As we start to approach the third decade of the 21st Century, it’s hardly news that for a business to succeed they need a strong online presence. Naturally, the hub of all this fervent digital activity should be the company’s website. Or should it?
The problem is, of course, like guacamole and the funky chicken in the 1970s, everybody’s doing it. So what are you going to do that’s different? What is it on your site that’s going to make you stand out from the crowd?
The problem with so many business and corporate websites is that, well, they’re so corporate. Of course, you want it to look professional and slick, you want it to load quickly, you want it to look good on all devices, but why are people going to visit your website in the first place? What are you giving them?
See, there’s the problem. Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your customers. Does it deliver them the information they want quickly and easily? Are the details of your services or products available in one or two clicks? Does the search function work properly? Can people contact you straight from their phone at the touch of a button? Is it secure? The key question, though, is does it have something on it that people want to share?
Your website might be the online hub of your business, but social media platforms are the spokes that surround it, connecting it to the people. That’s great for you to push the ads out for your latest product line or new service, but are adverts the kind of thing that people want to share? Not really. Reaching people is one thing, but engaging them is another matter entirely.
Instead of throwing your online catalogue at them, invite them to come and look it. Give them something they want to look at, that their friends will want to look at. Give them something useful that they can use – a tip on using one of your products, an infographic on the benefits of one of the services you offer, pictures of kittens. OK, maybe not the kittens, but the point is that if you hold out your hand and offer something to entice them they’re more likely to come and have a look than if you bombard them with adverts.
If you’ve created something that engages one person, chances are it’ll engage their friends, and if you’ve engaged that person in a positive way there’s a good chance they’ll share it with their wider circle. If you put regular, good, relevant, not ‘in-your-face’ sales content on your website you’ll find that your customers are doing your work for you by sharing that information, driving more people to your site to look around.
The other benefit of this giving and sharing concept is that in giving something away you stop being so ‘corporate’. You establish a relationship with your potential and existing customers, they trust you, and that makes them more likely to come back and use your website, or your Facebook page, or your Twitter account.
Don’t make the website the hub for your business, make it a hub for the people that use your business, that use your products.
Building a website for your business is never easy. We think that if you do things a little differently though, and put your customer at the heart of it, give them content that meets their needs and yours, you’re already on to a winning start that’s going to leave your competition in the dust.
We like doing things differently too. Corporate isn’t a bad thing, but it’s more of a method for us. It’s about professionalism and organisation, it’s about engagement and interaction with and for our customers. If this sounds good to you, if you want to do things differently, don’t hesitate to get in contact.