Your Minimum Viable Website Alone is NOT Enough

I often talk about how a minimum viable website is enough to give you the legitimacy to start getting clients. And the truth is that it IS enough — if you’re already building traction elsewhere and gaining visibility in the world. Your website simply backs that up and says, “yep, this person is legit.”

It’s also enough if most of your business comes from referrals, and your referral clients are simply doing a quick Google search to learn a bit more about you.

However, your basic website isn’t enough if people have no idea who you are, if you’re selling a super high-ticket product, or if there are any red flags whatsoever. Here’s what you need to do instead:

What is a Minimum Viable Website?

I think of a minimum viable website as a simple one-pager that covers the essentials:

  • Who you are
  • The service you provide
  • Who you work with
  • How to connect with you

And if you have any social proof and social media links, that’s ideal to include as well.

However, if that’s ALL your site includes…

And if you can see your entire page in a single frame of your computer screen…

Your minimum viable website might not be enough.

However, it can make an excellent placeholder until you build a website with more detail. After all, a landing page can stand on its own for several months. It might even work for you for a year, depending on how you get business. That’s where it ends.

Because while a minimum viable website gives you the space to create a more complex site, it may come with some significant drawbacks.

The Drawbacks of a Minimum Viable Website

If your website doesn’t walk your buyers through your why and help them get to know your process and your company, then it’s not delivering on its fullest potential. Most minimum viable websites fall short here, which is fine. They’re designed to deliver the minimum.

If your basic site doesn’t show people the potential of working with you or what about your background makes you the perfect person/company for the job, you’re missing an opportunity. Adding this messaging can be relatively simple on a one-page site.

Alternatively, you can show results you’ve gotten for clients. Just know this — if you’re going with the super basic site, you may lose people. If someone has more questions and is not fully invested in you as the solution, they may click away instead of asking you for clarification.

What Kind of Online Presence Do You Need?

You definitely don’t have to be everywhere, but you have to be Google-worthy. Link to your social profiles from your site, so people don’t have to dig deep to learn more about you. If you have more than one page on your site, make sure all the links are functional.

Additionally, make key information available about your company’s leadership and people who may be involved in the sales process. If it’s not on your site, share it on LinkedIn. It must be easy for your prospects to look up who they are buying from to verify legitimacy.

What shows up if someone does a Google search for you or your company? Are online reviews available? What do they look like? Is your social media updated on a semi-regular basis?

Back Up Your Promise With Strong Sales

Okay, so you’ve gotten people through the minimum viable website and onto a call.

Now what?

It’s proposal and contract time. Make sure your proposal matches the contract terms. Of equal importance, ensure your sales team understands key clauses and can answer questions your buyers ask.

The higher ticket your products and services, and the more perceived risk, the more critical this step.

Know the difference between your B2B and B2C customers’ needs. In the end, they’re all people with challenges that keep them up at night, but their pain points, and therefore their objections, will be different.

Make sure you understand the value you’re delivering as well as the risk.

How to Make Your Minimum Viable Site Work For You

We defined a minimum viable site above and said it may not be enough. So how can you make it work for you?

First, if it’s a placeholder for what’s eventually coming, include a note: “Full site coming soon.”

Soon is relative. It could be a week, a month, or a year.

Second, build out the pages that matter most next:

  • About should give enough of the story to help people understand how your background, core values, and beliefs relate to your ability to get the job done.
  • Services go into more detail on what you do — and if your services sell themselves, you can go into how it works on the process page.

Finally, wherever you commit to showing up, make sure it’s consistent. Be sure to share important details about your business, process, and reviews periodically on social media.

Last of all, why am I sharing this? It’s based on a very specific experience my family had buying solar panels for our home. And it renewed my perspective on this from a consumer standpoint about the values and limitations of a minimum viable website.

If you’d like to talk about how to level up your web presence to transform your minimum viable website and your marketing strategy, please set up a free consultation today

And, if you’d like to see the Live Broadcast where I shared more details about my experience, see it below.

This article originally appeared on ErinPennings.com.

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Erin Pennings

Erin Pennings

Marketing Execution Strategist + Copywriter for Founder-led B2Bs and Startups | Web Copy | Launch Copy | Marketing Strategy