fingers on keyboard showing computer screen with shopping cart and the word "sale"

Your website is one of your most valuable sales assets. Here’s why.

As a business, you want to put the best foot forward at all times, right? You keep your shop clean for customers. You select your business cards with care. You’ve made a well-considered decision about whether a suit or stylish business casual best reflects your brand when you go to meetings. So, taking all this into account, why would you neglect your website?

Consider this: for many of your potential customers, their first interaction with your business will be through your website. Many of those who don’t discover you online will look you up later as part of their routine market research. And for your current customers, your website will be their first recourse should they need to reach customer service, learn more about your products and services, or share your business with others.

Given all these factors, if your website lacks functionality, creates a poor customer experience, or looks old and outdated, it could be damaging your brand reputation and costing you significant business online. Curious about how to turn your website into your best sales tool? It’s time to take these factors into account.

Your website is more than a business card.

Is your website a glorified business card? There are many basic websites that never go beyond a homepage. Maybe it has a few nice images, an “about” section, and some contact info. It may be presentable, but visitors soon run out of places to go. What about a call-to-action? What about case studies, or product information, or a service pages? Unlike a business card, websites can have depth. They allow users to choose their own adventure while allowing you to guide them along the way. Think beyond a flat, one-page design and provide your visitors some room to explore.

Your website is dynamic.

If you treat your website like a static, once-and-done project, you’re missing out on the chance to interact with customers dynamically, in real-time. A lot of this mindset comes from how websites were built in the past—the pre-CMS era when updates had to happen by adjusting the backend code. But the Internet no longer works this way. Your website isn’t set in stone, so you can update it all you want. You can test it to find the best headline or hero image, stay on top of the latest trends, and provide an instant response to an emerging event. That’s an enormous advantage that none of your other sales tools can offer. Make use of it!

Does your website establish your brand?

Your website should not be generic. We see many websites that could be mistaken for almost any other website in its industry. These websites are like chameleons—they blend in till they disappear. And yet a brand is all about differentiation: setting yourself apart from your competition so that you’re memorable. You want to make an impression so that your visitors remember you after you leave.

Target multiple personas at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

One of the most invaluable aspects of your website is its ability to speak to multiple audiences at varying levels of need. Instead of having a one-size-fits-all approach, you can build a path that prospects can use to self-select into different personas. Then you can use this information to tailor your message to your visitors and improve your conversions.

Your website is your soap box.

Strong brands have a message, a point of view, a way of looking at the world that can transform lives. When you use your website to share these beliefs, you stand a better chance of both attracting and converting leads who are a good fit for your business. Your website gives you a nearly limitless space to educate and inspire. Take a stand!

Make your site an SEO magnet.

Unlike other sales tools, a website with good SEO acts like a customer magnet, drawing in visitors from all over the web who are searching for products and services like the ones you offer. With most other sales tools (a brochure, or a killer PowerPoint presentation, for example), you need your customer to already be aware of your business before you can use them. By contrast, your website can take a prospect from being entirely unaware of your brand all the way to a purchase.

Think of all the data.

Unlike most sales tools, your website can give you exceptional feedback about how your visitors interact with it. Do they stay or do they go? What paths do they follow when navigating? What pages did they visit and how long do they remain? What search terms did they use to find you, or how else did they find your site?

Does your website do ecommerce?

This may sound a bit redundant, but factor that makes your website your best sales tool is that it sells stuff. Or, at least, it could. We’ve talked before about the broad definition of ecommerce, how transactions can happen via shopping cart or form, and how you don’t even need to collect payment online to have an ecommerce store (as is the case with a pay-on-delivery model). In this scenario, your website isn’t just your best sales tool; it’s practically your only sales tool.

If your website isn’t converting, what is it for?

At the end of the day, if you aren’t using your website to help convert visitors, what is its purpose? It’s hard to think of one that doesn’t have a place in your sales process. If it’s not informing, inspiring, or closing, then the only options left are bad to neutral.

So don’t leave your website in the doldrums. With a purposeful design, it can be building your base and acting as your best sales tool in no time. And if you recognize that your website needs a new design to make that kind of impact, contact us. We would love to help put your site to work for you.

Published 06/13/17 by Laura Lynch