Everyone, everywhere says your business should have a website.
But do you know the reason the YOUR business needs a website?
The single most important reason to have a website for your business in to increase the visibility of your products or services and to promote your company image.
I cannot think of any business model that does not need customers, even if you have a single well paying customer, you should be thinking about maintaining the image that customer has of you.
This is the one of the reasons a company like the Ford car company are constantly advertising.
It is not just for them to sell car to new buyers.
As one the the largest car manufacturers in the UK most people know would that Ford make reliable affordable and relatively safe cars.
Even if you a ready own a Ford car, the adverts gives you the satisfaction that the company is current, visible and still supporting the image that it is known for.
That gives the customer reassurance that the company is in good condition and still current.
Even if you are selling the most useful widget in the world, your customer is likely to make the decision to buy from you based on a 'feeling' about your company.
You can largely mange what the customer thinks about your company, through the messages and the image you project through your website.
Here are my recommendations for you to consider when creating your website message.
1) Know your USP
Your Unique Selling Point describes how you do your business.
It should also be how you operate in reality.
For my website I use "Efficient websites for small business".
This message projects to the reader how my services can help his business. It promises that we will work your business to produce a website without you having spend invest too many valuable business hours away from your core business.
Your message should have always have a Selling Point.
You need to make a promise to your customer that your business will deliver the services he expects in a way that fits in with his vision.
2) Answer the customers questions and remove his doubts.
When a potential customer reads promotional material of any kind, he will usually be looking for a reason to eliminate you from his buying choices.
This is a natural defense mechanisms of savvy human beings.
He does not want to be told that you widget is the best thing for him, he wants to discover that your widget is best for him.
This way he makes an intelligent decision who he buys his widget from, and he can backup the decision with the logic he used making decision.
So you need to answer the doubts he has in his head during his research.
Create a paragraph that provides assurances about the quality of your product.
3) Remove the Mystery.
Especially in business, people want to how you provide your services. Even if your business is selling Mystery Tours, most customer will expect to know something about what will happen when once they part with their money.
You are not expected to give away any business secrets, but telling the customer that you buy your supplies from ethically sourced origins, or that your finished product complies with a recognised standard is going to eliminate any mystery about how you operate.
4) Set his Expectations.
When your customer needs a service, he will have an image in mind about how that service or product will work for him.
He may expect a visit from a professional person in the same field, and he may even have an imagine of how that persons dresses, speaks and conducts themselves.
If it is a product, he will have an expectation of how that product works and what the end result of using it will be.
For your service or product, it is important that your delivery and execution closely matches the customers.
For instance when you choose a delivery option from Amazon, many will expect the product to be delivered by a courier.
Amazon will usually oblige by delivering by courier rather than carrier pigeon for example.
Provide a description of how you deliver goods or services and try to stick to that process.
Also give him some indication the timescales for delivery and his responsibilities as a customer also, such as providing you with the correct delivery address.
Create a terms and Conditions page and a tick box to say that the customer agrees to your terms of business. (Which are of course ethical).
Any deviation from these expectations can result in a request for a refund and the loss of a customer so think it through and lay it out in clear and plain English.
5) Your Guarantee.
A purchase is always a risk. When you buy something you may never be sure that item will fit your intended purpose until you try to use it.
Even if you have well laid out terms and conditions, timescales and descriptions, you must accept that your customer may still have a problem.
Your guarantee tells him that you will allow him to back out if he his not happy or if there is some other reason for him to want to cancel the the deal.
This Guarantee should assure your customer that you will be willing to refund his money under reasonable circumstances.
This gives you the impression that you are an ethical business and that he can be sure that you will deliver or refund his money.
6) Company details.
If your company is a registered UK limited or PLC company you must display your business company number and business address on your website. This is a requirement of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.
7) About You.
Your customers probably buy your products because they like you. They probably like your expertise, personality, honesty, business acumen or experience, or they have been referred to you by someone they trust and respect.
Other potential customers will probably like those things about you too. There is no need for modesty here, if you have twenty years engineering experience and you are selling goods or services to engineers, let them know about your skills and expertise.
This will give you credibility in the eyes of your customer and they will feel better buying from a fellow expert in the field.
Create an about page that outlines why you are best person to buy from and how you can give advice and support your product for you customer.
This the basis for you About Page on your website.
8) Contact details.
Once you customer is eager to buy from you , he will want to contact you to make a purchase.
You have should have specified how he can contact you, and how he should pay you.
An active and manned telephone, email address, paypal button or contact form all provide a way for your customer to contact you to do business.
Give him a variety of ways to contact you and pay for services, and remember that your communication back to must leave a great first impression.
Ensure you always include on your website :-
Your Telephone number
Your email address.
A contact form.
This is the basis for your contact us page.
9) Products details.
Let the customer know what your product looks like, what color it comes in, how big it is, the variations available, pricing options, how long it should last, what it is made of and where, and why it works best for the customer.
Describe it on your website as if you were telling someone about it face to face.
Ensure that anything an interested party may ask is described.
This is the basis for your products page.
Frequently asked questions.
Another opportunity to address any doubts your customer may have.
Think about all the question you have ever been asked and create a list of these question and answers for the FAQ page.
It doesn't not matter if you think the answer to something is draft or trivial as you cannot be sure of the customers mind set at the time.
You F.A.Q or frequently asked questions page.
We will help you to create your website content but you the business owner are the only person in the entire world can can speak about your business.
You opening message on the Welcome or Home page is where you do you main sales pitch.
then you have the opportunity to sell to hundreds and thousand of new customer across the UK.
Make the effort to get your message across you have probably described your business with passion to many people in the past, this is the same explanation you require on your website.
Once you have created your Welcome message, and you have around 700 to 1000 words about your business, you are almost ready to launch your business website and attract thousand of new customers to your door.