In the world of 21st Century business and marketing, your website is by far one of the most valuable tools at your disposal for conveying the benefits of your services to your prospective clientele, as well as to developing your overall brand in general.
There are both immense positives and some negatives to this. Whereas in times recently past, you could afford to be fairly web-illiterate and still conduct a successful trade, you are now absolutely obliged to put in the work required to maintain a sophisticated web presence, if you want to remain competitive and have any chance of thriving professionally.
The flipside to this is, of course, that you now have an unprecedented ability to reach your audience, virtually for free, through the medium of your own website. Whether your job is centred around b2b ecommerce, or something more brick-and-mortar, successful marketing has become something that you can achieve from your home office, and with the help of a few contractors and businesses working remotely on your behalf.
To help take your business to the next level, or to get it off the ground to start with, here is a quick primer on some ways you can make your website more attractive to prospective clients.
Employ a professional copywriter to handle your written content
Written content is often somewhat undervalued and underestimated among the owners of burgeoning startups and entrepreneurial ventures. With the ever-present temptation to cut costs and do everything — or most things — solo, website copy is often a bit of an afterthought.
The thing is, your written content is one of the absolute most paramount features of your business, and is a key signal of your professionalism to any and all prospective clients who stumble onto your landing page.
While you may be relatively articulate and good with a sentence, there is an art to copywriting which revolves around invoking both an aura of sophistication and professionalism, while also using imagery and punchy quips and terminology to convince people that you are a cut above the competition, with a specific purpose and skillset that others lack.
Unless you have a background in copywriting and are willing to invest the time and energy required to craft sophisticated written content for your site, employing a professional copywriter to do the job for you can easily be one of the keys to your overall and long-term success.
Focus on a minimalist, sleek and modern aesthetic
When constructing a website, or paying to have one constructed, new business owners are sometimes liable to fall into one of two different traps.
The first of these traps is to adopt a basic DIY ethos for site-building, while lacking the particular skill set necessary to make the site appear appropriately professional or modern.
An outdated website — generally indicated by a static web-page, devoid of graphics, that would have been common a decade ago — is a sign of amateurism to many clients.
On the other extreme, a laggy website over-burdened with interactive elements, can seem messy and off-putting.
Whether building your own website, or employing a professional to do the job, you should focus on creating a minimalist, sleek, and modern aesthetic, with up-to-date features such as parallax scrolling.
Include professional photography on the site
For many types of small business, you, as an individual, are a core component of your brand, and clients will want to see you and read something about you when they visit your website.
For this reason, any “About” page in which you introduce yourself, personally, should feature a professional headshot that puts you in a good light.
Photos taken on your smartphone are likely to seem amateurish, and are another stumbling block which creates a poor impression among visitors.
Include well-constructed calls to action
Calls-to-action should be present on every professional website, as these are one of the most fundamental features of marketing, both digital and otherwise.
A call to action is often written, but can only appear in the form of a video, or newsletter sign-up link paired with a special report or graphical display which provides value to the client.
A call to action is, essentially, an element of your website where you ask the visitor to do something that you want them to do, and give them some good reasons for doing so.
“Sign up to my mailing list for a free copy of my ebook”, or “email me through the contact form for a free consultation” are conventional examples of calls to action.