How do I make my business stand out?
by Johnny Tremlett
Are you actively ensuring your business is always one step ahead of your competitors? Knowing who your competitors are and how to position yourself as ‘better’ or more suitable to your audience is essential for business growth and success. In this day and age businesses are constantly evolving and if you are not consistently improving and updating your business to keep up with current trends, understanding the wants and needs of the consumer, then your competitors will simply overtake you in the road to success.
Rule number one – your customer is key. Take the time to view your business from a customers point of view.
Begin by taking yourself on ‘the customer journey’ to see first-hand how your business interacts with your customer at every point of online/offline interaction. Note anything that stands out to you, good or bad. How can you improve? What makes your business stand out? We advise clients to do this on a regular basis to review and update, as often as may be required.
Keep in mind that most of your customers will find you through an online search, so view your website and social media channels as the face of your brand. First impressions count, and if your website is too slow, lacking in information or confusing to navigate around, people will click off and never give your business a second thought.
Try accessing your site from the different search engines that customers may use such as Google, You Tube, Chrome, Bing. What is the performance like, does your site load quickly for the user? Does the link land directly on your home page?
Making your website as fast, easy and efficient for potential customers should be your number one priority. So, while you are checking out your site using each of the search engines, check all your lead links (i.e Home, Product, Contact Us) are working, as are the hyperlinks with each page. This is a simple quick fix but makes navigating your website so much simpler and makes a huge difference creating a positive experience for the customer.
Review your landing page often as this page will form the first impression of your business. Ensure the content is relevant and up to date, addressing the customer directly. If it is not clear from your landing page what your business is or what value you can add to a customer, then your landing page needs work. Make sure your landing page is visually pleasing with high quality images, engaging language and consistent with your brand colours and identity.
Always ask yourself “Why did the user click on my site link?” Most often they will have clicked onto your site to get answers to an issue/problem they have, so it is vital you answer these questions on the page you have linked to. Customers want their questions answered, in the least amount of clicks possible.
For this reason – keep it simple! If they can be directed to either a contact, (or the product/service page) within one click, they are more likely to stay on your site.
Take a look at the home page on our website to see how we ask just one question as the main content on the page, ‘Is your business ready for growth?’ Below that is a ‘Contact Us’ button. Call to action buttons are critical. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to contact you.
Baring this in mind, check through the remaining pages of your site. Take notes on the positive and negative content that the customer will be seeing. Ask again “how you can improve your site and other social media platforms, to make existing and new customers want to engage?”
Don’t forget to review all your online platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc), these are just as important as your website. Is the layout and digital content consistent and in keeping with you your brand’s ethos, values and styles of interaction with customers? This is essential in forming your brand identity making you more memorable to customers and clients.
Bare in mind that people will be accessing your website and social media channels from all kinds of devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. According to S O’Dea at Statica (2020) “Smartphones have pulled away from laptops to become the most important device used to access the internet for close to half of those accessing the internet in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020.”
Analyse the performance and load times for each platform. A slow load time will only make potential customers click away, probably to a competitors site. Don’t forget to check how your digital content looks and configures on each of the different devices.
Lastly, take a look at your main competitors websites and review as if you were a potential customer. What are they offering clients that you are not, is the style, content and look of their sites more user friendly? Is the branding strong and personable? These are just a few questions to ask yourself. Consider your findings, and review possible changes to your own site.
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