Every company needs a website. And no, just a Facebook page will not do. Why? Well, Facebook is not a ubiquitous platform, meaning not everyone is on Facebook. Facebook can be helpful, but access can be limited to those without a Facebook account. A website is accessible to everyone with the Internet, and whether or not they are on a particular social media platform doesn’t matter. So what makes a successful website? A few things to consider. Clear messaging, clear information the customer needs, a clear call to action, a freebie, and testimonials.

Let’s start with clear messaging. Being able to position yourself with what you do for your customers is the first step to a winning website. We love the messaging thoughts in the book Story Brand by Donald Miller. Things like remembering that the customer is the hero in the story and you are there to help them, communicating the how of what you do for them, and setting the customer up for success. Most people care about the result of what you do for them, not necessarily the how. The classic looking for the sizzle, not the stake thought process. If you are not leading with clear messaging, you are wasting most of the effort of your website. Lack of clarity can distract or turn off customers.

Then consider what is the most pertinent information a customer might be looking for. That means if you are a church, your service times are not hidden somewhere on the website. They need to be easy to find. If you are a professional services firm, communicating what your specialties are needs to be easy to find. But also figuring out how to work with you or how to attend your event should be clear and easy as well. During the website planning process, we do an exercise that helps think from the position of the website visitors to think about what they need when they visit the website as opposed to what we want to promote. I would encourage the same for you. Take a moment and think about the biggest groups of customers that will be visiting your website and think about what they will be looking for when they come. Make sure that information is within a click or two of arriving.

A clear call to action. We call them CTAs in the business. Call to action. Customers need to know exactly how to start working with you. Is that a form to fill out on the website or do they have to call you? You should also make it easy for someone to do that. Make a clear CTA button relevant at multiple points on the website. Bonus points if you explain the process to getting started while they do that. You want to make it as clear as possible how to start doing business with you and what that looks like.

A freebie is a great way to build relationships with your audience. What is a freebie? Well, maybe it’s a free quote or a free assessment tool or a free guide. It’s a device that allows you to get some permission to communicate with potential customer and position yourself as the expert further in the minds of those who use the freebie. Ideally, this is something that can happen with automation or is something that is not horribly expensive for you to implement. It is a relationship builder, not a deal closer. It is a piece that helps you push people further down the funnel.

And finally, when thinking about a winning website, think about testimonials. Why testimonials? Well, they are what we like to call social proof. Social proof helps convert the skeptical. If someone is looking at your organization and unsure about signing up or contacting you, a testimonial can help silence some of the skepticism they have. Testimonials can be as low key as a featured client on your website, or as complicated as a video from someone who’s worked with you talking about how good it is to work with you. Having testimonials is a little bit of work, but once you have them, implement them on your website and think about including them in your social media and print materials.

Now, of course, this doesn’t cover some of the technical things a website should do. Maybe we’ll cover that in a future episode. But from a content standpoint, if you accomplish the above, you’ll be doing better than most of the people out there. Do you have a winning website? If not, you should think about giving us a call. At Adelsberger Marketing, we build winning websites every day. If you have a friend who needs website help, text them the link to this podcast. Thank you for listening to the Content Machine podcast and we hope to catch you on the next episode.

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