Is your website helping or hindering your business?

How do you judge a company? Do you only pick the big brands that you’ve been hearing about for years? Maybe you look through the website of any traders or service providers before you decide to contact them? So what will lead to you picking up that phone to enquire? And what will make you hit the back button and pick another company in the search results list?

These are the very same questions you need to be asking yourself about your own website. You must have seen plenty of examples of bad websites. Those with no clarity about what the company is about or even what services they provide. We’re not likely to go hunting for an About Link or some sub menu that might list a few products. We don’t have time. Perhaps we’re not even that interested. We want the answers staring back at us on the page we land on.

How to give those answers (no matter what the questions might be)

Your brand design might play a really big part in helping your potential customers know more about you. The logo and fonts used might make it clear whether you’re a children’s brand or not. You can use colours and icons to determine whether your products and services are for men or women. And the style and language you use will help customers know whether you’re providing professional services or entertainment.

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Use a tagline under your brand to provide a short, memorable description of your key business area. Some people call it a slogan or a catchphrase. Think about Nike’s “Just Do It” and how that is the first thing you think of when you see that iconic logo. Nike’s key business area is footwear for active people. The tagline embodies this perfectly.

You might also use a marketing copywriter to produce one or two sentences that help define your company and its main area of business. You might call this a mission statement. If you need any help with doing this for yourself, just take a look at a few of the more popular blogs. Blogs like Treehugger.com have a banner with a simple but relevant design and tagline. Immediately underneath that are the categories for the topics they specialise in. Adopt this approach with your website to make it easy to see what your company does.

Contacts

One of the most important parts of every web page is the listing of your contact points. Sharing buttons are great add-ons for any website. But if you want people to contact you directly, you can’t stop there. In fact, you need to make contact forms, email addresses and telephone numbers part of your header or banner, so they’re easy to see and stay visible. Live chat has become one of the most preferred methods of contact. If you can do this, then why aren’t you?

What do you sell?

Now you’ve made it clear what your business is about, think about what you’re actually selling. If you make your money from appointments with clients, why not use a calendar or schedule plugin for visitors to see your up-to-date availability? Some customers might simply want some more information about the specifics of your product or service. Make sure there are detailed FAQs available from a link on every page.

Most of us sell solutions to customer problems. Your content should tell a story about those problems and how you, your service, or your product overcomes them. Quality content is informative and entertaining. It needs to be shared through social media. And new posts should be added every couple of days or so. This will start to build up your reputation and help your website move up the rankings for any targeted keywords. If you want to sell plumbing services, then you need to write about plumbing services!

Your keywords are how you will be found. After all, new customers don’t know your brand or business name. So what words are they searching for that should lead to your website? Companies like CandidSky help you maximise the impact of each of your keywords. Researching the best short and long tail keywords for your content is essential. This is why it is so important to build your website around them, so you rank well enough to get those clicks.

More than a home page

Every company website should be so much more than a home page. Don’t expect prospective customers to phone you just because your phone number is on there. We all do our due diligence. We check the spelling and grammar are consistent with a professionally written website. That screams volumes about your professionalism as a business. We might even check for reviews. If you have good testimonials, get them on your website!

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Customers would rather take the details from your website and compare them to a competitor before they initiate a conversation with you. Can you convince them that your price is the best value for that money? Are you genuinely able to solve the problem they have right now?

Digital marketings strategy

No matter how big or small your business is at the moment, you must have a digital marketing strategy in place to grow it. Even if you only have the budget for social media posting, you should plan what you post and when you post it. Like your website, your social media pages can be the places where customers go to check you out. They might be looking for flash sales, or simply to find out more about you. Make each platform work hard for you, and be certain everything can link back to your website.

If you don’t take the time to carefully design your website, it might be doing your business more harm than good. We all go to a company website before we make an enquiry or buy anything. And yes, we’ve all come away from the site in a second if it doesn’t load quickly, or looks unprofessional. It’s the websites that give us value for our time spent there that win all the business!

*This is a contributed post

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