Is your website losing you business?

In the marketplace of the World Wide Web make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Credit: Loudge at Unsplash.

Is your website losing you business?

What do you aim to achieve with your website? At the very least you’d hope to tell potential customers how and when they can visit your store or buy your products, right? But a surprising number of tire shops don’t include basic details like their opening hours on their website. Imagine how frustrating that is for clients. Your number one goal has to be making it easy for people to do business with you. Put all the useful information up front and don’t give potential customers reasons to look elsewhere.

Common website mistakes

Everyone responds well to slick design, and whether you’ve hired someone to build your website or you’re using a template, it quite possibly will be heavy on the design elements. But it’s common for businesses to forget the balance between design and message.   You still need to tell your clients how they can contact you, no matter how smart your site looks. Flash graphics can be slow to load and the last thing you want is to make your customers impatient before the site’s even loaded. Before you allow your designer to get fancy, make sure your website is hitting the basic elements that all customers will look for.

Think like a customer

The best thing to do is to take a look at your website through the eyes of a customer. You need to meet their needs, not your business’s.  That means lengthy blog posts about all your successes shouldn’t be on your home page. Ask yourself these questions as though you were in the market for some tires.

When can I visit this store?

It seems like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of businesses forget the basics like opening hours, contact details and the rest. Make sure you clearly list when you’re open. Put those details in your after-hours phone message too.

How can I make an appointment?

All the clever design won’t necessarily get customers to buy your services.  The vast majority of potential customers do research online before deciding where to buy, so you need to make it really easy for visitors to your website to make an appointment at your store. Either include an email form page or use a service like Ezytire, which helps convert online researchers into customers.

What products or services can I choose from?

Again, it’s so simple but it’s neglected surprisingly often. What does your business actually offer? Do you just do tires? Do you also perform services work? What about wheels? If you don’t tell your customers what they can buy no one else will; don’t force them to ask, tell them up front.

What prices am I looking at?

This might be a trickier one because the price of your services might depend on the specifics of the customer’s needs — although programs like Ezytire can tell customers exactly what each tire will cost and quote installation costs. If you’re not using software to help get potential customers into your shop, then at least make it easy for the customer to contact you. Put your phone number large and up top, so it’s easy to find. Include any special deals or rebates you might offer.

Build relationships with your customers

Once you have the basics covered, your customers should be reassured that you’re worth doing business with. But just because they found your business website once doesn’t mean they’ll remember it. So make sure you offer them ways to keep in touch. This is where your links to social media come in handy, or offer them a newsletter subscription with discounts or special deals as an incentive.

While you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to build relationships with other businesses you deal with – for customer referrals and links on your website. This will not only improve your website’s ranking, but it’ll also build you a community of like-minded businesspeople.

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