How Your Website Helps Your Company¹
Whether your target market is local consumers or your business primarily serves other companies, having an effective website is critical to your company’s success. Websites are interactive platforms that combine blogs, social media, video and other elements to engage customers and prospects. Done right, websites also become part of your company’s sellable assets.
Think of your website as the hub around which a variety of online promotional efforts is going to revolve.
First and foremost, your site needs to describe your business, its products or services, and your value proposition. Include an "About Us" page that describes your experience and qualifications, and provide information about how you prefer to do business with customers. If you’ve been serving satisfied customers for 20 years, for example, let people know about your track record.
Your website is also an important lead generation tool. Prospects researching your industry, products or services are looking for information to help them run their business more effectively or to solve a specific problem. When you offer information or advice that’s going to help them, you’ll go a long way to creating a relationship that can lead to future opportunities. Below are the best ways to reach out to your customers and potential customers and keep them coming back to your site.
Blogging for Success
Consider adding a blog in which you provide helpful information to customers and prospects about industry trends, ways they can use your products more effectively, changes within your company or community, or other information people will find helpful or interesting.
An effective blog helps you demonstrate your industry expertise, and sends a strong signal about your company’s professionalism and dedication. Additionally, a blog lets search engines know how often your site is being updated, which helps your ranking within search engine result pages.
Case studies or interviews with customers describing how they overcame challenges can provide helpful information to companies in similar circumstances, and also offers a subtle reinforcement of your company’s role as an effective resource for addressing business challenges.
Digital technology has made it easy for entrepreneurs to create basic videos, and online video has become an important tool for people researching products or services. Adding videos, online demonstrations and even audio presentations to your website can help your company’s professional image and make your business a more compelling choice for prospects.
Video demonstrations of how to use or assemble a product can be more helpful than printed directions, and can help people researching products understand your offerings more clearly.
An email newsletter that summarizes your blog content, or offers useful information readers will keep your business top of mind. The contact information readers provide when they subscribe, such as their email address and phone number, will prove valuable in your marketing efforts while also bringing them back to your site to see what’s new.
Social Media Outposts
Your homepage can also serve as a way for people who engage with your company through social media tools to learn more about your company and the people behind it. For instance, if you’re sending updates or observations on Twitter or making connections on LinkedIn, people are going to check out your homepage to learn more about you. Make sure the information they’ll find is current, accurate and informative, and you’ll gain considerably more value from those social media initiatives.
Small businesses are also creating Facebook Pages that supplement their websites and blogs by making their content available to Facebook’s audience. Providing targeted content for the different channels email, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, video, and Facebook offers the ultimate opportunity to promote your business and have customers and prospects to find you and keep your business top of mind.