Many business websites aren’t really designed and written with visitors in mind at all.
This occurs in general because of a lack of understanding, skills and time. Keeping in mind that a business website is primarily there to generate business, why would you waste time catering for those who don't have the potential to become a customer?
So what visitors are you catering for?
Across this website I talk about “conversion” a lot, because I believe that this is the key to an effective website, but you can usually only convert a visitor into a customer if they are already looking for the products or services you offer, so in that sense you are catering primarily for potential customers.
Again, this may seem obvious, but it’s vital to realise this simple point because it means you can design your website with only a few people in mind, instead of everyone. Look to your strengths and decide if you are A or B. Putting yourself across as a jack of all trades might gain you a wider audience, but it can also be offputting for your visitors.
Of course you can present sides to your business that your visitors might not be aware of, but when they land on your site you want them to be instantly aware that they have arrived at the right place. This effect is achieved by defining your business clearly in certain categories:
- Premium or basic?
- Traditional or modern?
- Local or national?
- Big or small?
- New or established?
In each of these categories your business has to fall into one band or the other. Of course, some visitors might be put off by the fact that you’re a traditional local business, but then they were probably never going to be potential customers anyway.
It’s always best to focus on those visitors who are looking for a business like yours in the first place, as this will ultimately lead to more customer conversions.
Can you actually predict what your visitors are looking for?
There are no crystal balls, but a little bit of logic and an investment of time can make all the difference.
Firstly, most visitors to your website will have arrived via a search engine such as Google. This means they have already searched for something and don’t expect to search any more. If your business sells widgets for example, and someone searches for “blue widget” from the search engine, they don’t then want to have to search your site to find out if you actually sell blue widgets.
Instead, you create a page specifically for blue widgets and this ensures that your visitor lands on a page that gives them all the specific and related information they want. This process can be a lengthy one, but it also greatly increases visitor numbers and the conversion of those visitors. If you stock 5 different coloured widgets in 3 different sizes and 2 different styles, you might need to create as many as 30 separate pages of content, but by doing this you will not only rocket up the search engine listings, you will also go some way to predicting, and providing for, what your visitor wants to see.
Combining this targeted information with confirmation of your business strengths (traditional, local etc) will ensure that those genuine potential customers among your many website visitors have no reason to look to your competitors for what they want.