Business is about honesty, openness, and transparency. It is important that your customers know who you are and how to contact you. This is why it’s important that your website is optimized for search prospects. Your customers will get frustrated and leave your site if they can’t find what they’re looking for. There should never be a time when a customer is wondering about your identity and how to contact you.
What should go on your website? Great question. Begin by telling your visitors the following:
1. Discuss how your business is unique
Begin by answering the question “Who are you?”. Include management biographies, your expertise and a bit about your expertise.
- Create an ‘About’ page for your website or profile.
- Begin writing your bio with your first and last name.
- State your current position and what you do.
- Consider adding humor or a personal story to add flavor to your professional bio.
2. Always include a Search Box
- Statistics show the use of a search box converts at higher rates than your average user who doesn’t search.
3. Your search engine doesn’t crawl all your content.
- It is important that you use some kind of analytics tool. You can then determine the most common things that people are searching for on your website. Google Analytics works well.
4. Offer a clear sense of what your company offers
- Make sure you offer general information on your homepage. Along with information on your products and/or services. Encourage customers to contact you with questions. Respond to all inquiries within 24-hours.
5. Contact information, including a phone number and physical location
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many companies are vague about their location. This is particularly true of home-based food businesses. Some prefer to do their business online and see no need to publish an address or phone number. Avoid this at all costs. You may not include your number address, but at least include your city and state. This is a must, and it’s one small way of building credibility and trust with the consumer. It is understandable that you would not want folks coming to your home for hot pepper jelly or a birthday cake order.
A word of caution about inviting customers to your home. This is not a best practice for cottage food operators or makers who agree to deliver products directly to customers. Stay safe and select a public pick-up location. If at all possible don’t deliver products alone. There is safety in numbers.
Some cottage food requirements ask that you put your home address on your products. While we cannot tell you to not follow your state cottage food regulations, we do ask that you do what is in your best interest. Keep yourself and your family safe.
You’re not finished yet.
There are other things you can to that say honesty and authentic. Use an SSL. An encryption system that helps protect the privacy of data exchanged between your customers and your website. It is important to be mindful of the ease of website use and navigation. If people can’t find it, they can’t buy it. Porter advises keeping sites “crisp, clean, and easy to navigate,” but also for site owners to study traffic and usage patterns to adjust their sites based on what visitors are coming for.