Your website should be your biggest advocate
Your number one employee might be you, but your website will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting so you don't have to.
Your website says, "Hello," to the great wide web so people can find you. It's not doing much legwork, but it is there with its arms open and ready to happily usher someone inside.
Your website's landing page should show who you are, what you offer, and the value you bring to potential customers. By neglecting the face of your business - the one that is your sidekick - will turn people away. Slow loading or pixelated images will make people bounce right out of your site.
Attention spans are getting short. People will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. They say it takes less than 30 seconds to make a first impression. Those two facts coupled together means that you need to work hard to make that initial visit memorable by showcasing yourself in the best light.
Telling a story
Your site should tell a story and be there to help people understand why you do what you do. A site should walk people through exactly why you are awesome, in a scan-able and navigable way. People shouldn't have to hunt on your site to find how to purchase, what you want them to do should be front and center.
Having an about page can be the difference between a sale a leaving a site. Through my own site, and a couple of the e-commerce sites I worked on, I was amazed to see how many people actually look at the "About" page. It's not just a place to half-heartedly write a few sentences re-stating what you do. It's a place to really shine a light on the "Why" behind everything.
Your story can be simple or multi-layered. Whatever it is, make sure it's consistent. By delivering a cohesive presence that may have re-state ideas in different ways, shows visitors that you mean what you say and are trustworthy.
People want to purchase from people they trust. Building credibility with more about yourself, a clear identity, and seamless site can do a lot to tell a genuine story that people want to interact with.
Staying in touch
Your website is sad to say goodbye to visitors, but is ready to keep in touch with them through subscriptions and contact information. Make sure there's a place where someone who is interested can reach out to talk to a person (having a person on the other end is a HUGE selling point) or can sign up to receive more information.
The people that want to stay in contact are almost ready to trust you. They want to know more, see more, and be shown just how much value your services have. You can demonstrate this with a follow-up email thanking them for subscribing, maybe an insider tidbit that adds extra value, or sweeten the value proposition.
Make sure you are staying in touch, with people who are interested in purchasing and with people who have purchased. Your customers are not just a number to exploit, you want them to feel like a valuable part of the business that deserves interaction. After all, all ventures rely on customers to keep them in business.