But You can Learn how to Turn Your Website into a Place People are Happy to Stay (and Buy Your Services)
Now I haven’t actually seen your website, so how do I know this haemorrhaging is happening to you?
No, I’m not some kind of magician.
Well, studies indicate that when someone arrives at your website, you have less than 7 seconds to grab their attention and keep them there. You may even have as little as 3 seconds. That’s about the time it took you to read these last 2 sentences!
If you’re not telling those potential customers very quickly why they should stick around, they probably won’t. It is long known that a website’s homepage should answer the Who, What & Why Questions, yet very few sites actually address those questions immediately, directly and simply. They fluff around, mention ‘mission statements’ and use the word “we” a lot. And lose potential customers.
Does your website make this kind of mistake? Go and check it now … I’ll wait here
In my 16 years of web experience I’ve seen many, many website and very, very few do this right. Now the structure of a good homepage – and how to write one – would take too long to mention here but do make sure yours addresses those Who, What & Why questions.
Your customers will love you for it. Well, they will like you enough to stick around on your site longer, at least.
OK, here’s another question for you: What is the primary purpose of your website?
If you can’t answer that, how is a potential customer going to know? If you just want to have a ‘web presence’ (or brochureware site, as they’re known in the web design industry) because everyone else is on the web, that’s fine. But like those brochures that sit ignored on your receptionist’s desk, don’t expect your website to be viewed much either.
People have short attention spans and those are even shorter when on the web, so your website must be laser-beam focused on what you want to achieve with those potential customers. If the primary purpose of your website is to get potential customers to pick up the phone and give you a call, tell them to do it and give your phone number right there.
I am astounded by the number of sites which make it hard to find their contact details. Sure, this is often on the “Contact Us” page (and you’d better have one of these) but your phone number should really be on every page, in the header or in the footer, or both.
You could do worse than keeping the mantra “Don’t make my customers think” in your head when reviewing or creating your own site.
How easy is it to find your phone number on your website? Go and check it now … actually, finish reading this, then go and check.
As I mentioned in my previous post on How To Attract Local Customers via Google for Free, Google now shows local business listings for searches including a location. In that post I used the example search phrase “plumber auckland”. Google reports that there were over 6,000 searches per month in New Zealand for keywords related to “plumber” and almost 700 of those were people looking for plumber specifically in Auckland.
The numbers vary from industry to industry but does your website specifically target any of those groups of searching people relevant to you? If not, you should be. These are people who are searching the web for the answers and help you can give them.
What are you and your website doing to effectively capture a portion of those potential customers?
Have you thought about actively advertising with Google to capture those people and bring them to your website to sell your services to them? The Yellow Pages and traditional advertising is dying a slow death, by the way.
So if you know What the primary purpose of your website is, and everything on your site is geared towards achieving that goal and is customer friendly and focused, then you’re already well ahead of the pack and ready for business in the 21st century.
P.S. If you’ve been thinking it’s time to update your website but aren’t sure where to start, here my blatant sales pitch: Take a look at my Website Warrant Of Fitness. It checks over 110 points on your website and gives you a full report on what issues need to be addressed.
It will save you time and money. Just recently an accountant had me check her ‘brand new’ website and I gave her my comments on what was required to bring it in line with what customers really want. The cost her web designer gave for ‘fixing’ her new site was almost the same as getting it built in the first place. Measure twice – cut once!