Building a better online presence for your business

Creating an online component to your business can greatly extend your market reach and lead to healthy new revenue streams.

Many businesses however rush to set up a ‘web store’ with little thought to what they are actually trying to achieve. To get the most out of selling online you need to know a thing or two about creating a credible and effective web presence for your business.

Here are my top tips:

  • Create a virtual showroom: Your website should offer customers an experience similar to visiting a store, office or showroom.  Remember though, in the online world impressions are made in an instant.  If your site is unclear or confusing the consumer will quickly click away. Be sure to provide a straightforward description of the products and services available in a manner that is engaging and easy to navigate.
  • Focus: No matter what you choose to include on your website, it’s essential to keep it uncluttered. While it is important to offer visitors an insight into your company, remember, they probably don’t need to know everything there is to know about you right away. Too much text, too much detail and too much marketing speak will be immediate turn offs.

  • Make your site ‘sticky’: Some of the best business websites are those that engineer interaction, encouraging visitors to spend longer on the site and increase their ‘stickiness’. The longer a visitor spends on a site and the more they feel involved with a business, the more likely they are to become a customer and better yet, a repeat customer.  Interaction can come in the form of forums and review areas, encouraging people to blog or post images, or even a game or quiz.
  • Offer another line of communication: While there are instances where business can operate solely online with no need for customer interaction, in reality this is rare. It’s always a good idea to have an alternative method of contact – include a business phone number (set up an answer phone if necessary) and make sure it’s easy to find.
  • And finally… remember to add the personal touch! Your website should reflect your company’s personality as well as provide information on products or services. You can feature information about your company – its history, awards that you’ve won – or even information on your team or videos. Whether it’s a show reel of your work, headshot interviews with key staff or videos from recent company social events, the right content can create a personality for your organisation which goes a long way to helping establish lasting customer relationships.

Whatever the size of your company, you only have one chance to create a great first impression online – so take care to get it right.

If you take the time up front to think about how to make your site a viable and credible extension of your business, rather than just another site selling products or services, the rewards should be high.

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2 Responses

  1. As someone who has worked in numerous small businesses over the years, this sort of advice is really useful, especially as everyone has a website these days. Differentiation is really quite key to standing out.

    One point you didn’t cover was the benefit of websites as an employer brand – websites have done wonders for our recruitment when we’ve needed to hire over the years.

    Keep up the good work.
    D

  2. […] most. As such, it’s important that your site reflects this. If you remember, in my earlier blog, Building a better online presence for your business, I talked about the importance of making your site ‘sticky’. How engineering interaction on […]

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