by Reuben Estrada
In today’s rapidly changing world of technology it is easy for business owners to get lost between SEO (search engine optimization), Social networking, Blogging, and Website management. Far too often, when coaching a client I learn that they are confused as to what to spend their time and resources on and often find them doing nothing. No Social Networking strategy in place, not changing their SEO plan and worse of all, no clear strategy for their web sites. “Far too many strategies to learn about and work on while still running my business” is what I hear from the business owner. “What should I do?” I am asked.
Well, I have always played by the simple rule of “Begin with the end in mind”. How does that apply to this situation you may ask? Simple; the end with any and all of the strategies above is to drive traffic to your web site. It was reported recently that 80% of all purchases included the buyer visiting the sellers web site, be it a restaurant, furniture store or car dealership. I do it. My wife and I are driving down the road and I get the craving for some Susi. I turn on the Google Places finder on my Andriod and look for Susi Restaurants in the area. I check out their web sites from my phone and quickly select the one I want to eat at based on what I see. I may have selected the worse of all restaurants, but they had a good web site. So I tell my client, “Let’s take a good look at your web site. Then we will design the plan to drive traffic there.”
First of all you must decide what you want your web site to be. There are three general types of web sites and one of them will be best suited for your business. Your job is to decide which of the three your business needs then build you web design and strategy around it. Here are the three;
- Customer Focused: This web site is rich with tools and information for Customers to access when doing business with you. It may have industry or trade specific information, company credentials and certifications, product or service use videos and a “log in” for customer to check on their order or history of purchases. Although these web sites may have access for new visiting potential customers to get more information, or even make a purchase, the overall strategy of the site is to serve a current customer base. A good example of this is any of the Verizon web sites. When visiting their site one will find hundreds of links for “How to” with Verizon; however, on these same customer service pages Verizon is advertising their newest phone, new service packages or other special deals.
- Resource or Information Focused: Some web sites exist simply to offer information or to be a resources, or repository, of specific information. They do not have very little customer benefit information nor do they have a sales component to then. They are primarily a place to go to learn something specific about a company, organization or industry. As you are reading this you may be thinking to yourself, “Why would Ruben even mention this type of site strategy. I am a for profit business that needs customers and sales, not a “Resource” company.” Here is why. Far too often when visiting a customer’s web site we discover that the site does a great job providing information about the company history, its accomplishments and credentials. There are pages after pages of “how we do this” and “How we do that”. In fact there may even be a full page just about the owner. Nice head shot, great bio and fascinating story. Good INFORMATION about the company and an excellent RESOURCE if someone was doing a autobiography of you and your business. But when it comes to customer service or driving sales to your business, “who cares about your bio”?
- Sales: A web site designed to drive sales, or leads, to your business answers this question on the home page; “what was the visitor thinking when they typed in the key search words to find me?” For example, if I own an auto body repair shop and someone types in “Auto body repair” I can pretty much assume they have been in an accident, are a bit distressed, maybe even hurt or angry and want rapid response. So I may load the top of my home page with the words “CALL US AT 909.444.2222 FOR GUARANTEED 5 MINUTE RESPONSE”. Then I would follow that with more information that caused the buyer to trust my business capabilities focusing on prompt service, ease of transaction then our capabilities. A Sale’s focused web site has “Contact us” buttons flashing on every page. Local phone numbers are easily visible above the fold on every page, not hidden in the top ribbon or below the fold where the visitor has to scroll down to find it.
So, beginning with the end in mind here means to build a web site strategically designed to serve your desired visitor, not to server your ego. If you are still lost as to what to do next after reading this article, get some guidance by calling a professional business coach at EstradaStrategies.com.