What’s the first thing you do when you are looking for a product, a service or a solution to a problem?
If you’re like most people, you search online.
In 2017, the number of people searching Google daily was 3.5 billion. And, that’s just Google!
Aside from the large number of people who use search engines, having a website delivers a myriad of benefits. They include the opportunity to build your brand, create an experience, establish credibility, find new customers and drive sales.
Also, your competition is already out there, so consumers expect you to have a website!
If you’re thinking about launching a website for your business or you’re not sure if your current website is serving you the way it should, one of the first questions you might ask is what kind of business website do I need?
There are a variety of kinds of websites out there, so determining which type of site is right for your needs is the first step in building a site that delivers.
For this piece, we’ll cover three basic types of websites:
- Brochure Websites
- E-Commerce Websites
- Lead Generation Websites
If your primary objective is to provide information about your company, spotlight testimonials, and offer contact information, a brochure website might be the right fit.
Maybe you don’t sell anything directly, but you want a vehicle to tell your story, maintain your brand and let your visitors know how they can get in touch with you. Brochure websites tend to be static sites and company-centric. In other words, they aren’t consumer-focused.
Brochure websites are relatively simple to build and maintain. They typically don’t have a lot of pages, but they give your business a 24/7 online presence.
Because they are the least complicated, least interactive and require less planning and maintenance, they are also the most economical choice.
While a brochure website can do a great job of confirming who you are, it won’t go far in engaging visitors and driving more business.
If your objective is to build a relationship with your audience, a brochure site relies on your visitor to call or email you, so you’re leaving the next move up to the customer.
Tip: Customers today want convenience, so don’t make it harder for them to do business with you by making them do the work.
If you plan on selling goods or services online, an eCommerce website that has the capability of performing electronic transactions would be the best choice.
Thanks to the internet, buying and selling from ANYWHERE is a lot easier than it used to be.
Ecommerce websites are excellent tools for keeping costs low. As compared to the need for a physical storefronts and all of the costs associated with them, eCommerce sites help small businesses expand their reach.
A well-designed, user-friendly and intuitive site can drive sales and help you gain great customer data.
However, there is a lot that goes into the planning of your eCommerce website...Design, the customer’s user experience, knowing how to maximize sales in real-time & inventory updates, to name just a few. Don't forget shipping. Depending on the items you sell, shipping could be your biggest nightmare!
There are also more technical considerations involved in eCommerce sites, such as expertise in online security, fraud prevention, and data privacy.
Tip: It’s highly recommended that you seek professional help in planning, building and maintaining your eCommerce website.
Lead Generation Websites
Lead generation websites are more visitor-focused and dynamic websites that leverage the use of quality content to establish credibility and provide value to the consumer.
If you offer a product or service that requires education before purchase and your objective is to engage and find qualified prospects, then a lead generation website is likely the best solution for your business.
Lead generation websites are great for getting and keeping a potential customer’s attention. They do this by using landing pages, downloadable content, and calls to action to capture visitor information.
When executed properly, lead generation websites initiate relationships with visitors and can ultimately convert prospects into sales.
Linking marketing campaigns to actions provide data on consumer behavior that can help you better understand your audience and continually adjust your campaigns to maximize results.
Driven by quality content, lead generation websites do require more time to develop that content. But, done well, that content will drive visitors to your site.
Like eCommerce websites, lead generation websites require more research, planning, and maintenance. Without the knowledge behind sales processes, how they work and best practices for lead generation, the biggest pitfall is the lack of proper execution and missed opportunities.
Tip: Utilizing a marketing agency that specializes in content marketing and lead generation is less expensive and will drive better results than trying to do it yourself.
They say “first impressions matter.” Boy, do they ever! And, there is a good chance that your website will be the first impression a potential customer has of your business.
Will they think highly of your business when they look at your website? Does your website make them want to do business with you? Does your website provide a solution to their problem?
If you answered “No” to these questions, you have some work to do. You can learn more about whether it is time for you to redesign your company website in our article, 5 Signs It Is Time For A Website Redesign.
A successful website starts with a great plan. It can be the difference between driving sales or having your business stagnate.
If you want to start crushing your sales goals, determine which category of website fits your needs and consider partnering with a marketing agency that can help you put a strategy in place!
And, if you are thinking that you don’t need to hire a marketing agency because you can do it yourself, you may want to read our article, Why Should I Hire A Marketing Agency For My Small Business?
Olivia is the Co-Owner and VP of Sales for InTouch. She loves getting to know and connecting with people.