Business owners and entrepreneurs work harder every day. They think about their business 24/7. Most however don’t have websites anywhere near as flexible as they are and fewer have sites that can jump into new opportunities as fast as they can. This hurts you in the fast paced business world we’re in today.
And just as businesses are trying to integrate their piece of the social media explosion into their business plan (or even trying to understand how it can help them), the mobile web has exploded between iPhone and Android Google phones. Suddenly, we all realize that a dynamic, constantly updated website should be as second nature as getting your business cards updated with your new email address.
Your website should do more than just provide a list of services and a way to contact you because you do more than that in your day to day business life. You need your website to reflect your business dynamically – its direction, its events, its announcements, its new customers, and its know-how. Here are six tips to get you thinking in these terms:
1. Your Customer’s Viewpoint. Know your audience. You research your prospects before your presentations so you should tailor your website to your prospective customers. What are their pain points? Your website home page needs to provide the answer to these points while making it clear your company is the solution. This is your message. It’s the one sentence description of your company you use every day when you meet new people. It should be prominent and easy to understand on your website. It will give meaning to your call to action.
2. Cutting Edge. This applies to any business. You don’t need to discover the next billion dollar patentable idea either. It just means you’re forward-thinking. Your customers know you stand out but how do prospects get this from your static website? Show your methods, change them by improving them, and use your blog to let your prospects know you’re not resting on past accomplishments. Show them instead your company has the depth and foresight to recognize and address key new initiatives in customers’ industries.
3. Visibility. You pass your cards out, go to industry events, attend social functions and maybe even trade shows. How extensive is your internet activity? Twitter, Facebook Fan pages and LinkedIn Company pages are pretty much mandatory. Your website should have prominent links/buttons to lead to these company social media accounts. Further website integration, especially of Twitter also should be considered. You are not necessarily getting a new customer but you are marketing and further branding your company at every online turn you get. Social media integrated into your website is the easiest way to let people know your site is successful, thriving and dynamic. Of course, this will then be the view they have of your business.
4. Excitement. Does your business exude excitement? Is it cutting edge or does it just do what so many others do — but with unbounded energy and enthusiasm? Show this on your website. Competent at what you do is expected but boring. You’re not boring in person so your website should not be either. Create a lean design with prominent colors and clear message, frequent updates, social media links, blog articles where comments can be left and your Twitter feed. Excitement is a simple formula for your website.
5. Achievements. Your company may or may not have awards but having them lets you show off your recognized abilities. Even if you have them, and certainly if you don’t, you have to draw attention to your business without looking like you’re bragging — and therefore out of the budget of what could become great customers. Stay in front of your existing clients. Get their feedback and reflect this on your website. Testimonials can be made more real with suggestions and your engagement in social media. Your website should show your close relationship with your customers, that you take feedback seriously, and that your business has the confidence to show its improvements.
6. Services or Solutions? Think about your customers. You let them know how you can solve their problem when you meet with them in person — your website should too. Make your website a reflection of your live efforts with more than just a list of your services. Examples of how you have helped other businesses are helpful — case studies. And an integrated blog should address common problems and unlikely scenarios alike giving solutions. A blog should be free advice with no sales pitches. The combination of these elements will show your customers your company’s depth of knowledge and expertise while focusing on how you can solve their key problems.
Technology all makes this happen easier and faster than you think. Gone are days of static html websites. New internet technologies are to be taken advantage of. Open source content management systems are financially feasible, secure and customizable for your company brand. Content management systems let you frequently update your website and keep it as dynamic as your business. Since you won’t slow down, get your website to speed up a little..