What’s the value of a website? What does it do for your business? What’s the point?
We make websites. We know what they can do and what makes them tick. But what we were unsure of was what problem they were solving. We wanted to know what value websites bring to a business.
Are they strictly utilitarian? Are they a commodity? Are they something you just have to have?
We remember a time when websites were new and [literally] flashy. It was a new medium for your message and the rules hadn’t been written yet. It was the wild west and everything was new.
It’s been nearly 20 years since the first web page went up. Websites have become more professional, technology has improved, and there are much more rules, but only one that really matters.
The value of a website is in the information it provides. Remember the “Information Superhighway” and it’s king, Content? The purpose of a website has always been the same: Information.
So what does this mean for business owners looking to market their business online?
- Eliminate the Unknown – Make sure your potential customers get the answers to the questions they have about your business to remove any fears (rational or irrational) they have about doing business with you.
- Tell Who You Are – Customers want to know who they will be dealing with. This includes, but is not limited by the bio in your About page. Use real (not stock) photography whenever possible and let your personality show.
- Share Your Process – What’s it like interacting with you? What sort of interactions will I have with you? What will it cost? What are you hiding? What’s your motivation? Your website can and should explain all of these things.
You may have heard the expression, “Know, trust, buy,” which means that a customer has to know you before they trust you and trust you before they buy from you. Your website can ease and accelerate that process because they’ve already spent a lot of time on your site getting to know your business to the point they trust you enough to call you. This doesn’t mean your website is selling for you, but it is enabling you to sell. Think of it as an advertising brochure that someone is reading at the exact moment when they need your service. That’s the power of the Internet and if your website isn’t responding to a customer looking for services you offer, you’re business is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Erich Stauffer is an Indianapolis web design firm that uses the power of web technology to grow your business.