Before I get into this, let me say that Build Online is not a website company. We do not specialize in making websites. In fact, we turn down a lot of requests to make websites and usually only do it if our app customers don't have an adequate website. But we do know a lot about websites. In fact, both me and my partner originally started in software by making website builders and there probably isn't a person on our team that hasn't personally made more than one website.
So what does your business need on a website? Do you even need a website? Let's get this out of the way first:
Your business needs a website.
You may get all of your business through word of mouth. You may have a strong youtube or social media presence. You might operate in a business niche that has nothing to do with the online world. None of that matters - you still need to have your own website.
Your website is your space that you own where you can make a case to your potential customers on why they should use you. You may do a lot on social media - but you do not own that space. Youtube or Facebook could go belly up or kick you off or change their algorithm. They can also run ads for your competitors against your product. But when you own a domain, you own it. You control it. It's your space.
And it's important space because it's the space that people will look to find out info about your business. Whether you are a landscaper, a pest control company, a cleaning service or an app company - you should have your own website. Not just rely on a Facebook page or Google listing.
What should be on your website?
Ok. So you understand you need a website. What needs to go on it? Let me tell you four things:
First, your website needs to have great copy.
The most important thing on your websites isn't the graphic design or the animations or even the photos. The most important thing on your website is words. It's the copy.
The copy on your website needs to do one thing: it needs to clearly articulate what you can do for your potential customer.
The key word here is "clear." No jargon. No cute language. Just tell people what you can do for them right at the top. It should take people less than five seconds to figure out who you are and what you can do for them. If there is any question here - your website is a failure. It doesn't matter how pretty it is.
Second, your website needs to have a strong call to action.
After you tell people what you can do for them, you need to tell them how they can get started and you need to ask them to do this. This means clear buttons right at the top that say "Buy Now" or "Get Started" or "Order today."
Don't be sheepish about this. Your business exists to make money. If you actually have a solution to your customer's problems, then be direct about asking them to buy.
And don't just do it once. Do it all over your website. Put it in the top right corner. Put it in the hero section. Put it several times on the home page.
So a strong call to action.
Third, your website needs to look professional and inviting.
It needs to look like, well, websites look in 2021. It needs to have great photos and illustrations. It needs to look up to date. It shouldn't be too dark or artsy. It should match your brand.
Probably the most important part of this is good photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. It's well worth your money to hire a local photographer to take some photos of your team at work. Make sure your photos are bright and people are smiling.
As far as design goes, don't worry too much about custom designing your website, just use a template.
Speaking of templates. Do you know what I've never, ever done? I've never, ever seen a good website and thought - that's just a Squarespace or Wordpress template. I don't care - and your customers won't either.
Let me tell you a secret: We have several very talented UX an UI designers who work at Build Online and guess what, we still use a Webflow template for our company website. A template is just fine.
What's most important is the content you put in it.
Which leads me to the last thing your company website needs:
Fourth, your company website needs blog posts and articles.
You need to write articles on your website on a regular basis. Even if no one reads them. You still need to write articles.
These articles will do several things for you:
First they'll establish expertise. Even if people don't click through the articles, seeing that you've written fifteen articles about your field in the last three months shows you care about it, that you are knowledgeable and that you are helpful.
Second, they'll establish SEO. They help you get ranked higher in organic search traffic. If you write helpful articles enough, your website will come to the top of search results when people are looking for your specific industry. This will drive down the cost of getting leads and will really help your sales and marketing efforts.