Consider this statistic from B2B Marketing: “54 percent of B2B buyers begin their buying process with informal research about business problems; nearly 80 percent of the time spent researching is done online.”
In other words, a small business website better do its job, right? Unfortunately, too many aren’t.
It happens more times than it should. You visit a small business website. Browse it. And can’t figure out what the business does. Its web pages read like a business plan, uses insider language, or sounds like gobbledygook.
Maybe you don’t find a website at all. As of 2014, Statistic Brain has found that only 53 percent of small businesses have websites. Having a website puts you ahead of many businesses. Still, it must do the job in getting results for your small business.
The “Small Business B2B Call to Action Study” says that almost 70 percent of B2B small businesses don’t have a call to action on the home page and almost 90 percent make it hard to find contact information. Talk about missed opportunities and bad impressions!
Effective business websites provide information, answer questions, make it easy for visitors to find things, and post calls to action.
What do you want people to do on your website? Yes, you want clients. However, to get there requires asking prospects to make smaller commitments before getting the big sale.
Get prospects closer to the sale
A website allows your prospects and customers take small steps to get them closer to the deal. To use Capital Solutions as an example, companies come to us for funding they need to grow their business.
Financial services and small business loans can be challenging for many business owners to grasp. Because of this, we use our website to describe the cash flow and flexible funding options for people who are researching how to get more money for their business.
We provide invoice financing services. It’s also called accounts receivables financing and factoring. Many intelligent people aren’t familiar with these terms. That’s why you don’t see them used heavily on this website. Business owners know they need help with cash flow. We work to answer their questions and act a resource to help their business thrive.
If they’re not ready to discuss funding, they can take the small step of completing the two-step form on the left side of our pages to watch a video. They can also join the mailing list for resources and updates.
Answer these 5 questions to enhance your website
Here are five simple questions to answer to ensure your business website achieves results.
Where is your contact information?
How easy or hard is it to find your company’s contact information? After I’ve used all my resources to solve a problem, the next stop is the company’s website. Some sites had me looking way too long for something that should take less than a moment to find.
This sends a message that the company doesn’t want to be bothered or customer service isn’t high on their list. They could lose repeat business and valuable referrals. Provide multiple ways for people to contact you. The more options, the better.
What does your company do?
We do our best to explain the services we offer — quickly and clearly — so you can decide if flexible funding from invoice financing is for you. Someone looking for home loans should know right away that we’re not the right company for that. As explained in the FAQ, we work with business-to-business (B2B) companies.
Why should I buy from you?
Many private lenders and banks do business loans. So how are we different from them? We also cover that in the FAQ and throughout the website. The two nice fellers behind Capital Solutions appear on the About page so you can get to know them.
We’d love to introduce you to all the employees here. That’d be more than you need in the time you have. Some business websites don’t talk about a single person. This gives the impression the company contains no soul. People buy from people, not companies. No face, no trust.
How good is your product or service?
It’s hard to talk about yourself or brag about your company’s accomplishments. Besides, people know a company is biased and no one wants to hear a company talk about itself. You can get around that … let the clients do the talking with testimonials.
Some sites have testimonials that sound hollow or made up. Effective testimonials include a full name, company name, job title, and location. The more information you provide about a customer, the more someone will believe the testimonial.
What’s your expertise?
Blog posts, social media, FAQs, email marketing, and other content marketing tactics are a powerful way to show what you know about your topic and help others. That’s what we do with this blog and our email list. The content we share online optimizes our site for search engines.
We have a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ page for interacting with customers and sharing what we know. We could add Pinterest or Instagram, but we can’t commit to that. Thus, it’s important to choose the tactics where you’ll find your target audience and make the most of the network.
Extra credit: Can I view your website on my phone or tablet?
I promised five easy tactics, which is why this isn’t No. 6. Nonetheless, it’s an important one. Google has changed its search engine algorithm based on whether websites can be viewed on mobile devices. This allows Google to serve up more mobile-friendly search results. Mobile-friendly websites will rank higher than those that aren’t.
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking. It depends on your website’s programming and software. For example, some WordPress themes are optimized for mobile viewing.
After your website answers these five questions, the next step is to get people there and to do what you want them to do.
What do you look for when visiting websites? What common problems do you notice? What can we do better on our website? Please share in comments because your thoughts matter.
Image credit: mmagallan