To be successful online you need to create your website for your customers – not you.
This may sound like a ridiculous statement, but all too often industrial companies do not design their websites for their customers. Rather, they take an egocentric approach to web design, more interested in talking about their products, their history, their news, their events, etc. While that information may be important to them, it’s not necessarily what their customers are interested in.
People are not visiting your website to kill time. They are visiting to find a solution, answer a question or take the next step to do business with you. So, to be successful, you need to create your website for your customers – not you. If your website does not serve your prospects and customers, it is not serving you either.
A customer-focused website puts your customers at the center of your online offering, making it easy for them to do business with you. At the same time, a customer-focused website is aligned with your company’s overall business strategy and marketing objectives. And, most importantly, a customer-focused website produces results – leads, sales and profitable long-term customers. To be successful, your customer-focused website must:
- Speak directly to each member of your target audience. To create a customer-focused website, you need to know who your most profitable customers are. By clearly identifying your niche target audiences, you will be able to speak directly to their unique needs and motivations.
- Provide content and features that address your customers’ needs. A customer-focused website anticipates your customers’ needs and provides the solutions they are seeking.
- Educate and build trust. Your website cannot just sell – it must also educate. A customer-focused website serves as a vital resource your customers cannot live without by offering educational articles, guides, videos and other content that helps your customers become more informed.
- Persuade visitors to take action. A customer-focused website does not take a passive approach toward generating leads and sales. It offers a variety of calls to action throughout the website to convert anonymous visitors into named leads for your sales process.
- Make it easy for customers to do business with you. A customer-focused website serves as the hub of all your marketing activities and provides customers and prospects with an interactive and dynamic way to conduct business with you.
Bob DeStefano is a B-to-B online marketing strategist and professional speaker with more than 18 years of experience helping distributors and manufacturers leverage online marketing to produce bottom-line results. DeStefano is the endorsed online marketing consultant for many industrial trade associations and a faculty member of the University of Industrial Distribution.