What is an effective business website?
Over the years, there have been a lot of misconceptions and overlapping schemes surrounding company websites and what they should consist of. When you think about your new website, you might think that it would be great to move your entire offer to it. So that potential customers can see in detail the parameters, ranges, model names, features and functionalities that you can provide.
It is assumed that the Internet and www is such a “window on the world” and the chance of presenting your company and your offer. Yes, it is a window on the world, but contrary to what you may think, customers do not look for products. Customers are looking for solutions.
They are looking for ways to help them achieve their goals, solve their problems, and satisfy their specific needs. So when customers buy products, they don’t buy them for their features but for the benefits they will derive from them.
Empathy versus egoism.
It’s worth changing the narrative from one that talks about parameters to one that talks about the benefits and, even more broadly, the values that your solutions will bring to the customer’s life or business.
You manufacture production lines for packaging specific items in cardboard boxes. Does your customer pay for the components the machine is made of? Aluminium, actuators, bending machines, gluing machines, wheels, guides and control computers? Unless he uses it in a specific business application, all this complex machinery may be worth as much as the price of the materials it is made from.
It is only the application in the context of the customer’s business that allows them to achieve real benefits such as reduced packaging time, increased production capacity, no human involvement in the process, reduced waste or errors, obvious cost savings and business automation. These are examples of the benefits your customer gets from your solution.
So it’s worth considering whether it’s better to communicate features and parameters, or whether to build the narrative from the point of view of the benefits your customer is looking for. E.g. “Speeding up shipments”, “Eliminating human errors”, “Improving the speed of delivery” or “Fewer transport complaints”.
How do you limit the information overload?
If we assume that the customer is not looking for your products, then they are even less likely to be looking for detailed information about them. Models, series, product groups, specific code designations or proper names – the customer may not want to learn anything about them and have to go into the specifics of the industry to be able to talk about the problems that bother him.
Marketing-interesting product or service names can be helpful if they capture the imagination of the recipient, stimulate their emotions and add value. However, if they are code designations that have taken hold organically within the company and are then communicated externally, this is definitely not helpful.
Instead of “XT27p4 industrial washing machine”, it is better to write “Pure perfection of every manufactured detail”.
What is really worth showing?
When you think about your new website, you may feel like it needs to feature all the products and services you have to offer. This may result in you having to invest a lot of your team’s time and attention to describe what you have in detail. Especially if there are dozens or hundreds of products. One of our clients had a similar concern recently, with whom we had the following dialogue:
Client: We have 45 products that I would have to describe in order to consider a new site, and that’s a huge amount of effort and we don’t have time for that right now.
We: Why do you think all these products should be on the website?
C: So that customers can find out what our solutions can do
We: Isn’t it more about getting these potential customers to contact you?
C: Yes, actually that is what it is all about.
We: Do your salespeople know about these products?
C: Yes, they do.
We: So would it be enough for the website to make the customers call the traders?
C: Nooo…. Yes.
We: We can present your company and products in such a way as to convince potential customers to make contact without having to present all 45 products in detail. Does starting a new website now seem less involved and more targeted?
C: If something like that is possible, then let’s actually talk.
How do we solve the content crisis?
About us, company history, team, offer. These are the next standard elements of most company websites that are placed everywhere by marketing agencies without much thought. Think about it, when you are looking for a particular solution and you come across a manufacturer’s website that can potentially help you solve your problems, do you want to find out about the friendship that brought the owners together in 1973 in the first place?
Similarly, do you want to get to know the “team of proven professionals” right away or are you more concerned with making sure that this is the place where you can meet a specific need?
Another issue is – how do you feel when a manufacturer forces you into their ‘offer’ to learn about product lines, labels and draw your own conclusion as to which solution will meet your needs? Wouldn’t it be better if he said to you directly: “are you looking for a better way to pack? What do you want to pack?”.
Depending on your choice, it will then guide you to a sub-page that describes how it can help you pack things similar to what you produce, provide valuable education and support in making your own choice, and then encourage you to get in touch for a no-obligation consultation.
A decision, on your own.
Only next, once you are sure that the company offers exactly what you are looking for, you may want to check that these solutions are of high quality. You may want to see the certifications they have, their portfolio of past projects and clients.
It may be important for you to be aware of how a company differs from their competitors and make sure they are the right choice. Conversely, if you’re not yet convinced of the values on offer then you’ll probably be keen to download additional educational material to build more trust and support the purchasing decision you’re about to make.
What matters most:
Your potential customers:
- They don’t need to know the parameters of your products or service names perfectly
- They don’t need to know exactly what and how many products you have on offer
- They don’t need to know exactly your history or your team of specialists
Instead, they need to know:
- How your company helps solve the specific problem they are facing
- What evidence you have of your ability to solve those problems
- What evidence you have of your ability to solve those problems
- How you ensure that your clients’ problems and challenges are actually addressed