Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hey Entrepreneurs! Design Your Website for Your Clients, Not for YOU

I attract my fair share of inquires almost daily from entrepreneurs about how to design a good website. The email or phone call usually starts off with “What information should I include on my website?” when the question should really be “How do I design a website that my clients will love?”

These days, if you don’t have an online presence you either are brand new in business or you just never got around to it. If you’re at the stage where you realize how important it is to have a website, this is a good blog entry for you.

First off, you need to think like your TARGET CLIENT. What do they want to see on your website? Probably not huge photos of you all over the place. If you’re stumped as to what they want here’s a handy list:

Services - What are you selling? How can you help them? What are the benefits of your product or service? Don’t lump all your services on one page. Give each service a separate page so that you can give as much info as possible about each area you focus on (this will also be good for your search engine optimization).

Resources – What tools and tips can you provide to help your visitors? You can write articles detailing solutions for common problems experienced by your target client. You can provide case studies telling visitors how others have received benefit from using your product/service. What tips sheets can you give freely? Are there great books you can recommend in a Suggested Reading area on your website?

Events – What’s going on in your business? Are you giving any seminars? Holding any networking events? How can your clients experience meeting you out there in the business world.

FAQ – This is really important. You need to provide the answers to questions you most commonly receive about your business. This will cut down on unnecessary communication.

Pricing – According to MarketingSherpa.com, the number one piece of information that visitors MOST WANT to see on your website is HOW MUCH? Put yourself in their shoes. How frustrating is it when you spend a lot of time on a site learning about the business but nowhere can you find out how much it costs. This is common in the coaching industry and it’s VERY annoying. I have my pricing listed right on my site. It serves to separate the serious enquires from the “just kinda wanna know”.

Your Company’s Background – Put this page as far away from services as possible. Although visitors will want to know the history of your business, that’s not their first concern. They first want to know HOW you can help them. Then they want to know if you’ve got what it takes to help them. See Bio below.

Your Bio – Let your target client know about your personal background. I have a challenge for you however – try to word your bio so that it shows how your experience can help them. What’s in your background, credentials, and training that will give them what they want?

Your Photo – Visitors DO want to know what you look like. Please get a professional photo taken of yourself. The one that Aunt Edna took 12 years ago on a family outing won’t help you here. You need to be dressed professionally and have a pleasant expression on your face. Make it trustworthy while you’re at it.

I could go on and on but it’s getting late so I’ll end here. The one piece of advice I have for entrepreneurs everywhere is to think like your target client. What can you give them that they most want to know?

Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs & Financial Advisors

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