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Why an online presence is critical for a small business – explained by small businesses

It’s absolutely critical that a company's website functions well and engages with users to provide an enjoyable user experience. To gain insight as to how startup companies have managed to convert online visitors to paying consumers, we have spoken to various successful business owners who have first-hand experience in this.
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For businesses today, an online presence now holds more significance for potential customers as an offline presence.

A website is often the first port-of-call when somebody has a query about a company. This is the moment where a user decides if they will be a returning and active consumer in the future.

First we spoke with Chiara Pensato, the marketing director of Moveguides, which provides users with a mobility management support service in a simple technology platform.

What impact does your website have on your business?

Your website is the number one resource that people use when looking for information about your business. As your company “business card”, it is critical that your website stays true to your brand and vision, and clearly delineates your core value proposition and leading messages.

A website is also critical for establishing credibility in the market. A bad website can make your business look sloppy and could potentially deter people from working with you. 

Your website should also go beyond being just a tool to sell the product, so that your audience can leverage it as a key platform to access industry knowledge and stay up to date with the latest trends and hot topics.

A website is impactful when it is engaging and offers more than just company information: things like a blog, customer stories and calls to action directing to relevant content help with that immensely.

What aspects of your site are most important to your customers?

We want to ensure that we deliver an outstanding user experience, so that visitors enjoy spending time on it researching information – and will be more compelled to return and recommend it to others.

Our blog is an integral aspect of this. We use our blog as a key tool to encourage dialogue on a wide-range of topics that our customers and prospects find educational and interesting.

Other channels that we see are generating the highest response rate are our customer case studies, industry white papers, fact sheets and use cases that bring our story to life for our community.

Are you planning to develop any areas of your website? 

Like a startup, the website should constantly be in motion and updated to reflect a rapidly growing business. This means that we make sure visitors always get access to the most up to date information and are diligent about keeping the web pages relevant to our community.

We are also improving ways for visitors to engage with our website and our team. For example, we have recently added new tabs that make it easy to connect with our team and calls to action like registering for events, viewing webinars or requesting a demo.

Data is very helpful for understanding what works or what we need to develop. We look at how the content and pages perform through analytics tools, as well as gather direct feedback from our community to learn what they want to read about and what appeals to them.

What advice do you have for new startups who are building their businesses website?

Before creating a website, make sure you are clear about who your audience is and what you want to communicate to them. From there really dedicate the time and resources necessary to establish your company’s vision and core messaging in a crisp and clear way. Once you have this nailed down, the design will be a lot easier to create.

Also, leverage third party validation as much as possible. It’s essential to establish credibility as a business and earn trust at the early stages of engagement – think customers, press, partnerships, vendors, investors, and more. 

It’s also important to drive a creative vision that makes the website engaging and human, as opposed to being very formal, impersonal and hard to navigate.

Continue reading to find out how Jacquelyn Guderley, an entrepreneur encouraging women to join the STEM sector, uses the power of online.

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