Facing a new website can be a challenge. There are so many decisions to make, from selecting a domain name to choosing what colors to use. One of the major decisions is planning what sections or pages a website will have. The wrong pages can mean spending time and money on developing content that won’t really make a difference, or worse, turning off potential customers. However, remembering one simple tip will make planning the right pages and sections to your website simple, and it should lead to more customers.
When planning a website, coming up with useful and compelling content for it can be daunting. Talking a little bit about our products and services doesn’t seem to be enough. We need to delve a little deeper to fill our websites, so we may reach for what we know about our businesses. What often results from this process is a perfectly adequate website featuring a home page, an about us page, a contact page, and a page or two outlining our products or services. If we’re a little more adventurous, we may include an online store or perhaps a blog (where we talk even more about our businesses).
While this is perfectly adequate, it’s not great. What we’ve done is created a website that is like so many others sites. It talks about us, our businesses, our products. That’s only natural; after all, it’s what we know best. What we have failed to do, however, is engage our potential customer. We have failed in showing how we can meet their needs.
For example, if I sold, installed, and serviced water softening equipment, my business-focused website would have a general home page (where I list my services), an about us page, and a contact page. I might have a separate page that goes into a little more deeply into my various products and service plans. Again, this is perfectly adequate, but it’s probably like most of my competition.
Instead, I should be thinking like my customers. If they’re online, and I want them to find my website, what are they most likely looking for? What are their needs? Chances are they have hard water, and it is inconvenient to deal with or worse, is building up in their plumbing. If I think like my customers and focus on their needs, I can determine what their most common needs are.
For people who might be searching for how to prevent soap scum buildup in the shower because of hard water, I can devote a page on my website to soap scum issues and remedies. I could also include a page for people who have buildup in their plumbing, and even another page for people who are dealing with hard water stains in their laundry.
Each of these pages can be tailored to their needs with solutions specifically for them…and I can encourage these visitors to take action by contacting me for help. My customer-focused website will still have a general home page, an about us page, and a contact page (which is better designed as a conversion page), but my other pages will be focused on my potential customers’ needs. This allows search engines to better match someone’s search terms (like “hard water stains in laundry”) to your page on that same topic.
Thinking like your customers to create a customer-focused website is especially important for little-known or new products or services that people may not know to look for, but every business can benefit. When people have needs and are searching online, it’s usually for answers, not specific products or services. Change your perspective, and think like your customers before you build your website, and you’ll have greater success getting found online.