What Your Current Website is (Likely) Missing – Even if You Just Designed a New One

Too many small-business owners are paying big bucks for new websites that miss the mark on what their prospects want to see. Why? Content is still king, and most new sites are skimping on content in favor of only pretty images.

The best case against putting together a website that’s almost entirely built on images is that you can simply use your Instagram profile as your portfolio – and it’s free! Why spend time or money if Instagram is doing it for you already.

No, your website is so much more than just an image gallery and an “Inquire Now!” button.

What else should go on your website beside photos and a contact form?

First, get into the mindset of today’s buyer. Research shows that nearly 70-80% of the buying process is complete before a prospect ever calls you. Wow.

Let’s just stop to think about the implications of that for a minute. Today’s clients want to know a lot about how you’re going to meet their needs before they make first contact. They don’t really want to talk to a salesperson, even if it’s the owner of the company selling the services.

What you provide them on your website has to fulfill the sales role that once had been filled with a person on the other end of the phone or working the brick-and-mortar store floor – and it’s a lot harder to sell this way!

Keep in mind that your website is attracting visitors at different stages in the buying process. Many people see four basic stages prospects follow:

1.     Awareness – Visitors don’t know very much about your company or what you do, so you have to tell them who you are, why you’re in business, what you stand for, and how your process works to buy something from you.

2.     Interest – Visitors are interested in the learning what your product or service can do for them. Tell them about the benefits of using it (not features), what it will do for them and how they’ll feel about it

3.     Decision – Visitors want to know specifics about what they will get if they decide to purchase. Give them a taste of the features you offer, and then give a call to action to get more specifics by contacting you.

4.     Action – Visitors are interested in making a purchase. Provide a “buy now” options if it’s possible, usually so with a smaller-scale transaction. For bigger purchases (over $100 or so), make them inquire for more specifics.

The key is to offer content on your website that gets information to each unique visitor at the right time. Two things will happen: First, visitors can be routed through proper links and navigation menus to a page that resonates directly with where they’re at in the buying process; Second, visitors will not be turned off/away by content that doesn’t match where they’re at in the buying process.

I’m not suggesting you abandon images. What I’m advising is to use a good balance of images with what was traditionally sales content. The best sites use images as part of the sales process for Interest and Decision, creating visuals that explain rather than bulky text blocks – or, even better, video with animation or actual humans talking.

What ever you do, don’t dump your content in an effort to get everything done in the 6-8 seconds you have to grab their attention. Grab it, and then do something useful with it!