It is common to think that what matters to us is just as important to others. When it comes to our own Web site, we may mistakenly assume that the public is naturally interested, and that their interest will automatically increase profits. Is that so?
Realistically, the extent to which an Internet user “cares” will usually be the extent to which you motivate him to care. So how do you increase public interest in your site and business? Five main factors are involved in doing so.
1. Care about it yourself.
If you neglect your site, the public will too. So be enthused about your Web site, get your employees to talk about it, and use all avenues to make people aware of why they should visit your site. Also, make sure that you give your site proper follow-up attention by regularly doing maintenance, updates and expansion.
2. Provide new solutions to old problems.
On your Web site, don’t just aim to meet your outlined business goals; strive to meet your customers’ goals. Analyze how you can provide useful tools and relevant information which will help users solve their problems or answer their questions. Make it clear how your Web site, products and services can benefit them in a practical way.
3. Promote, promote, promote.
Remember that your Web site cannot rely solely on “browsing” traffic any more than a storefront business can rely on “walk-in” traffic. So do everything reasonable to advertise and promote your site, both to the public and to your current customer base.
4. Make your site and your business work together.
The experience a customer has with your company offline is just as important as online. What can help increase your success? Each person who works at your company must be aware of their role in the success of the Web site (and company). Employees should familiarize themselves with your site’s information and features — especially those that relate to their department or daily tasks. This prepares them to accurately answer an online user’s questions and promptly follow up on any orders, appointments and requests that come through the site. Also, by harmonizing your online claims with your real-world procedures, you will ensure that a customer receives exactly what you have promised them. Doing all this creates a more consistent customer experience, making people more eager to speak positively about your site and your company and, in turn, become repeat customers.
5. Keep the right viewpoint.
We all need to come to grips with the fact that a company that offers a needless product, bad customer service or high prices will not succeed regardless of how compelling their Web site might be or how well it is promoted. The Internet boom-and-bust of the late ’90s is a testament to trusting too much in the “magic” of technology. Your site will only be successful if you see it for what it is — a tool for a legitimate business. Of course, viewing your site as little more than an ad will sell your Web site investment short. Conversely, looking to it as a fallback for slow periods or as a miracle in a failing market will surely lead to disappointment.
The harmony of good product, good company, good site, good promotion is what generates real leads from the Internet.
What methods have you found effective in motivating genuine public interest in your company and Web site? As an Internet user, what gets you excited about visiting or re-visiting a Web site? What adds to or detracts from a site’s value? Share your thoughts by commenting below.