Effectively Use Your Website and Blogs to Attract and Retain Customers

Your website is your greatest selling tool and should be an investment that you commit to more than just one time. The “if you build it, they will come” does not work for online marketing. You can’t just build a website and wait for business. So how do you get people to you?

You have to advertise. I can’t count the number of clients that don’t bother to put their website address in their marketing materials, such as print collateral, business cards, TV, radio and even billboard ads. You should also consider purchasing banner ad space on websites that share your target demographic but do not compete with you directly.

Once you get people to your website, you have to capture their interest to keep them there. You have 10 seconds to capture your visitor’s interest. So take a fresh look at your website. Is it attractive to you? Is the information your potential client most wants to know on the home page or easy to find? Suggest to your employees and current clients to provide feedback on your current website. If they have comments or concerns, take note of them. This website is not for you, it is for your potential customers. Make sure you create a design that is inviting and your content is easy to read and find. A big problem I notice is a change of text fonts, styles and colors from one page to another and even one paragraph to another. Please be kind to those reading your site, especially if you have a lot of information to digest. Keeping font styles consistent allows for a user’s eyes to flow easily through your information and increases their retention. Consult with a professional firm that has experience in designing business sites. They will be able to help guide you with regards to color schemes, content development, navigation, and layout. And please, have people other than yourself read through your content for spelling and grammar. This is a glaring problem I see when clients submit content. Your customers will notice, too.

Once you’ve caught their interest, you need to be available to them for contact. Make sure to have your physical location, directions or map, hours of operation, phone and fax numbers, and of course, a way for them to contact you via email. I have seen too many sites where a business says you may only contact them by phone during certain hours. People are online because they want to conduct business online. If you aren’t providing them that access, you are missing your chance to sell.

Your business should never be over after the sell. Use your website as a tool to keep your clients informed and sell them on other services and products as you make them available. Consider adding a blog to your site that covers topics related to your business that will be of value to your clients as well. The tone can vary, such as upgrade information, new hire, community partnership or case study.

So if you build it, will they come? And if they come, will they stay? The only way to get a strong return on investment for your website is to take the time to plan through your website development and stay open to periodic changes to enhance the user’s experience.

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