I do a lot of research online, and I am definitely not alone. Most people conduct internet research on companies before they choose to do business with them. And this is the reason most organizations have websites, right?
And yet, how many times have you gone searching for something specific, found a few websites, visited them, only to find that few, if any, have the information you need?
Do you agree that the main point of your business website is to provide potential customers with information they need to make a buying decision? If you do agree , then you should have these two items on your business website:
2. A real description of the company and its key personnel (aka “about” page)
Let’s discuss each point.
Pricing information is necessary because cost matters in making buying decisions.
This is a no-brainer, or should be, and yet most consulting/service industries do not list prices on their website. For example, last month I was looking for a cleaning service. Since there are many in this area, reviews and referrals matter (you don’t want a cleaning service that has a track record of breaking stuff or of not dusting your chandeliers), and so does cost. Some cleaning services I found listed specific pricing on their sites, but many did not. Instead, some want you to call to get the estimate, and some want you to fill out online or email forms to provide you a quote.
By making pricing information difficult to obtain, you are losing potential customers. People have budgets in mind. They may be able to afford a monthly cleaning service of $150, but not one that costs $200. Why make those customers waste their time, and yours, by having a conversation about something that you can easily post on your website?
I know for many consultants there is a fear of pricing yourself out of a potential job. However, you know what you want to make from your work, don’t you? Why would you want a client/customer that is not willing to pay what you think the value of your work is?
People do business with people, not with vague or non-existent descriptions
Just yesterday, I was checking out a website designer/developer’s website, and guess what was missing? An “about” page. There was no bio on the designer, no information about when he started his company, or what his experience has been. Not. One. Word. Yes, he included a portfolio of websites that (supposedly) he has designed. But there is no clue as to what sort of person he is, how long he has been doing this work, and why he does it. In other words, by not having an about page, this designer left many questions about his own ability and experience unanswered. Perhaps the one question he did answer is his philosophy on openness and transparency (apparently, not a high priority). And this is yet another reason why you need an about page: you want to build trust and credibility by showing exactly who/what you are.
But an about page has to provide real information, not the generic and jargon-filled pile of words one finds on many websites. If you are wondering what to include on your about page, think like a journalist. That is, try answering the 5Ws: why, where, when, who, what, and throw in the how too.
What kinds of information, beyond these two points, do you need in order to make a buying decision? Please let me know in the comments.