A website is a valuable asset to have whether you are a large corporation or a small business. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, a website makes your products and services accessible 24/7.
It gives you a platform to share your expertise and enhance your reputation as an expert in the industry. The website is your storefront window. If it is mobile-responsive, people can access your website wherever they are.
And perhaps that is the problem with most websites – it only talks about the brand, the owners, the products and services, and the company.
Of course, the website is also a way of connecting with your customers through marketing. It can build your followers, generate leads, and convert interest into paying customers.
You have to promote the business and give your visitors important information on what you can do for them.
At Mountaintop, we view the website as more than just a business asset or a marketing tool.
For us, we think of the client’s website as a medium of communication – an avenue which the client should use to connect with the most important participant in the business cycle:
Why You Need A Website That Speaks To Customers
Have you ever had a conversation with a person you just met and all he ever wanted to talk about was himself?
His pronouns were limited to “I”, “Me”, and “Myself”.
We bet the “Exit” sign never looked more inviting!
A conversation involves 2 or more people interacting with each other. Essentially, a conversation has 2 participants – a talker and a listener.
You cannot have a conversation if only one person is talking. There must be an exchange of ideas or opinions. A feedback mechanism must exist for the communication cycle to continue.
In business, communication is a very important quality for the following reasons:
- Fosters strong, long-lasting relationships
- Addresses problems, issues, and concerns in a prompt and professional manner
- Encourages everyone in the value chain to be more involved
- Minimizes the incidence of misunderstandings
- Builds loyalty and trust
If you only talk about yourself, how can you establish a relationship with the person you are having a conversation with if you won’t allow him/her to be heard?
The same analogy can be applied to a business website.
If all the business website talks about is its products and services, its history, and its founders, how would it know what the customers need if it doesn’t give them the opportunity to be heard?
Yes, brand-building is important for a business. In fact, we have written an article about it “Importance Of Having A Strong Brand”.
We recommend giving the article a quick read. It will give you a good idea of why it is important to communicate or “speak” with your customers if you want to successfully build your brand.
Essentially, your brand is a promise. When your customers see it, they know what they are going to get. It encapsulates everything about you; the attributes that best define who you are and your business.
Thus, your brand is you. If you want your brand to resonate with your customer, it should allow feedback or a response.
The customer needs to see their story on your website. It should clearly articulate the following:
- What your business offers to customers
- How the business can make the customer’s life better
- What the customer needs to do in order to purchase your products or service
In short, the customer should be able to see in their story everything that your business does.
The “About Us” page? It does not have to be about you.
The Home Page? The value proposition should not just speak of the brand. It should speak to the customer.
There are other ways to open up the communication channels of your website to your customers. By doing so, you will have a website that sells to customers.
1. Turn the “About Us” Page Into the “About You” Page
The About Us page is used to share information about the founders of the company; its main decision-makers and top managers. It reads like a Bio.
You will find information such as where they graduated from, their work experience, achievements, top skills, and maybe a few details about their personal lives.
An example of an About Us page content would read as follows:
“Albert D. Johnson – Founder, Johnson Manufacturing
I graduated from Princeton University in 1988 and had my first job as Operations Manager at Cartwright and Sons Manufacturing Company. After 25 years as a paid employee, I decided to start Johnson Manufacturing. In my spare time, I enjoy walking my dogs, reading poetry, and wine tasting.”
While the bio is short and concise, how would the information help the customer?
What is the value of the shared information – Albert’s Princeton degree, his first job, the decision to start his own company, and wine tasting – to the customer?
Instead of making the About Us page about you, make it about the customer.
Show the customer why they have come to the right place – that your business understands their concerns and has the products, services, skills, and expertise to help them address their problems.
Here is how we would rewrite Albert Johnson’s About Us bio:
“Hi! I’m Albert Johnson. After 25 years in the manufacturing industry, I decided to put up Johnson Manufacturing. It was my way of addressing all the problems I saw in the companies I worked for.
At Johnson, our products go through a strict 5-tier Quality Control system so that our customers will get what they paid for – and more! We signed up partnerships with logistics and delivery companies such as Argo Transportation and Levingston Logistics to ensure prompt service for you.
Our commitment is to surpass YOUR expectations every time!”
The bio is more conversational. It speaks directly to the customer. From the founder’s own words, you know what the company is all about and how it can help you address your own needs.
2. Make Your Products and Services Page Relevant to Your Customers
The Products and Services page is one of the most popular sections on your website. Customers click on it to see what merchandise you sell or types of services you offer.
Information on product specifications, pricing, production timetable, and delivery dates are fine.
Here is an example of a write up on a running shoe:
Model: Trail Runner RX77
- Made of graphene
- Available in sizes 7 to 16
The information provided is standard for a running shoe. Again, the question begs to be asked:
How will the information help the customer find the shoe he needs?
Here is a better, more customer-centric write up:
Model: Trail Runner RX77
Trail Runner RX77 was designed for runners who love running over rough trail. The shoe is made of Graphene which is the lightest material ever developed but is 200 times stronger than steel!
The RX77 weighs in at only 280gms, the lightest trail shoe on the market. It has an 8mm heel drop which helps stabilize your heels when running up and down mountains.
The shoe is designed for flat-footed runners. However, if you have an arch, Thundra can install a customized support heel for you.
The new and improved write up on the shoe product clearly resonates more with the customer. It contains more specific details about the shoe; its advantages, key selling points, and whom it is for.
3. Highlight Third-Party Validation
Forget celebrities. The customer is the best endorser for your products and services.
Third-party validation such as testimonies, case studies, awards and other forms of recognition are powerful tools that assure the customer that they have come to the right website.
If your business has forged partnerships with other reputable companies, it would be a good idea to include their logos on your website.
Third-party validation act as “emotional triggers”. They give customers a feeling of safety and protection.
Seeing other popular brands affiliated with your company will further encourage your customers to transact with you instead of your competitors.
4. Contact Information Must Be Complete
How do you react when you come across a website where the contact information does not include an office address or a phone number?
Some companies don’t see the need for including an office address or a phone number because they do business exclusively online.
Customers may think otherwise. A business that does not include key information such as an office address and a phone number may appear dodgy.
If you want to foster trust with your customer, you must be transparent about your business’ information even if you run everything online. It would be a great idea to publish pictures of your office; your managers and staff.
5. Secure Your Website
We have written extensively about the importance of securing your website in our articles “Why It Is More Important To Secure Your Data In 2019” and “SSL Basics: Why You Need To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.
For the reason that hacking and other acts of cyber-criminality have been increasing in frequency, consumers have become more cautious in dealing with websites that are not secure.
In response, Google made a game-changing adjustment in its algorithm. The Internet’s largest search engine gave a search ranking boost to websites that have SSL certificates.
In contrast, websites that don’t have SSL certificates will be marked “Not Secure”. If you own a website, would you risk getting marked “Not Secure” by Google?
Getting SSL certificates for your website will offer your customers more safety and protection. Most importantly, they will feel valued by you.
If you want to get SSL certificates for your website, give us a call or an email. We provide this service to our clients. It will be one of the best decisions you can make for your website.
6. Improve User Experience
If they can’t find it, they won’t buy it.
That is a popular adage in sales. Whether you own a department store like Walmart or run an e-commerce business, navigability plays a big role in customer experience.
Your website must be easy for customers to navigate. Unlike a Walmart where a customer won’t mind perusing through multiple aisles before finding what they need, consumers’ online behavior is much different.
If your customer can’t find what he is looking for, he will click out and go to your competitor. All of this can happen within 8 seconds.
Before we make a recommendation for a redesign to our clients, we take the time to study the site’s analytics.
Specifically, we will focus on traffic and usage patterns. We look for trends and base our redesign recommendations on available data. The idea is to make the client’s website as easy to navigate as possible.
Likewise, if you have procedures, list down the process in a step-by-step format with the instructions as clear cut as possible.
What procedures are these?
- How to order
- How to reach customer service
- How to file complaints
The easier it is for customers to use your website, the greater the probability of them patronizing your business.
7. Encourage Your Customers to Give Feedback
The general rule when conceptualizing a business is to create a product or service for your customer. Identify a need then come up with a product or service that provides the solution.
Therefore, it makes sense to get your customers involved in the product development process. Your product must evolve according to the changing needs of your market.
We can integrate feedback forms and email links on your website. Encourage the customer to provide feedback about your business. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews.
In business, you should not expect to please everyone. Negative reviews can help you pinpoint flaws in your products, services, and processes so you can find ways to improve on them.
8. Be Clear About Your CTAs
A Call-To-Action or CTA is an instruction to your customer: What do you want your customer to do?
Customers prefer CTAs that are clear and very definitive in what the business wants them to do. Passive CTAs such as “Learn More” and “Get Started” won’t work.
The CTA can be a powerful button on your website. However, it should come across as more decisive and definitive.
Good examples of decisive CTAs are “Buy Now” and “Sign Up For Our Newsletter”.
For your brand-building strategy to succeed, it should have a constant cycle of communication with your customers.
Your website gives you the platform to communicate with your customers so you can build strong, long-lasting, and productive relationships.
If you are thinking of building a website or want your current one redesigned, give us a call. We will make you a website that will clearly sell to your customers!