Just having a website in the age of the Internet is not good enough. Almost every company out there has a website these days, so there is tough competition. How your website appears to your customer can mean the difference between converting a click into a sale or nothing. So that means you need to give your website a lot of time and consideration to ensure that it is up to date and fully functional. It is so easy to miss things, and over time, content becomes outdated, and things begin to break down. You may even have to completely renew your website if yours is not up to scratch. Sometimes a bad website is worse than not having one.
A customer may be put off purchasing something from you if your website is of poor quality. This does not bode well for your products and services. You should consider your website as a shop window. It is your image and should aim to entice the customer, attract them, show them what they want to see, and more. If you get your website wrong, you really are missing a trick. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can improve your business website.
Your Business Brand
Never underestimate the importance of your business brand and how it can underpin and tie together all your marketing material, including your website. A brand is about creating cohesion; it is about creating a grand narrative complete with a philosophy and future vision for your business and the world. It is also about creating a logo and colour scheme which is easily identifiable and is loaded with meaning when the customer sees it. A customer does not just recognize your logo; they have an emotional response to it.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a strong brand. A brand includes things such as your company’s core values, ethics, and ethos; its company culture is directly linked to the brand. It is your reason for being in business. Consider why you started your company.
What problem in the world were you looking to solve? Was it to make people’s lives easier, or was it to make a brand that was more sustainable, for example?
All of this can help you develop a tone for your content, a way of speaking to your people. It is the foundation on which your marketing material will spring. That means you need to conduct a lot of customer research too. You can develop pages for your site explaining your vision and creation story.
You will also create a cohesive site complete with a color scheme, etc. You need to see a brand as an extremely deep and loaded concept. You are creating a depth to your company that connects with your customer. So, spend a good deal of time creating a brand.
Suppose you are hosting your own site but are struggling to keep up with modern trends and find it difficult to create things such as online shops and other functionality. Why not then consider using a content management hosting system like Wix, or WordPress. This can save you a lot of problems. These hosting sites have plugs-in for different requirements like a shop. They are built in with the capacity to look good on all devices, desktops, smartphones, tablets, etc. They are also pretty easy to use. There is no point in struggling when you could have a much better site by utilizing a hosting facility.
If you want a logical and coherent website, then you need to plan it. Sometimes when you have had a sire for a while, there are pages all over the place, random headers, and links. It can become a bit of a mess and become difficult for your customers to find what they need. It may be time to replan your site from the very beginning. First, think about why your customer is on your site. What is it they want? What would they the into the Google search engine? You will want on the home page everything the customer would want clearly visible. Your online shop in the top right-hand corner, for example. Whatever you are promoting at the time needs to be seen. Then you need a fully logical site map. All your pages are in the right place, all with links on menus rather than in-page text links. All this makes a site clear and navigable, and that makes it appear far more professional and an attractive proposition.
A website is nothing without its content. Content is the fundamental part of the site. It may look pretty, but if it is all style and no substance, then it is pretty pointless. So, you need to create some excellent, well-written pages. When you get down to writing, think less is more. You want your customer to find the information they need quickly. The last thing you want is for them to get bored before they get to the nugget they need. If you have a site already, take a look at your content. Is it relevant and succinct? Does it tell the customer what they want to know? If the answer is no, then you need to rewrite it.
Writing simply is actually very hard to do, but if you want to convert those visitors, then you need to learn how to do it without coming across as patronizing. Or at least hire someone to help you. Take out anything that does not add to the point or anything that detracts from the point; anything overly complicated or doesn’t really make sense needs to be removed. Do not fill up a page with rubbish just because it seems pretty sparse.
Remember that your content will already have a tone dictated for your brand, so ensure that all your pages are in alignment with this. Content is more than just the written word too. It is images, gifs, videos, blogs, vlogs, infographics, and more. Everything needs to be relevant to the point. If you have a stunning image that does not relate to the text, then all you are going to create is confusion. So, when you create anything, think about brand, simplicity, whether it is relevant and will your customer find it useful.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
When your customer searches for a product online that your business creates, they will type a query into a search engine search bar. The search engine then searches the web for sites that match the keywords in the query and then display the results. Your aim is to load your website with these keywords so that when the query is written, the search engine finds you.
This is known as search engine optimization.
Your content and metadata need to have these keywords in them in order to be found. Some customers may use Google search operators, which also work on keywords. The search engine also searches for these keywords along with the relevance of the site and when the site was last updated, among other things. The more recently the site was updated, the higher up the search engine results it will appear. You cannot constantly update your pages to keep the content fresh, but you can create blogs and vlogs which get around this issue. If you want a relevant website in the eyes of Google, then you need to add a blog and, or vlog to your site and load them with relevant keywords.
A slow page is a huge turn-off to your customer. If your home page takes more than two seconds to load, then you need to do something about it. Consider optimizing your images or simply upload smaller files, take out complicated gifs, and simplify the page. If there are superfluous pieces of data, remove them. A high bounce rate is far worse than a page that has a lot of pretty pictures but takes ages to load.
CTA – Call to Action
Let’s face it, you have a website to encourage your visitor to do something, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do this. That means you need a CTA on every page. Your pages need to be created in such a way that your visitor actually wants to take action, such as calling your company, filling in an online form, buying your product, arranging a time for a service, downloading something, watching a video, or doing something else that is of benefit to your business objective. To do this, you need an obvious and easy-to-use CTA. These can be in the form of a button, link, online form, etc. A good place for a CTA is just below the header, so it is easy to see. It can be placed on either side or in the center, depending on your preferences. You can create a secondary CTA elsewhere on the page, such as a learn more button and include a benefit or urgency statement below the primary CTA.
Matt Hoffer is a crypto enthusiast and gamer. When he’s not de-constructing the blockchain, you can find him chilling with some lemonade in the shade or playing a round of golf.