Our basic concept in marketing is this: do something very well and let people know.
The web is now our primary source of information, so it’s natural that it should be a primary way to let people know about the things your company does very well. In fact, websites are the most cost effective form of marketing and basically can’t be beat for that purpose.
This is not all that websites can do, though. If you use your website only for marketing, then you may not be getting the most out of it.
Especially now, when it is simple to use a content management system (CMS) so you can update your website daily if you want to, that basic business website can take on lots more work for you.
Here are just some of the possibilities:
- Answer frequently asked questions. We don’t mean the FAQ page that used to be so popular on websites, but the questions people really ask you. Imagine pulling up a web page on your tablet to show a patient just how the surgery you’re discussing works, or to clarify a sizing chart for a customer in your store. Think about answering most of your emails with a link to the page at your website that answers the typical question. Anything that you often need to explain can be explained thoroughly with pictures and videos as needed on a web page. You have instant access any time, any place with an internet connection.
- Get forms filled out fast. Do you often give clients or customers a form to fill out? Build the form at your website (or upload a PDF file if you really prefer paper) and your customers can fill it out before they come to see you. We do this for all medical websites, and that’s the most obvious use of the strategy, but we’ve also added quote requests for logistics firms, new client forms for legal offices, and credit applications for a variety of websites. Your clients, patients, and customers would usually prefer to fill out forms at their convenience rather than taking the time to do it while you wait — and wouldn’t you prefer that, too?
- Provide customer service. This can be as simple as having a prominent “info@” or “support@” email link on your website, or it might be as complex as offering live chat support or a lengthy knowledgebase for troubleshooting. Wherever you choose to be along that continuum, making it easy for your customers to get help is a great way to add value to your website.
- Provide tools. There are lots of great online tools and mobile apps to help people with daily needs — and most of them are being provided by businesses. The paint company offers tools that let people build a decorating palette. The mortgage company offers a mortgage calculator. The doctor’s practice offers electronic health records. You can use this as part of your SEO strategy, creating terrific linkbait that will bring you more traffic. But you can also create tools and apps that will be useful to you in serving customers. If you routinely use a particular type of calculator or decision tool, set it up on your website for your use with clients — whether it’s in the aisle of your hardware store or in the business office of your practice.
You may be surprised to learn how many things your website can do for you. Discuss this with your web pros– things that only a few years ago would have been impractical or very expensive are now routine.