If your business has a written statement of values, it should absolutely be on your website. Did you know that customers are willing to pay more for things when they believe the business selling them is authentic and true to their values (HBR)? In today’s blog I’m taking a few moments to unpack this idea, plus 2 other important reasons for getting your core values up and on the web.
1. Customer Information
The ‘About Us‘ page on your website is one of the most important pieces of online real estate you own. Make sure this page is well-written and describes exactly what you do (and where) — because your customers will visit this page. And so will Google (more about that later).
Don’t miss this opportunity to speak directly to your customers, adding your Core Values Statement, Mission, and Vision. You certainly want to attract customers who respect and share your values, but their are financial reasons too. Recent studies indicate that customers like businesses who are authentic and remain true to their values, and they’re prepared to pay more for the goods and services they provide. Follow the link at the bottom of this article to the Harvard Business Review for more information.
I’m not suggesting that all potential customers are going to scrutinise your website before giving you their business, but some will. And even if they only take a cursory glance at your values statement, at least they will know you have some. Integrity that is.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is tricky. It’s one of those things that everyone has heard of, but most people don’t really know what it means. So I’m going to break it down into really simple terms using small businesses as the focal point.
Let’s imagine that every small business in the whole world was a manila folder filled with papers — and they all looked the same. Google is the Filing Clerk — ie, the person who sorts out those folders and puts them away into a filing cabinet in some sort of order.
Then you have the people who want to use the files. They come into the filing room and ask the Filing Clerk for the hairdressing file, or for the electricians, and the content writers. And they want the files immediately, and without mistakes.
If you can imagine now your business is just like one of those manila folders out there in a sea of 1.94 billion others. Every time you post some new content on your website, Google sends out some spiders and bots to scan your site. They use the text, images, headings, and headlines on all the pages and posts to try and determine what your business does, and where it is.
That’s why having a website that has plenty of text (and accurately describes your business) is great for SEO. And your core values, written strategically will certainly help. Let’s check out my own set of core values so you can see what I mean.
I’ve posted these on my ‘About’ page. The About page is one of the most visited pages on any website and one of the first places (after the home page) that Google will scan for information about your site.
The foundation of my writing business — the principles that guide me, and the values I live by.
- Excellence — writing amazing copy that delivers real sales (and actual results) for my clients.
- Research — carrying out proper research from primary sources and industry experts.
- Service — delivering excellent copy on-time, everytime.
- Integrity — writing original copy that faithfully represents the products, people, and processes I’m describing.
- Value — charging affordable rates that sustain an abundant life for my family.
- Relationships — building lasting relationships with nice people.
- Time — being available to my clients without compromising the wellbeing of my family.
- Impact — sharing my time and resources with disadvantaged kids, and creating free online resources that develop English literacy and business skills.
Can you see how I’ve use specific keywords: ‘writing business’, ‘writing amazing copy’, ‘proper research’, ‘writing original copy’. Google is already on the page, I want to reinforce that I’m a professional writer charging for my services.
Because I’m a freelancer and serve clients all over the world I haven’t referred to a geographical location. But if your physical location is an important selling point, you should write that into your core values.
3. Brand reinforcement
Finally, putting your core values statement on your website reinforces your brand to the general public and wider community. Think:
- Mangers, CEOs, tradespeople, business professionals looking for a career change.
- Innovative suppliers who can offer a transparent supply chain.
- Trade partners looking for strategic alliances.
- Community leaders.
- Government organisations.
When good people visit your website and feel aligned with your core values they might be inspired to connect with you, work with you, partner with you, or approve grants and funding for you. Don’t underestimate the brand power of a Core Values Statement strategically positioned on your About Us or company profile pages.
© 2019 Melinda J. Irvine
PS: all these fantastic images of flames were properly sourced from Canva.