The benefits of an online presence for your business boils down to this: when you’re online, your doors are open 24/7. Potential customers can access information about you and the products or services that you offer in the moment, whenever that moment strikes.
So, you might be wondering how to quickly and efficiently get your business on the web. As a first phase, we look to replicate what the customer can do when they walk in to your store or office. That includes:
- Telling the story of your business and your brand
- Providing helpful information about your products or services
- Making purchases easy and secure
These three pieces of your website are the beginning of an effective online business. In this article, we’ll walk through each step and how it adds to the success of bringing your business online.
Step 1: Tell Your Story
When a potential customer walks into your store or office, they immediately begin to experience your brand. Every moment spent there helps to create an understanding of your business. From your location and paint choice to the way you greet and interact with clients, you build an image and a rapport.
When you can physically interact with a potential customer, you’re in charge of their experience.
When a potential customer finds you online, you lose some of that control. You only have a small window of time to pique interest and make an impression, all without saying a word!
That’s why it’s so important to have a strong, branded web presence. You can accomplish this through consistent messaging, images, and colours that speak to your ideal customer. Consider your brand when you:
- Design your website structure
- Create copy and content
- Choose images
- Select products or design your services page
When your potential client lands on your site, what do you want them to feel? What do you want them to know about you? These are the elements of your brand that your site should convey. Think of it as the equivalent of saying “Welcome, come in! Have a look around.”
Step 2: Make Your Offer
Once you’ve grabbed the attention of your potential client, it’s time to show ’em what you got! Your website needs to clearly display the products or services that you provide.
If your business is product based, it’s important to have a simple and informative product listing page on your site. A product listing page is like an online catalog your potential customer can flip through to learn more about what you sell. Your product page is an important step in converting a potential customer’s visit into a sale.
To build an effective product page, keep these tips in mind:
- Use good quality product images that match your brand and style where possible
- Use clear product titles and provide concise and informative descriptions
- Include size, colour, dimensions, and any other relevant information your customer could find out in store
- Ensure the price is easy to see and understand
- Be consistent; use similar size and style photos, descriptions, pricing format, etc.
If your business is service based, your potential clients should quickly be able to understand the services that you offer and how they’ll benefit. To nail down your services page, start by listing each of your services and writing your typical elevator pitch.
Think about what you would say to a potential client if they were standing in front of you. Next, whittle this down to a concise description that’s about a paragraph long at most. Keep your ideal client in mind as you write; imagine you’re crafting this message especially for them.
Depending on the complexity of your services, you might choose to link to a more detailed description page which includes more information about the process, benefits, timeframe, testimonials, etc. This should come only after you have consolidated your elevator pitch descriptions.
Step 3: Finalize The Sale
The last step in ensuring a seamless experience for your customer is providing a way to finalize the sale.
For product-based businesses, this means providing a secure payment system. An online payment option means that your customer can complete their transaction in the moment, securing their business no matter when they connect to you online, or from where.
For service-based companies, you have more options. You might implement an online booking and payment system to capture your potential client in the moment. However, depending on the type of service you offer, your site may include a call to action that prompts the potential client to reach out to you for further conversation.
Take It Further
A branded website, descriptive product or services page, and secure payment system or call to action serves to replicate your potential customer’s store in experience. While your online store can’t replace in-person interactions, it does open your doors to an entirely new branch of business.
Once your website is up and running, there are many ways to improve your online business. Online advertising, social media marketing and search engine optimization are just some of the things you’ll want to consider.
Need help getting started? We’ll work with you to build a website that speaks to your brand and makes it easy for your customers to access your business any time. Get in touch!