Staring a blank page or Word Doc is intimidating, isn’t it? Where should a business putting their website together focus first?
Helping many businesses with their websites, I’ve noticed this can be a real challenge for entrepreneurs.
The tendency is to want to tell all about how you got there, the story of your business and the people in it. But this is not where your focus should be when creating your business website.
It’s not about you; Focus on your Vistors
As you decide what goes on your business website, focus on your visitors.
Consider what they need from you.
- What questions are they asking?
- What answers are they seeking that led them to stumble upon your website?
- What barriers are in their way of getting what they want?
- What are they likely frustrated about right now and need you to resolve?
When considering your visitors, it boils down to these two principles:
- Be helpful and of service to your ideal customer
- Anticipate their needs and meet them where they are at
What does being of service and anticipating the needs of your customers look like?
When I was looking for a replacement part for my blender, I didn’t need a sales pitch or a repeat of the information in the handout that came with my blender.
I needed to know which part I needed, and how to order a replacement. The website for the company who made my blender thankfully anticipated this and had a whole portion of their website dedicated to current customers looking for support, recipes, and replacement parts.
This was not just what I was looking for. It was that and more.
If I wanted to call you, I’d have Googled your phone number
Another aspect of small business websites focused on their customers needs rather than tooting their own horn, is realizing how people prefer to do business today.
Sure, sometimes you have to pick up a phone and call.
I should not need to do this when ordering replacement parts from a multinational company. My web hosting company, who I otherwise love, does this too. Their knowledgebase articles make no sense and contain outdated information, which leaves me having to wait for tech support to be available for a chat. This wastes both of our time.
What am I getting at?
I have built a ton of websites over the years, as a freelancer myself, working in a corporate setting and doing white-label work for other design agencies. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to try to talk companies out of the whole “Call for more information” thing.
People don’t usually want to call. And do you want to pay staff to man the phones like that anyway?
Sometimes it’s unavoidable. I can’t quote a website without knowing the scope of the project, but I try to give enough information on my website to help people know whether or not we’re going to be a great fit for each other on their design project, so as to not waste anyone’s time.
Help Your Customers Decide
I am not a fan of strong arm marketing techniques. On my site and my social media, the goal is to help you make a decision about whether or not you want me to create a website for you, not pressure you into the decision I want you to make.
If someone is trying to decide whether or not to go to your restaurant for dinner, your website should help them know if this is the right (or wrong) answer and it can help them with questions they didn’t even think to ask.
- What is on your menu? (NOT a photo, either. That doesn’t translate well on mobile)
- What is your daily special? (One employee can update this every morning – 5 minutes, tops).
- What is the parking situation near you?
- Are reservations recommended?
- Can I order for take out?
- What else do they need to know about visiting?
The same applies to local shops or other businesses.
When your business website focuses on your customers and their needs, you will start to see ways of removing the friction from their decision to choose you.
When you are planning your business website, focus on your ideal customers, anticipating their needs, answering their questions, and helping them make a decision that is mutually beneficial.