10 Years ago having a website was only for the “big” companies. Today it is a non-negotiable in this market. If you can’t be found online, you won’t be in business long. If you are like most businesses, you realized this and have a website, but what are you really telling the customer? Does your website look like a digital brochure or an online storefront? Is it just a blog that you are trying to make a functional website or is it a true representation of who you are and the experience the customer can expect? I have seen some amazing businesses that have a website I wouldn’t even bother putting on my business card. The same thing can be said for the other way around, I have seen a mind blowing website that when I showed up to the business I didn’t get the service or product I was “promised” from the way the website looked.
The aesthetics of your website and the way it functions are two different things and you can’t confuse them. You should know what your customer enjoys looking at and you should also know what they want to do on your site. If your customers are sold by the visual of your product then you should have a lot of pictures. If they are sold by product demonstration then you should have video demonstrating your product. If they are sold on a service and your accolades or recommendations are what encourage them to do business with you then you should have plenty of testimonials.
As far as the functionality of your website, what do you want customers to do when they are on there, or rather, what do customers want to use your website for. Is it just informative, do they need to be able to shop and purchase online? What about the ability to interact with others or yourself? The habits your target customer has in your industry are going to be very insightful and helpful to make sure the online expectation is met. Having a website is no longer enough, you have to be what I need when I need it and tell me what I want to hear.
Mobile is a whole other story! The talk of mobile websites is on everyone’s lips right now, but do you really understand what the purpose of having one is? When you are thinking about investing in a mobile website, do you understand how people will use it? If you think they are going to spend hours looking into your pages and the content on a smart phone you are wrong. Your mobile site can actually have different content on it and different search capabilities. Make sure that you spend time with a web development company that understands your target consumer and how they will use your site, how it needs to look and how they will use it in a mobile capacity.
I think that most people understand they need to be saying something online, so they get a website. Check! Then they know they have to show up in search so they spend some money on that. Check! The next action isn’t really thought about as far as what will happen when someone actually makes it to my site? Think about it and make sure you like what you are telling them.
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