Part of my job is to help businesses understand the importance of how up to date content can affect their website, in a good way. Frustratingly, when I explain about how the content of their website is paramount to keeping visitors’ interested in them and their business, I do meet with a fair amount of resistance. I think this is because it’s a change! I come across many clients who do their jobs admirably and who are happy doing what they’ve always done. But websites have changed away from being just brochure websites to becoming much more “interactive and engaging”.
To have a successful website takes a lot of hard work – from both the designer and the owner. If you’re looking at investing in marketing your website, then obviously, I’m sure you would want that investment to work hard for you. By building a bog-standard website with bog-standard pages where the content doesn’t change from the day you put it on there doesn’t build confidence in the visitor. As I often explain “why would anyone want to return to your website if there is no fresh content to read?”
Change is hard for many businesses, but 2012 looks to be very challenging year, a year where more and more visitors will look for you online. The key to success is, is your website engaging enough for them to make contact?
So I’ve listed below my top 5 tips to see if your website is ready for visitors in 2012?
1. How old is your website?
This is an interesting one. Because technology is moving at such an amazing pace, this means that websites are almost becoming old before their time. Just remember…websites age the same as dog years, so if your website is 5 years old, actually it’s 35 years old. Time to address and update.
2. What do you want your website to achieve?
Many people just believe they need a website because they should have one, without thinking about what it can achieve. Are you looking to collect email addresses and build your list? or do you have shop where you want to sell products online? Or do you want to tell people about what you do and how you can help them? Whatever it is, then this needs to be very clear on your site, with clear calls to action where appropriate to drive visitors to your required destination!
3. Is your website built on a sustainable platform, ready for mobile access?
More than ever, the requirement of websites now need to be so that they are easy to access via smartphones and the iphone. People are on the move a lot and are using their mobile phones as mini computers. WordPress is a great platform to use for viewing on mobiles – it’s versatile, it’s easy to edit and it’s upgradable. Check out how your website is built?
4. How engaging is your website?
I was talking earlier about how content is important. Think about what you do in your business and how you can add value to your clients. What is your offering? Whatever it is, talk about it. Tell people about it and about you can help them, about how you’ve gained experience to help them. This message needs to be clear on your website. Encourage the visitor to contact you, ask you a question maybe and then start to build a relationship.
5. How are you promoting your website?
So, you have your website address on your letterheads and your business cards, great. Then where? And are you telling people to go and visit your site because it has your latest newsletter or special offer on there? As “un-English” as it seems, we have to shout about our businesses now because if we don’t, no-one else will.
Of course, we always have the option of paying Google to promote our website for us, but with the way social media is setup now, it’s making it very easy for us to do this ourselves.
So what’s holding you back from updating and promoting your website?
If you need any further advice your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
PS Next time I’ll be offering advice on how best to get your Facebook page working hard for you…