“A great business website is one that accomplishes a primary goal.”
Hopefully, you realize how important it is to have a website for your business—and if you need convincing, check out our post from last week, Why Your Business Needs a Great Website. Just like the front window in a store is used to encourage walk-in traffic, a website is your virtual window and front door. For some businesses, this is the only front door that they will ever have.
The key to making your site effective is to take a look at the needs of your business, and decide which of the various types will help you meet those needs. A great business website is one that accomplishes a primary goal. This may be getting customers to sign up for your service, selling products online, or merely providing your customers with a window into who you are and what you do. In this article, we will talk about the 3 basic types of websites—which type is right for you?
The whole point of a service website is to maximize conversions. If you are not already familiar with this, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the term used to describe how well your website turns visitors into paying customers, and the “optimization” thereof. The goal of Talkroute.com, being a service website, is designed with that specific goal in mind, and our number one goal is to get our visitors to sign up for our service. This means that every element of the website, every tab and every page, should lead your visitor to sign up for your service. Your Call to Action (CTA) should always be in their field-of-view, a little button prompting visitors to click it and buy your service. If a visitor clicks on your FAQ tab, then as soon as it loads (which should not be more than a second or two), your sign-up button should be immediately apparent, somewhere on the page. When they click on your pricing section, or your company description—there is the sign-up button again, and again. Visitors should constantly be prompted with the opportunity to immediately start using your service.
When using this type of website, content marketing will be very useful to maximizing conversions. That being the case, implementing an active blog to increase traffic to your site is essential. WordPress is one of the best choices for this, as it utilizes a user-friendly platform which provides a variety of customization tools, giving you complete control over all areas of your design—which is paramount to your success.
Similar to a service-based website, the primary goal of this type of site is to compel visitors to buy. The difference is that an ecommerce website is well-suited to businesses that are offering multiple products, rather than a call to “sign up” for an all-encompassing service. Also consider that if your business is selling hundreds, or even thousands of different products, then you should focus on function over form, when designing your site. Your website should be visually effective, no matter what type it is, but a business that is selling a wide range of products online should focus more on functionality than aesthetic.
Magento offers a variety of quality platforms that businesses can download and easily build their own custom website. For those who desire to create unique and customer-engaging websites, this is a great place to go. Shopify is another channel you may use to set up your online shop. They also give you complete platforms, yet more simplified, taking you through the entire process easily and directly. Either one, depending only on your preference and the needs or scale of your business, will do just as well.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a website whose sole purpose is to facilitate the promotion of your business, online; a brochure website is exactly what you need if conversions are not a primary factor. Remember—despite what your company does, it will appear to be far behind the rest of the business world if it does not have a solid web presence. When you envision your website: Is the goal to inform the public about what you do? Do you only want to show the vision behind your company, display a clear picture of its function, and publicize your mission statement? You need a brochure website. Though some kind of contact information for your business should definitely be included and easy to access, this type of site focuses on providing general information for your customers. They will see that you are available online, which says a lot about you—it shows people that you are not stuck in the stone ages.
SquareSpace is a one-stop shop that will get your business website up and running fast, and it will look good. They specialize in fulfilling the needs of those who just want to get their company information out there, creating a website for you that is functionally simple and aesthetically impressive. Wix is a group that also provides this platform.
Your goal, when creating your business website should always be to design one that achieves its goal. Be sure to carefully consider what this goal is, for you, and design your site to function around that goal. It is not as difficult as it may seem to put together a great website, and you can always consult professionals to help you produce the results you want.
Compare/contrast Squarespace & WordPress in this post about site-building tools:
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.