If you are an average person, then I will only have 10 seconds… So here goes it. Everyone knows that the Internet is an amazing tool that can reach millions of people. But in a world where there are 1.1 billion websites (and still counting), you need to make sure your website stands out by having a clear and concise message, plus an irresistible business offer. Why? Because most readers will only take about 10 seconds to decide whether to read on or leave the site… just like what you are about to do.
If you have a website that is not contributing to your business, read on. Here are 4 ways to transform your website business and accelerate business growth.
This is jam-packed with information. So it will take about 10-12 minutes to read.
Why is a website important to grow your business?
Across the world, everyone is expecting 2023 to be a rough year but it is still possible to grow a business. Entrepreneurs are now realizing they can grow their business, i.e. conduct business online, with a website.
Take, for instance, KPI-Plastic Sdn Bhd. They are Malaysia’s prominent plastic bottle and container manufacturer. They do not sell online, and their website does not accept online payments. Instead, the site is a product catalog and is used by customers when they call them directly. The number of website visitors correlates to their volume of business.
Today, we all know selling online is like selling in person. Good customer service is important, both online and in-person. Abandon shopping carts is equivalent to leaving money on the table. Active social media is like a virtual help desk or front desk.
Your professional website is an extension of your business. The medium is different but the same business principles are applied.
To grow your business, you must
- Articulate your value proposition effectively – the problem you solve with the solution you offer, and the benefits it brings.
- Make a business offer at a price point that justifies the value.
- Present the business offer to the right segment of people.
- Call your potential customer to action on the business offer.
Tweak #1. Have clarity about your business
Imagine you got into a lift and there stood the richest man in the world (right now it is Elon Musk). Out of politeness, he asks,
“Hi, I’m Elon. What do you do?”
How would you reply? Like most people, you’d likely fumble and wish you had given more thought to the answer.
It is well established that “almost half (46%) of the visitors leave a website because of their lack of message“. Visitors leave a website because they cannot find the answer to these 2 questions –
“What do you do?”
“How is that relevant to me?”
Do you have professional websites with beautiful web design, but it does not address these questions?
Be clear about the problem you solve
The old sales adage says, “People buy solutions to problems.”
Your business sells products or services. Each of these products or services has features. Each feature is a solution to a customer problem.
Take, for instance, you have a bakery and you sell cakes. Your cakes are custom-made (that’s a feature) and these cakes are tailor-made to make your customer’s special occasion more memorable (that’s a solution) e.g. graduation, or anniversary. Your cakes are less sweet and healthier than your competitors (that’s a feature) and your customers can enjoy them without feeling guilty (that’s a solution).
So the problems are “How do you celebrate a special moment with a cake? How can you eat a cake without feeling guilty?”
Express the benefits of your solution
Another well-known sales adage says, “people buy on emotion and justify by logic“.
You are probably stating the customer’s problem and how your product or service is their ideal solution. Then it would be best if you also said how it benefits them with words that express emotions.
“Jane’s Roses are the best way to express your love to the special people in your life.”
“Get your tires checked and serviced at Jack’s Tire Shop because we give you peace of mind when you drive home. “
If you struggle with coming out with the emotional benefit, then ask yourself, “so what?”
“Why do you get your tires from Jack’s?”
“Because they offer good service and better priced.”
“So I get better value for good tires.”
“So the good tires keep the car safe when driving.”
“So I have the peace of mind that my wife will drive home safely from work each day.”
Create a concise catchphrase for your business
A catchphrase is a summary value statement. You can have a catchphrase for your product, brand, or business. In our Jack’s Tire Shop example, it could be “We sell reliable tires and the peace of mind that your wife will drive home safely from work tonight”.
The beauty of the catchphrase is that you get to introduce your product or company, with a single statement that summarizes the problem, proposes the solution, and offers the emotional benefit in a single breath, and in under 10 seconds.
Active social media users love catchphrases because it helps them skim and filter through the bombardment of messages.
If you have a good catchphrase, then you’d know how to answer Elon.
Tweak #2. Prepare an irresistible offer for your potential customer
A business offer is a proposition to sell your product or services at a specified price. That price is how much a customer is willing to pay for the benefit that your product or service will bring.
There are 3 ways to justify your price:
What does the customer want to achieve by purchasing your product? Is that outcome worth spending that money on? What are the emotional benefits of the outcome?
The ability to specify the emotional benefits of reaching the outcome is a very effective way to sell. If you are selling a fitness program, then phrases like “our program will transform you into the best possible version of yourself” bring strong emotional benefits.
A high probability of obtaining the outcome
How likely is your product able to fulfill the customer’s desired outcome? Some products (or services) provide different outcomes for different customers. For instance, the same weight loss program may give better results to John compared to Adam.
A product with a higher probability of achieving the customer’s desired outcome will be perceived as having higher value.
Some businesses use certifications (like ISO certifications) to give customers quality assurance. Others use testimonials from existing customers.
Some products are hard to prove. Hence, a business may offer “100% satisfaction with a limited-time money-back guarantee.”
Time and effort required to reach the outcome
Suppose you invented a pill that guarantees you to lose 100 pounds. All you have to do is take the pill daily for 3 weeks. That would be much more valuable than a fitness program where you might not even lose 10 pounds after 3 months.
I do not know if such a pill exists. But the point is the pill takes less effort and time to achieve the outcome. It is hence perceived to be more valuable.
To sum up this section, always have an offer ready. A good offer can grow a business manifold.
Tweak #3. Show up when people search for what you offer
There is a great deal of truth in Seth Godin’s adage, “Everyone is not your customer”. Having a lot of visitors to your website (or store) does not necessarily translate to more sales. But having the right targetted visitors can increase your sales many folds.
So how do you show up when the targeted customer search for what you offer?
Identifying your target audience
The first step is to identify your target customers. You can segment your customers based on demographic, geographic, and psychographics.
Demographic segmentation deals with data points like age, gender, marital status, family size, income, education, race, occupation, nationality, and/or religion. Geographic, as the name implies, deals with the physical location of the customer.
Psychographics deal more with intrinsic characteristics like personality, lifestyle, social status, attitudes, plus activities, interests, and opinions. Characteristics like activities and interests reveal where they hang out (online or in-person), like
- Social media groups and pages (Facebook or LinkedIn),
- Online communities like Slack, Discord, or Tribe,
- Online sites where they ask questions like Quora and Stack Exchange
- Magazine and blog sites like Medium, HubPages, Vocal Media
Their personality, attitudes, and lifestyle can reveal more about the issues they are facing and how your product (or service) can help.
A more useful approach is to segment potential customers by their problems. Let’s go back to Jack’s Tire Shop. They provide different types of tires in different sizes for different vehicles. Each of these different vehicles could be a customer segment. In addition, the shop also provides alignment and balancing services. That could also go under a separate segment. Why? Because each segment has unique problems and you would promote different solutions to them.
This exercise will make you “walk in your customer’s shoes”. Create a spreadsheet detailing all this information. When completed (this is an iterative exercise), you will have a good understanding of your ideal customer, their problem, and how you can bring them relief.
Caution – A website developer typically focuses on just building the site, not copywriting or creating potential customer profiles. But you need it to clearly identified and create high-quality content on your web design.
Reaching out to the intended audience
It is often said to grow your business online, you need to have digital marketing. That is not always true.
A small business ice cream parlor was located a stone’s throw away from a train station. They gave out flyers in the morning to commuters that worked around the area. The flyer simply showed an ice cream cone with sprinkles on top, and a QR code with instructions to scan and open the website’s online menu.
Their targetted customers were people who worked around the train station. The offer was to have an ice cream cone during their lunch break. The QR code contained a special URL that allows Google Analytics to track how many people visited the site from the flyer.
Once you have identified your intended (and specific) audience, figure out where they hang out or congregate.
Here is an important tip – Go where you can find your potential customers, not where your potential customers can find you.
For example, if you provide product packaging solutions and you have many pharmaceutical customers, then join social media pharmaceutical interest groups. If you join an existing packing product group, you might find potential customers there but chances are, more of your competitors will also be there.
There are many ways to reach out to potential customers and grow the business. It does not have to be digital marketing. You can use traditional marketing, e.g. flyers, to work to complement your online presence.
Today, people solve problems by using online search engines or searching on social media. That is why many businesses are advertising on search engines like Google Ads or social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.
Online advertisements are great for finding new potential customers to grow the business. But they are not cheap. That is why advertisements typically run for a fixed period, and not continuously. Business owners need to constantly monitor the cost of advertising. Otherwise, it can become too costly to acquire new customers online.
When someone clicks on your advertisements, do not direct them to your regular business website. Direct the visitor to a special landing page. On that page, create high-quality content where it is specifically targeted for the advertisement. This is where you need to present your catchphrase and make your offer.
Always measure the effectiveness of your advertisements. This applies to ads on search engines and/or social media. Incorporate Google Analytics to monitor clicks and conversions. Many business owners spend too much money before realizing online advertisement is expensive.
Tweak #4. Create a primary and secondary Call to Action (CTA)
A professional website should do more than just dispense company and product information. It should have a clear call to action. But what if the visitor finds the commitment to the call to action too significant? What if they are not prepared to buy or book an appointment? That is where you also have a secondary call to action.
What is a Call to Action (CTA)?
A call to action is simply a prompt for the visitor to take action on your offer. It has been said, 98% of visitors leave your website without taking action.
Why is that? Here are 4 possible reasons:
There is no Call To Action
Firstly, the most basic reason is that there is no call to action on the website. It sounds rudimentary but we have seen many business websites without any CTA. Some business owners do not see a website visitor as a potential customer and the website is just to have an online presence without a clear objective.
The Call To Action is obscure
Secondly, your CTA is not clearly shown. A CTA must have a contrasting color so it stands out on the web page. Studies have shown that adding an arrow icon to a CTA button can increase clicks by 26%.
There should only be ONE call to action. Your CTA button should constantly appear on the website. If you have a long web page, then show the same CTA at different parts of the same webpage so the visitor does not have to scroll up and search for it.
The Call To Action is uncompelling
Thirdly, your CTA is not compelling enough. The Contact Us button is not a call to action. A CTA solves the customer’s problem or addresses their need. Creating a good CTA is an iterative exercise. Like the catchphrase, do not expect to get it right immediately. Create a few and test them. Use Google Analytics to monitor CTA clicks.
A good CTA also has a lifespan. It is like fashion. The appeal wears off over time and you’ll need to replace it with something new and more up-to-date and compelling offer.
The Call To Action is asking for too much
Finally, the CTA could be asking too much from the potential customer. Selling to a walk-in stranger is hard. Selling is a trust transaction. I buy from you because I trust the brand or I trust you. Hence you need more time to establish trust. You need a secondary CTA.
What is a Secondary CTA? Does it matter?
The primary CTA asks for something from the visitor. A secondary CTA, however, is the reverse. You are offering something valuable to the visitor in exchange for their email address (or contact details).
This is less intimidating than the primary CTA. Buying is a trust transaction. The goal of a secondary CTA is to build trust in your brand or company before buying (via the primary CTA). The best way to do it is to offer something valuable but free.
But what can you offer? Here are some suggestions (Disclaimer: the list would vary depending on your business):
- Resource or Tool List
- Quick Start Guide
- Cheat Sheet
- Mini Course
- Sample Chapter of your book
- Templates / Worksheets
- Bonus Content
The secondary CTA usually appears only once, at the top next to the primary CTA. It should not draw attention away from the primary CTA but appear as a complementary option.
You should also use Google Analytics to monitor the clicks on the secondary CTA.
Bonus website tips to grow your business
There you have it, 4 ways to grow your business with a website. Here are some additional tips for your professional website.
A professional website needs to be responsive to different devices
Most websites have more visitors using their mobile devices than desktop computers. This is true for both traffic sources from social media and search engines. Many websites are able to resize and reorder different blocks of content to fit the device so visitors can read comfortably. This is known as a responsive website.
A good professional website has both quality content and is responsive to the device.
A professional website needs to load fast
A fast-loading website has to do with the size of the page, web hosting performance, and the visitor’s internet bandwidth available. While you have no control over the visitor’s internet bandwidth, you can ensure that your web page is small and the professional website is hosted by a reliable and good-performing web hosting service.
Tools like Google Page Speed lets you simulate the performance of your website both on a desktop as well as a mobile device.
Most websites have no problem having a reasonable score on a Desktop but fair poorly on the Mobile. This is because a mobile device has more unpredictable bandwidth and the simulator fairly predicts it is about 3-4 times slower than a Desktop.
If you have trouble with your website performance, reach out to us.
A professional website needs to be monitored
Regardless if you are trying to grow your business online (i.e. sell online) or just use your website to grow a business, the professional website must be monitored. You need to embed Google Analytics (or other similar analytics) and track the traffic.
Here are some things you can monitor:
- How many visitors do you get per day? At what time do they visit?
- Where are your visitors coming from? Directly to the site, social media, search engines, or some referral websites? If social media or search engine, which one?
- What devices do they use to visit your business website? Mobile, desktop, or tablet?
- What are the pages they view and for how long?
- What is the visitor’s viewing behavior? Where do they go after viewing the home page?
A professional website needs to be kept relevant
Many business owners think a business website is self-running and good for many years. We understand the budget constraint of redesigning and redeveloping a new website. But like a brick & mortar shop, it needs to be refurbished. For a website, you should consider revamping after 3-5 years to keep things fresh and implement new ideas for selling and marketing.
We also recommend content marketing for a business website. In other words, have a section for articles and news. It does require considerable effort to update the content but this is what makes new visitors spend more time on the site (& build trust) and existing customers return for new products and offers.
In closing, a website can help grow your business, even if it is a small business. You should think of your business website as an extension of your customer service. Good customer service leaves a good impression on potential customers and encourages your existing customers to return.
Creating a good website is an iterative process but when done well, it can accelerate business growth.
Reach out to us if you have any questions or need help with your website.