Business Owners in Kelowna

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Is your business website pretty or ugly? Is it cutting edge or old school? Do you have a custom design or is it based on a template? The hard truth is that none of the above matter. The only question that really matters when it comes to business websites is “Does it sell? Does it generate leads and clients? Does it make me money?

Certainly, some business websites need a certain aesthetic due to the nature of their business. An artist’s site better look good! And, if you are marketing innovation in some field, then a little innovation on your site might support the sales process. But ultimately, these issues are secondary to the sales generated or supported by your website. Regardless of the nature of your business, there are a few web design principles that ought to show up on your site. In most cases, these principles can be incorporated into any web design.

1. Clarity. Is the message of your site, each page of your site, crystal clear? If someone wants to contact you, is it easy to find your contact info? If you’re selling online, does the design make it very easy for visitors to go through the purchase process? And, is it very obvious how to navigate through the site?

2. Contact Capture. Does your website prioritize capture of the visitor contact info, at least first name and email, so that you can follow up with them (and sell to them!) in the future? This is a common shortcoming of business websites.

The reason this is so important is because a very low percentage of first time web visitors buy anything. And if they don’t buy they often don’t come back. But if you can entice them to offer their contact info in exchange for something of value- a discount coupon or some relevant information- then you can build a relationship with them and market to them over and over again.

The average website converts at 2-3%. That is, two to three percent of the visitors take action in some way. But the top ten converting high-traffic websites convert at an average of 23%! And this is because they work hard to get contact info and draw the customers back to their websites with compelling offers.

3. Traffic Analytics. With Google Analytics being offered as a free service, no one has any excuse for not having analytics installed on their website. And benefits of analytics are massive.

For starters you can see where your site visitors are coming from and how they are getting to your site. This will give you ideas for tweaking your site. You will also see how long people stay on your site and how many pages they visit. If they leave too soon or only visit one page, that’s a more than a hint that your content is weak and not compelling enough to get them to stick around. And, If you use PPC (pay per click) marketing to get people to your site, you can add the conversion tracking component to see which keywords are actually bringing you the people who buy or give up their contact information. This allows you to focus in on the keywords, both with PPC and SEO (search engine optimization) that brings you the best return.

4. Customer Fixation. Too many business websites are about the business itself; a selling website is about the client and what you can do for them. Too many business websites get overly zealous about describing the details of their product features, when all the client really want to know is “Will this make me look cool?” or “Will this make me feel happier?” or “Will this result in more money in my pocket?”

A true customer fixation means that you constantly gather data, perhaps even through surveys, to discover what your customers really want. Then you explain how your product or service gives it to them. Maybe you even develop new products or services that meet their cravings even better.

Conclusion: It should be readily apparent to you that these principles are somewhat distinct from web design. Apart from clarity- which can be a greatly helped or hindered by design- these factors lean more toward the content side of the site. But, the web design must support these principles, and in fact be subservient to them. Web design needs to support web marketing. That is its primary purpose on a business website.

By: Daren Wride