6 foolproof ways that a professional website will grow your business
Serious question : if you don’t have a website, do you even exist?
You might think I’m being a little dramatic here but trust me, you NEED to have a website if you have a business that you want to grow. And not just any old website either. You need a professional website!
It’s not enough to have an online presence on social media either because as we’ve seen in the past, platforms go in and out of popularity all the time (MySpace, Vine and Snapchat, I’m looking at you). You might build up an audience on one platform only to have all those people jump ship and leave you without a way to stay in touch with them.
That’s why it’s SO important to have a website. It’s your “home” on the internet that you own and it can’t be taken away from you. Websites are a way to share information with your audience, capture their contact info so that you can stay in touch with them (hello, email lists!), sell products or service, and generally build up your brand visibility.
All of this is well and good, and once you have a website up and running, it’s time to make sure that it’s working FOR you - not against you!
This is where the professional website comes into play. We aren’t talking about casual, personal blogs here. Those hold a special place on the internet but they aren’t the focus of this post. Instead, our attention is on professional websites that support a business, no matter the industry.
In my experience as web designer/developer who works with small, professional business, I’ve noticed that there are 6 foolproof ways that a professional website will grow a business, and I’m going to share those with you today. I’ve seen my clients grow their businesses many times over after they’ve redesigned or launched a new website, and almost all of them agree that there’s enormous ROI on our projects.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at how a professional website will grow your business!
Without a website, a business will have a very hard time proving that it is legit. This is a no brainer!
Back in the day, people used to look up businesses in the phone book or ask their friends for recommendations. Times have changed and nowadays, people usually turn to Google for the answer. This means that if you do not have a website, your business is missing out in a major way. It’s basically saying to the world that you don’t exist! If you want to do business outside of your social circle, you must have a professional website in order to showcase that you are legitimate and are running a real operation. Word of mouth will only get you so far and eventually, you’ll need to prove to the online world that you are worth doing business with.
At this point in time, businesses that don't have a website might be tempted to throw something together quickly and half-assedly, just to get something online. Please don’t be one of these tragic cases! I’ve seen time and time again how a bad website can be almost as damaging as no website at all. Instead, take the time to do it properly so that you have a website that best represents your business and helps you grow.
2. SEO lets people find you
Now that I’ve convinced you that your business needs a professional website, let’s talk about how SEO will help grow that business! The simplest explanation is that if people can find you online, then there’s a higher chance that they will do business with you. Search engines (like Google) will crawl and index the content on your website and return you as a result to queries online. Let’s take a look at how this works in the real world.
Imagine that you’re looking to grow your accounting business and want to show up in local search results. You might implement some of my Squarespace SEO tips and before you know it, you start showing up in higher rankings. Yay!…. right?
This is generally a good thing that you’ve improved your website’s SEO and are showing up in search results, but without a professional website, it’s not going to get you to the next step. People will hop over to your site after it shows up in their Google results but if they don’t like what they see, it won’t go any further. In order to capture the attention of those visitors, get them hooked and ready to do business with you, you MUST present them with a professional website. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy-fancy, but it must be well designed with the content laid out in an intentional way. Get the people to come and then give them what they want and need!
Psssst : Be sure to check out the posts and video tutorials in my Squarespace SEO Series
3. Control the narrative
What do Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian have in common? Besides an association with Kanye West, these two ladies both do an excellent job about controlling the narrative around their stories and brand personas. They have totally different approaches to the way they want to be presented and perceived but there’s no arguing that they are intentional and deliberate in the way we think about them.
Having a professional website let’s you do the same thing, just on a smaller scale. If you present yourself and your business to the world in the way that serves you best, you’re basically writing a story for your audience to read. This is done through branding, design, copywriting, marketing and many other ways, but it all comes together in a professional website that is tailored to speaking to an ideal audience.
Once you control the narrative around your business, you can showcase your best attributes and wash over the lesser points. It also gives you a place to write your story online and grow your voice. That’s why blogging and content creation are so powerful, they are directly related to growing your business!
4. Showcase your work
If you’re in business, there’s got to be a product, service or offering to sell. Many businesses make the mistake of simply outlining those things on their website, using it as a purely informational tool. this means that they are missing out on opportunities to GROW their businesses by showcasing their work, not just stating what it is they do.
This idea can be a little hard to wrap your head around so let me explain it further. When you use your website to showcase your work, you’re giving real life examples of it in action. Don’t just list out your services - instead, take the time to outline them and expand on your offerings. You might also use your website to showcase your portfolio and select past works. Or how about include recordings of presentations, speeches or talks that you’ve done?
Doing this will differentiate you from your peers, position you as an expert, and allow you to grow your business.
5. Testimonials and social proof
Another feature of a professional website that will grow your business in a major way is to include testimonials and social proof. If you offer a services based business, then your website is a great place to proudly display positive reviews. You can request or collect those from current and past clients and include them on your site to make your offerings more compelling. If people see that you’ve managed to get results for others and that they are happy enough to recommend you to others, it takes away some of the hesitations people might have about doing business with you. Testimonials also show potential clients that you’re more than just talk, and that you can back up your claims.
Reviews are another great thing to include on a professional website if you want to grow your business. This works especially well for products where you can get reviews and ratings from customers who’ve bought it in the past.
Finally, social proof is another fantastic thing to include on your professional website. You could embed a tweet, include a screenshot from Facebook, show off a Youtube comment, whatever. The goal here is to show that real people have interacted with your business in some way online and have good things to say about it! I did this for my Website Growth Tracker and saw an increase in sales once I added social proof to the page.
6. Capture and nurture leads
Hands down, one of the strongest features of a professional website is the ability to capture (and nurture) leads. This is primarily done through email opt-ins and sign up forms because it allows you to capture visitor’s information and communicate with them in the future. You can see this in action on my own website. I have an email opt-ins sections in the footer, on my home page, in every blog post, etc. Basically if someone lands on my site and spends any amount of time there, I want to stay in touch with them!
The ability to capture and nurture leads is one of the biggest differentiators between professional and newbie websites, and as we know, there’s money in the list. Most people won’t do business with you the first time they meet you or interact with your brand. It usually takes several interactions in order to get to that point. If you capture their information and reach out to them in a non-annoying way to build that relationship, you’re way more likely to have them convert into a customer or client. People do business with people/brands they know and like, and the ability to capture and nurture leads will get you to that point a whole lot faster.
If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you start an email list and begin capturing those email addresses and sending out newsletters today. This works for business of all types in every industry so there’s really no excuse, especially if you’re serious about increasing your bottom line!
Related : Why I made the switch to MailerLite
We all want to grow our businesses and having a professional website will get you there sooner. A website that looks pretty is all well and good, but a truly professional and intentional website is going to make all the difference in growing your business. Whether you offer a service, sell a product or have any type of offering, there are foolproof ways you can use your website to grow your business and I’ve seen major results from the points above!
Now it’s your turn to tell me, do you have a casual or professional website? Have you made the switch and seen the payoff in your own business? How has a professional website impacted your bottom line? Are there any areas you can improve today? I’d love to know so leave me a note in the comments!
Shameless Plug: Want to learn how to DIY a professional Squarespace website? Sign up for my free 7 day email course. Want a killer website without all the effort? Get in touch to work with me today.
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