This post is part of The PR Channel’s “Guest Blogger Series” featuring insights from Austin-area entrepreneurs and business leaders in areas complementary to PR (including marketing, sales, graphic design, web development and more).
By Chris Bailey
Since my company is currently undertaking a website redesign project, I’ve been thinking a lot about websites lately – in particular, what makes them successful as a marketing tool. In a quest to learn what other companies have done, I’ve visited dozens upon dozens of business sites for clues to their potential success. What I think I’ve discovered is…
It takes five -abilities to make your site a successful marketing and business development machine.
Justifiability: What do you do and why do I need it?
Your site has to make a convincing and fast value proposition to a potential customer. That means not pummeling them with countless feature sets, services, and all the things that YOU think make you great. It does mean succinctly describing what your business does and why it matters to a customer.
Capability: How will you solve my problem?
While it’s not necessary to go in-depth into how your business works, it is necessary to show you understand your customer’s challenges and then offer how you can uniquely resolve them. Conduct some market studies and learn your core customer’s pain points. Then use their language (not your own cryptic in-house terminology) to demonstrate how you can make their lives easier.
Easability: Is it easy to work with you? Is it easy to buy from you?
No matter how incredibly wonderful and life-changing a product or service might be, no one – REPEAT, NO ONE – wants to buy it if it only leads to a painful experience. Your site needs to not only be easy to use and navigate, it needs to mirror just how easy it is to work with you.
Credibility: Can I trust you?
We all know that trust is a cornerstone of business. Prospects want to know that your company isn’t some fly-by-night operation that’s not going to deliver on promises. It’s why so many sites have those areas on their home page showing logos from companies they serve. That immediately implies credibility by getting us to think, “Well if [Company X] trusts them, I can too.”
Dependability: Will you be there when I need you?
Just like credibility, prospects want to know that once they make the decision to work with you they’re not going to regret it. They want to know that you’re there when something doesn’t work. They want to know that you’re listening when they have an idea or suggestion. They want to know you’re going to be a partner in their success.
Take a look at your site and ask whether it meets these five criteria. If not, what can you do right now to change that? I guarantee it will be worth your time and effort.
Chris Bailey is an anthropologist, marketer, and business strategist, in addition to being the Marketing Manager for Journyx. In his professional role, he’s responsible for demand generation, branding, social media, customer experience, and product development. He blogs at www.baileyworkplay.com.
photo found on flickr commons.