Make sure your website content answers their questions
Statistics show that more than 87% of people check out a business website before they ever make a purchase or hire that company. So consider this, if web visitors come to your website and don’t find what they are looking for or don’t get their questions answered, they may decide not to work with your business and you would never know it. So you can see the importance of your website content.
In the days before online shopping was common, shoppers who were considering a purchase would go into a store to look at the merchandise, check prices, examine the quality, and conduct any other checks to inform their potential purchase. This shopper may not be ready to make a purchase immediately, but any information they gathered would be helpful in planning their future purchase. While in the store if a salesperson approached this shopper and asked, “May I help you?” The response often would be “I’m just browsing.” Many shoppers will walk down the center aisle of a store to avoid helpful salespeople just because they are not ready to make a purchase. Some brave souls will engage with the sales person to make sure they have all the information they need when they are ready to make their future purchase.
Today’s online shopper is not so different from shoppers in the past. Many shoppers plan their purchases. They may need time to get the money together for what they are planning to buy. They may want to compare the deals offered by several vendors. They may be buying a product or service they have not purchased in the past and want to know more about the features, benefits, and cost. This is where your small business website comes in. Your small business website allows potential buyers to explore the products and services you have to offer, check out your processes, explore your pricing, understand your background and experience, and generally find out if your product or service will meet their needs. Your small business website allows potential buyers to get their questions answered in order to make an informed purchasing decision. So as the small business owner, your job is to make sure your website content answers most or all of their questions.
Having a website is essential in today’s online shopping environment, but make sure you have content that is going to work for you. Your website content has a purpose, to tell the story of your small business. What you sell, who you sell it to, how much you sell it for, where you will deliver it, and when it is available. Your website content consists of text, images, graphics, videos, and hyperlinks. The right combination and amount of website content will effectively tell your small business story and bring potential buyers back to your website when they are ready to buy.
When someone is “browsing” products and/or services on your website, what content do you need to have on your website so they will take the next step and contact you? Here are a few tips for creating website content that is going to answer your potential client’s questions when they are “just browsing” on the Internet:
1. Talk to your current customers – If you are currently in business, ask your customers what made them decide to buy from you. Was it the features or benefits that your product(s) or service(s) offered? Was it your prompt delivery or quick turn around time? Was it your wide selection of products or services? A combination of a few of these? If you are getting the same responses from several of your customers, you can be sure this is something that will be important to your future customers. So be sure to include this information in your website content.
2. Conduct surveys – If you are not in business yet or don’t have several customers you can question, consider conducting a survey. Online tools like Survey Monkey can be used to create the survey and you can share the link to the survey on social media. Surveys generally get a low response rate so consider offering an incentive. You may tell people who respond to the survey that they will be entered into a drawing to win a gift card. You can create a guide with 7 to 10 tips related to a popular topic in your industry. Anyone who answers your survey will get the guide. This method provides an added bonus because you can get the responder’s email address. If they answered your survey, it is a good indication that they have an interest in your industry and services and you could market to them in the future. However, be sure to ask if they want to be added to your email list and don’t just automatically add them.
3. What makes you special? – A web visitor browsing websites trying to pick a business to solve a problem they having will have to make a choice between your business and your competitors. What makes you stand out? Do you have specific experience, education, training, or certifications that your competitors don’t have? Do you offer free shipping, a free initial consultation, some type of guarantee, a wider selection, customization services? Let you web visitors know so they may choose to hire you.
4. Stalk your competitors – Check out the websites of your competitors. If they are offering certain products, services, and/or benefits, potential customers may expect these to be standard in your industry. You don’t have to copy everything your competitors offer. If some things they offer won’t work for you, leave them off. Or you may be able to offer a modified version or something totally new that your competitors don’t offer. At any rate you need to know who you are competing with for the potential buyer’s attention.
5. Anticipate possible questions – When someone is gathering information for a future purchase, there are many questions they may have. You job is to anticipate those questions and answer them in your website content. There are certain questions that apply to just about every product or service such as who is the target market, what are delivery times and methods, if you offer any type of guarantee, and the price or price range of your products or services. Other questions will be particular to your industry. If you are a home service provider such as a plumber or HVAC technician, buyers will want to know if you charge a service fee for coming out to diagnose the problem. If you own a restaurant, buyers may want to know if you take reservations. If you sell products, buyers will want to know about your return policy. You get the picture. Anticipate their questions and include the answers in your website content.
6. Make it easy to contact you – If someone comes to your website and decides they want to hire you, make it easy for them to take the next step. Tell them what they should do next. Should they call you, email you, make an appointment, and fill out your online form? Let them know the best way to contact you. Also don’t make them search for contact information. Every page of your website should have contact information that is easily located. One good way to do this is to have your phone number and/or email link in the header area of your website.
Potential customers need information to make buying decisions and your website content is the place to answer those questions. Don’t assume these answers have to be text only. Photos are great for displaying your products. Videos are great for demonstrating how a product or service works. Charts and graphs can convey technical information. There are many types of content, but it is essential to create and format that content into a message that answers the questions of your potential customers who are “just browsing” on your website.
It is easy to get the idea that shopping in the global marketplace is radically different from shopping in the past. But if you think about it, things haven’t changed that much. Buyers still want good value for the money they spend. Shopping around, or “browsing,” is a way to check out the products, services, businesses offering these products/services, prices, quality and more. The change is browsing is now done online, so make sure your website is “browser” ready.
Whether you plan on hiring a web designer or building your website yourself, good content is necessary. My online course teaches you how to create great content or revise your website’s current content. Find out more here: Before Building Your Small Business Website
- Posted by sjwills
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