7 things you didn’t know your website could do
A lot of businesses still use their website as though it’s nothing more than a 21st-century version of the white pages: a place where potential customers or clients can go to find their address or phone number – and perhaps learn a little about what they do.
But if you still think that way, you’re really missing out. Because these days your website can – and should – be about so much more.
So here are 7 things that you may not know your website can do…
1. Be the centre of your marketing efforts
As a former Creative Director in the big wide world of advertising agency land, it pains me to say this, but I will anyway…. Advertising, at least the way so many business owners once knew it, is in its death throes.
What’s replacing it is all these new whizz bang digital forms of marketing, you hear about – content marketing, social media marketing, CPC and SEO marketing.
But the way they work is by sending people to your website.
So what do people see when they find you? Is it something that Something that positions you properly, giving them the message you want them to hear and the experience you want them to take away.
And how about the people who visit your site off their own bat or based on a recommendation? (After all, virtually no one picks up the phone anymore without first checking you out digitally.)
Forget how you dress in the office or your pretty packaging, your website is your digital first impression. And, it’s also where all your marketing efforts begin. That means every campaign you launch, every email you send, every social media post you make, should always take account of your website.
2. Capture data
Speaking of which, one of the most effective ways to use your website as a marketing platform is by using it to build long-term relationships. And the first step in doing that is to capture the details of people visiting your website.
Get enough names, email address or phone numbers and you’ll give yourself a ready-made market of warm leads to launch new products and deals to, to send your eNewsletters to and to otherwise nurture until they become buyers.
But, again, you have to do it right.
People want a value exchange, so if you’re asking for an email address be prepared to give away something – such as a whitepaper or detailed article – in return. This can be a powerful way to build rapport and remain in the customer’s mind while they assess their options.
But, remember, this of itself going to make you unique.
You also need to make sure whatever you’re providing is memorable, relevant and useful. And, most importantly, it needs to be based on your own insights into how a customer will benefit from your knowledge, your products and your services.
3. Pre-qualify your leads
In my experience, a lot of businesses waste a lot of time trying to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to enquiries. But a good website does that job for you. With the right content and user experience (UX) strategy, a website will help you filter customers before you invest time in them.
By using clever site design you can help make sure that, by the time someone gets around to making their buying decision, they already know they want from you. And, by combining that design with analytics and data that shows how people behave on your site, it can also give you a much clearer idea of how to best service their needs.
4. Provide better customer service
Any purchase has two distinct journeys: one before the sale is made and one after. A great website is there for both.
We’ve already mentioned how a great web experience can streamline your pre-sales (or even sales) delivery. When it comes to the after-sales experience your site has a role to play too.
For instance, your website should be set up to deal with the most common types of queries, issues or complaints you receive. By including practical help in a help or support section, you’ll avoid having to spend money and labour answering routine calls.
But the best websites go further, providing a portal to customer service or support that makes the process more efficient and gives them everything they need quickly. This could be a simple FAQ section, a download section for supporting documents or even a live chat capability.
Again, it’s about improving efficiency when you deal with your customers so that you save time, money and a lot of headaches.
5. Give you another staff member
When you really get your website helping your business it can become another staff member – one who works 24 hours a day/7 days a week and has an almost unlimited capacity to get the job done. To put this into perspective, how much would you pay a year to have someone do your admin, follow up customers and answer most queries that come through the door? How about things like analysing data and alerting you to changes in buyer behaviour or interacting with your brand – tasks which you’d usually have to pay a reasonably senior employee to do?
Well, after your initial investment your website will start to do all of these things and more, virtually for free.
6. Make your business more efficient
If you think of your website as something that only offers external visitors an experience, think again. Your website can play a central role in streamlining your business processes, linking disparate parts of your organisation together and getting your organisation collaborating. Currently use different systems for ordering or booking system, CRM, customer service software and dispatching? Your website can replace the lot.
Contact me if you want a real life example of how we did just this for one client. Their new website didn’t just improve sales, it improved the exponentially.
It did this by freeing up staff to focus on product planning, giving them time to refine their offering and release new products.
7. Become your best referrer
When all of these things come together, your website will position you well, show people how you help, provide great customer service and give you a more efficient business. And when that happens, guess what? People will start telling others about it too.
You’ll get more people visiting your site more regularly, more people signing up to your mailing lists, more people reading what you have to say or watching the videos you’re producing.
That ultimately, should also lead to more business….and that’s the point.
After all, a website isn’t a static thing you have simply because everyone has one. Done properly, it’s both a strategic asset and living, breathing member of your team.
So… how many of these things does your website currently do?
And, if you’d like it to do more of them, get in touch.