When the time comes to create or redesign your business website, it’s so easy to fall into that bottomless pit of thinking about all the things you want online. Do not pass go! Hold up, and shift your perspective. Don’t think about what you want online, think about what your current and potential customers really want from your website.
Get an idea – in advance of what your end goals are for your business website. Do you want it to be informational, a lead generator or do you want to sell products online? Think about what your visitors need when they visit you online.
Consider why someone is coming to your website. Really? Why would you be visiting if you were a customer or prospect? There are usually two reasons for most small business website owners:
They just need a specific piece of information that’s on your business website.
They’re researching and considering doing business with you.
That’s about it. If they’re considering doing business with you, your goal is simply to give them just enough information that will get them one step further in the sales process (to call, email or visit you in-person).
It’s a lot like staging a house to sell or going on a first date. Your goal is to impress them enough that they want to take the next step in the relationship or buying process.
However, if you’re a business that’s selling a product online, then you’re entering the realm of e-commerce. Although that’s an entire topic all together, you’ll still want to fully grasp all the basic elements we’re discussing here that are extremely important to any small business owner.
One great way to get into that “think like them” mentality is to browse other business websites in your field in other towns and cities. As you browse these sites, pay attention to the content and ease-of-use on the site. Would you be proud if their website was yours? What on their site would entice a potential customer to call or visit you. Consider everything that you like and dislike. Wait! Are you still thinking like the customer? (OK, just checking). Now ask yourself, if I were a potential customer, what information would I want? Note which websites provide this information and which ones don’t.
After you have browsed a bunch of business website in your industry from the customers’ perspective, you’ll have a much better idea of what a customer will want when they visit your business website in the future. This information will be very important to always keep in mind while you create or recreate your own website.