits on your site, make sure it’s as strong as you can make it. Here are some great examples of awesome About Us pages, plus a few more.
All of the above will contribute to your website marketability. Other elements that comprise an effective, engaging company website include readable and concise content (which may require a copywriter), easy to find contact information and please, please, please make sure it is mobile friendly. Of course, these go without saying — right?
Your website is still the fulcrum of a successful business. If you make sure to use the WE before the I in WEbsIte, you’ll find yourself working together with more clients to solve their problems — and yours.