How (and Why!) to Add Value to Your Website

     

Published: October 1, 2018

When prospective customers visit your website, they’re usually after something: information to solve a problem, details about products to purchase, pricing, or facts about your company to name a few. How you meet those needs, both immediately and in the long term, will determine whether that website visitor becomes a hot lead, and eventually a customer.

The key to making that conversion happen is value, and here’s what you need to know about it.

What is Valuable?
Face to face, your customers want to know that you’ll go the extra mile. People want to know you’ll take care to get their orders right, that your expertise will help solve their problems, that you’ll work to get them the best deal, and that you genuinely care about the outcome of the transaction beyond the dollars.

When it comes to your website, think of added value as the same kind of good customer service, but with a different delivery method. The challenge for businesses is to add a similar level of service with content, navigation, and offers in an effort to drum up interest, build trust and confidence, and eventually establish loyalty from customers.

Why Adding Value Works
Aside from the obvious answer that people like things that are valuable and don’t have much use for things that have no meaning, adding value to your website is the beginning of the transaction between you and your customer.

The bottom line is that you want people to spend money on your products and services, but why should they choose you? How do they know you’re trustworthy? That you’ll deliver the right solution? That you’re on time? That you’ll help out after the deal is made if something comes up? All these questions need to be answered before a purchase can happen whether we’re talking about a t-shirt or a corporate software solution.

When your website is full of valuable information--when it answers all those questions--your customers will feel like they are getting something first, before spending any money. By showing that you’re willing to invest in your customers before they make any purchases, you’re demonstrating that you’re ready to exceed expectations and that your clients are your priority.

How to Add Value to Your Website
All of this talk about adding value probably sounds good in theory, but how do you execute it on your website effectively? Try these ideas:
  1. Content, Content, Content. It’s the word of the digital times, but there’s more to content than bunches of words on your website. Everything on your website, from product descriptions to user manuals to blog posts, should be focused on the needs of your readers.

    Be helpful, be informative, be specific, and be happy to help. Stay away from the hard sell! People already know you have something to purchase; there’s no need to constantly remind them.

    Your content will also be more valuable to readers when your information is reliable (it helps to have studies or articles to link when providing facts), clean (no typos, please!), honest (we repeat: stay away from the hard sell), and organized (no long, confusing walls of text).

  2. Visual Cues. Are you a member of a trade organization? Have a great rating from the Better Business Bureau? Have you been rated a top organization from a review site like Yelp? Are you using a recognized security method for your website to make browsing and transactions safe?

    Trustmarks, or badges from professional organizations that you can post on your website to demonstrate that you conform to their standards, are a fast way to let people know that you’re safe. According to one survey, the most recognizable trustmarks are from Verisign security, PayPal, and McAfee, and 76 percent of respondents said that these logos affected their sense of trust in a website.

  3. Navigation. It should be easy for visitors to find what they are looking for on your website. Your home page should have links to all your main pages and include your contact information featured prominently.

    Along with your home page, your main internal pages should also feature clear navigation so it’s easy to get from one place to another, and so following a series of steps is intuitive for the visitor. Think of it like signs hanging in a retail store that let you know where the children’s items are, where to find shoes, and where the checkout lanes are.

  4. Freebies. First, people love free stuff. Plus, when you give things away for free, you’re showing that you’re willing to give your customers a little bit before you ask them to commit to a sale.

    To make the most of these offers, you can tie them to lead-generation efforts so both you and the customer gain something from the transaction. For example, you can offer a free trial in exchange for contact information. Then, you can continue to market directly to that individual and, as a bonus, you’ll know what they’re interested in from the offer they responded to.
Give, and You Will Receive
When you create an online and offline experience that gives customers exactly what they need and in a format that makes it easy for them to interact, you are adding value to their experience. That value accumulates as customers take part in your offers, and work with your team to finalize a deal. Remember to think long-term; you’re building relationships and loyal customers, not trying for one-off sales. Be helpful, positive, and friendly--even on your website--and your customers will reward you with their business.

One last note: search engines like Google love when businesses put in the work to add value to their websites and will also reward you with a boost in SEO Score!

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