Christian business owners must realize how important a website is to a business. Web pages only work when they communicate properly. Think about this: potential customers will make a decision about a business within 5-10 seconds of viewing their webpage.
It is like meeting someone for the first time, your first impression is hard to overcome. Once someone has made a decision about your company, they will seldom change that opinion. Sure, there are ways to create a solid marketing campaign to overcome a tainted reputation, but it is costly. We want to make sure customers have a pleasant experience from the moment they view our webpage.
Recently, I pulled up the weather on my phone to see how the weekend was looking. I saw an ad for a lower price and faster internet service. I was curious enough to click on the link and go to the page. When I came to the page it was confusing. I had to click on four screens just to get to the pricing that was mentioned in the ad. Then, I was not allowed to see the ‘actual price’ until I put in my address.
Needless to say, I did not stay on the page and this company lost a good customer. My brain now sees that company as confusing and it will be a hard sell to change my mind about what that company does.
Components of a good web site
Your customer’s first impression comes when they first bring up your webpage. It is what they see before scrolling or clicking on anything. This is called ‘above the fold.’ When they arrive, you want to have a good design, easy to understand navigation and content that clearly states what you do and for whom.
I have been in the design world since the early nineties. I could talk for hours about good design, but I will save you the details and get right to the meat of things. First, you should have an image of someone using your product or service. It should represent the ‘results’ of using your product. Keep smiling faces or really professional pictures of your product.
Some business owners want a huge logo for branding, but that is not what you want to do. It may sound counterintuitive, but your logo does not have to be very big. Customers literally won’t see your logo until they have decided they like your business. A big logo is for the business owner not the customer. You want to focus your images on the results of what your customers wants from your product or services.
Easy to understand Navigation
I have seen too many webpages that have navigation bars on top of navigation bars. There are places to click all over the page and it quickly becomes confusing for customers and they will leave your site. I suggest keeping it simple. The basic pages to have are:
- Home (sales page)
- About (customer focused)
- Services (listed on one page or categorized)
- Contact (a web form, phone and address)
- Blog (present current relevant, information)
- FAQ (not necessary, but may be helpful)
That is all you need for a good webpage. And, if you have been noticing trends in web design, many people are putting all of those pages on a single scrolling page. It is not hard to do if you are a web designer, but start with what you have and ‘clean it up’ a little at a time.
Also, there should be ONE clear ‘call to action.’ A call to action is simply telling a customer what you want them to do. Do you want them to click on a button and make an appointment? Do you want them to call your company? Your webpage should have a singular function so that a customer knows exactly what action you want them to take.
When I come to your webpage, I should know within 5 seconds what you do and who you do it for. I heard it recently called the ‘grunt test.’ Could someone with caveman-like intelligence figure out what your page is all about? “Me get good web site. Me get more customers.”
Donald Miller at StoryBrand has a short video series called 5 Minute Marketing Makeover. He says that your webpage should answer three questions:
- What do you offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to buy it?
Keep it simple not catchy or cutesy. Think about your ideal customer and what problem you solve for them. Then, clearly communicate using words that they understand. You must ‘dumb it down’ to the simplest version of your understanding. Remember, you have seen your website and you know a lot more than your customer.Your website should focus on your customer and clearly communicating value to them. Click To Tweet
If you have a website already developed, it may be painful to make changes. I have seen companies that spend thousands of dollars to end up with a website that does not work for their business. It may look good and be flashy, but it does not connect to customers nor clearly communicate.
Serious consider what your website communicates. You can hire a professional or just pop your website up for 5 seconds in a crowd of friends and ask them what they think they website is about based on what they see. You may be surprised to see things from a perspective outside of your company.
I encourage you to take some time looking at your webpage. Don’t compare it to others in your industry, compare it to what your potential customer thinks about your business. You can ask a new customer if they saw your website. You can even hire a focus group to look over your website and give you some suggestions. There are even people at your church you can ask to look at your webpage.