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The question you must ask to get the right website

The killer question you need to ask to get a website that really delivers on your business goals.



 

There is one question that you need to ask yourself before you build or commission a new website, or when reviewing whether your existing website is delivering as it should. Asking yourself this killer question will mean your website will deliver on your goals and help take your business to the next level.

As with so many pivotal business questions, the one question you must ask yourself at the start of any new website project or review is very simple, but it’s one that is all too often overlooked – and not asking it can mean you get a website that looks beautiful but doesn’t match your business needs or customer expectations.  

So what is this killer question?

[Drumroll……..!]

‘What is the point of our website?’

The trick when answering this killer question is to identify the one key thing that your website needs to achieve, above all the others; this is your killer answer to this killer question. You may feel that you have several objectives that you want your website to support; if you are a start-up e-commerce business, you may want it to build brand awareness and sell your products. As a start-up, of course you want people to understand your brand (after all, it’s your baby!), but as an e-commerce business, your website’s primary role is to convince visitors to buy your products.

Identifying your killer answer to this killer question will help you build or commission a website that puts the key thing you need your website to deliver for your business at the heart of your website design and visitor experience, so that it helps to support and grow your business as you want it to.

Most business reasons for a website fall into a few key imperatives. If you want your website really to work hard for your business, your primary imperative should drive its design, structure and visitor experience.

Killer website reason 1: Sell goods

As an online retailer, you know you need an e-commerce facility, but really good e-commerce websites make the shopping experience central focus, not an add-on. If potential customers have found you because they’re searching for the type of products you sell, they need to see your products first. Your personal journey, eco credentials or the office cat may all be additional persuasive factors that tip the balance as to why they might buy from you rather than a competitor, but they should not get in the way of the purchasing experience. Have a look at some of the most well-known online brands who also have strong ethical reputations; you will see that the products come first – in fact, you often have to hunt quite hard to find anything about their environmental policies or CSR.

As an e-retailer, your products should be the first thing your potential customers see, with clear, attractive imagery and very easy navigation through to purchase, including instant click ‘Buy now’ buttons in a colour that commands attention within the design. The speed of your website will also be important; if it takes a long time to navigate between products, your analytics will probably show a lot of potential buyers clicking away to competitors.

Selling goods – case studies: ValetPro, who manufacture specialist car cleaning and protection products, sell their goods online, so the products take centre stage on the website we designed and built for them, with similar focus on the robots sold by RoboTraders.

Killer website reason 2: Drive enquiries

If you want to drive sales but have a product or service that doesn’t lend itself to a simple e-commerce transaction, your website will need to drive enquiries. Decide whether you want people to email their enquiry or pick up the phone and then design your website to support this goal. This means making sure your contact details are visible at all times (if visitors have to click five times to find your phone number, they probably won’t bother), with compelling calls to action telling them what their next step is on every page.

Driving enquiries – case study: Our website for property care company, Kin Kan Do, is an example of this. Serving Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London, the key aim of the website is to get prospects to request a quote; this feature is therefore prominent on every page (both position and colour), with an easy-to-use quote request form.

Killer website reason 3: Generate new leads

This is an extension of driving enquires, but if you want to collect prospects’ data so that you can enrol them on a persuasive customer journey to keep them engaged with your brand – leading towards purchase – your website needs to be designed so there is a convincing reason for visitors to part with their contact details at the core of their experience. Typically, this might be insights that will help them; for example, if you are a matchmaking service, you might offer ’10 tips to make a great first impression’ as an e-booklet that they can ask to be emailed to them (meaning they have to give you their email address).

Be careful that any data collection is in line with the General Data Protection Requirements (GDPR).

Killer website reason 4: Showcase your work

If your business is very visual – for example if you are a photographer, artist, architect or builder – 80% of any purchasing decision will be whether people like the look of your work. Your portfolio should therefore take centre stage within your website design. It’s also important that the images are properly scaled so that scrolling through them is quick; if your website visitors have to wait for them to load, they are likely to click away, even if they love what they see.

Killer website reason 5: Reduce admin and streamline processes

Your website has the capacity to be the PA you always wanted! Whether you’re a sports club with hundreds of members wanting to book classes and courts or a beauty salon or hairdresser, your website can save you precious time by automating bookings. Plus, with 35% of customers preferring to schedule appointments after working hours, an online booking system means they can reach you at any time – even when you’ve locked up for the day.

As with an e-commerce site for an e-retailer, your online booking system needs to be the beating heart of your website, not an afterthought; it needs to be easy to find, quick to load and easy to navigate. Website analytics show that with every click, traffic migrates away, so streamline the process to its bare essentials wherever you can. The quicker and easier it is, the more your website visitors will become your fans.

Reducing admin – case studies: Our website for Pennard Vets in Sevenoaks, Kent, demonstrates how simple booking systems can reduce repetitive admin for support staff, freeing them to improve the customer experience. For Canadian Travel Clinics, we put the online booking system at the very front of the website, to drive conversions by reducing as many barriers as possible.

Killer website reason 6: Build trust and credibility

The modern consumer is cautious; in fact, 56% of people even stated they wouldn’t trust a business without a website. When you don’t have a transparent platform that openly showcases your products or services, people immediately assume that you have something to hide! Having a clear, well-designed website instantly boosts your credibility as a legitimate business.

This can be even more important in some industries with poor reputations. If disreputable competitors mean customers can be suspicious of your values and integrity, providing evidence to give them peace of mind might be thekey driver for your website.

This might include clear messaging about your expertise, customer testimonials and online reviews. Some people will come to your website through word-of-mouth recommendations, so this messaging shouldn’t clutter the visitor experience for the person who has already been convinced that you are the right solution provider and is just looking for your phone number, but it does need to be easy to find for those who are more cautious and want to undertake due diligence before committing to purchase.  

Building trust – case study: Recruitment companies can be tarnished by pushy, quota-driven companies, who put targets ahead of finding the right candidates for clients. That’s why we put the values of Recruitment Solutions, who cover Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Kings Hill, up front on their new website.

Killer website reason 7: Online presence 24/7

Having a website makes your business visible – anytime, anywhere. Even outside of usual hours, your website will continue to work overtime, finding and securing new customers like a new member of your sales team!

But for it to do this, your potential customers have to be able to find it, meaning it needs to rank well in online searches. Research by Moz has found that 93% of people don’t look at results beyond page one of Google, with 75% clicking on the top two results only.

The technical term for making sure your website is found in relevant online searches is Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. Key strategies for boosting your website’s SEO include:

  • regular content built around your target keywords
  • social media to drive traffic to your website
  • ensuring you optimise the page titles and meta tags on every page, alt tags on pictures and keywords in text
  • backlinks connecting your website to other, reputable websites.

Your website is one of your brands’ most important digital marketing strategies, so it’s important to make sure that yours is the right one for your business. We hope these pointers gives you greater insight into what your company needs, but if you’d like further advice about creating and designing a website that delivers on your killer answer (or even help working out what your killer answer is!), we’d love to hear from you .

Based in Kent, Eonic offers digital strategy, web design and development, marketing and hosting support to businesses across Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London.