What first impressions does your website make on prospects? Consider this scenario. You are a prospect trying to decide whether to do business with a company, so you look up their website before you make your purchasing decision. When you pull up the website, something looks horribly wrong. Maybe the colors clash, the fonts are unreadable, the pictures aren’t sized appropriately or the navigation is impossible to understand. Whatever the problem, you won’t be sticking around to find out, and that company just lost your business.
There’s no excuse for bad web design. With so many templates to choose from, anyone can set up a professional-looking website cheaply in a few hours – or hire someone to do it for you. If your website looks bad, it reflects poorly on your company and drives prospects away.
Your Website: A 24/7 Office Location
Think of your website as your online office location: one that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a place where prospects can stop in at their convenience to:
- Read about your products and services.
- Learn more about people with similar problems and how you’ve helped them.
- Browse your online FAQ.
- Contact you via an online form.
- Purchase your products securely.
Advantages of Your Virtual Office on the Internet
Your new office has many advantages including:
- Global reach – Even if you do business locally, you can reach a wider range of prospects very cost-effectively.
- Highly targeted – It’s an opportunity to specifically target those most likely to buy your services through search engine optimization and keyword advertising. By focusing on keywords that your clients are most likely to search for, they self-select to visit your website in their search for information.
- 24/7 selling – Your website can make the best case possible for your products and services. It can walk prospects through their purchasing cycle from “just browsing” to “ready to do business” and provides a means of contacting you to set up an appointment. Or, if you offer products for sale, you can take orders directly through your site.
- Unlimited space – With print advertising, you are limited to the amount of space you’ve purchased, whether that’s the size of your ad or the number of pages in your brochure. On the web, you can publish as much information as you want in a variety of formats – written, images, audio, or video.
- Compete with larger companies – A professional website can put you on even footing with the larger companies in your industry.
Just as you wouldn’t haphazardly open a branch office without planning the logistics of how things will be done, you shouldn’t set up your website without taking into consideration location (your domain name), aesthetics (your visual design), marketing materials (your website contents), and advertising (how you will promote your site). Putting together something that is “good enough” wouldn’t work for a new office location. Why should your website only be “good enough?”