The time has long passed when a website simply served as a copy of a brochure. What you might find on a traditional About Us page should not be the first thing a potential customer sees.
No matter the ultimate goal for your website, it should first and foremost be customer-centric. When a qualified lead visits, he should immediately connect with your message. He should find himself nodding as he reads the words on the page. He should see that you get his needs and that you understand his pain points. And of course he should see that your product or service will solve his problems and make his life easier.
And consider your goal for your website: These days, you have to have a website, but what do you want your website to do for you? Consider these four common approaches:
Lead generation – Lead generation can be approached in multiple ways, whether that’s a simple “contact us if you’re interested” form (less effective) or a “give us your email in exchange for this great resource” form (more effective). Sometimes the goal is to generate a qualified lead that a sales team follows up on. And sometimes that lead is added to an e-newsletter list, and through ongoing nurturing, that lead converts over time to a paying customer. It depends on the product or service you’re offering, the sales cycle, the customer segment you’re trying to reach and so on. Make your website work for you.
Brand awareness – Introducing your product or service to new customers is one reason your website exists, but again, be careful that the content you develop with this goal in mind is customer-centric and not focused on tooting your own horn. Yes, it’s OK to say how long you’ve been in business – but the prominence of that information and how it’s displayed depends on how important that is to the customer. It’s also OK to showcase your staff; companies are doing an increasingly great job of highlighting customer service team members on their homepages. But be sure you can back-up that claim with truly excellent and personalized customer service if that’s critical to the delivery of your product. In the end, it’s about establishing trust with your potential customers. Can you support the claims you are making about your brand? Be authentic!
Making the sale – In some cases, you may push someone directly to a sale, and keeping the information you present to a minimum is ideal for this goal. Depending on the product or service, a sale may not happen the first time they visit your website, but there are ways to keep them coming back for more, and that’s why you should integrate a number of approaches into your website’s design.
Ongoing customer support – If you want to be seen as an expert in your field – if your product or service is highly technical in nature, for example – you need to think beyond just presenting an “About Us” style rundown of what you’re selling. What kind of resources does your ideal customer need to make a decision on what to buy? What will they need after the sale? What knowledge do you have that can help your customer do his job better? This may include a series of whitepapers, blog posts, e-books or even videos. The goal: Establish your company as the go-to for your customers’ needs. That loyalty is invaluable.