Underperforming websites cost UK businesses millions of pounds every month, as frustrated visitors turn instead to your competitors. Do you have an underperforming website? Is it costing you money in unrealised revenue? If it is not generating sales, the answer is probably yes.
A website needs to be more than a shop window. A well designed website should jump in front of a potential customer as soon as they think they might want something, shouting ‘Yoo-hoo, look at me, I have exactly what you want!’. That’s not to be taken literally, of course, that would be annoying. But ensuring that your website is top of any search engine lists is essential ‘and just the starting point.
The basics of a good website still apply: what are your site’s priorities? What information do you need to provide? Do you want or need to provide ecommerce capabilities? Once you have the information then it is time to design the navigation. Is your website easy to follow? Logical? Then it is time to create the content – who is going to write the words? No one knows your business better than you but are you too close to it to write objectively? Accurately? How is your grammar? And you definitely want to avoid the hard sell.
Next comes the actual web design, there are many online tools to guide the novice through this maze, but it usually shows. The design must be visually pleasing and appropriate to your company image and most importantly, it must work properly: most first-time visitors won’t return to your website if it fails to run properly.
As I said, these are just the basics; we haven’t even got to the essential ‘look at me’ point yet. This is when online technical experts ensure the site is engineered in a way that is visible to search engines, attracting visitors with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-per-click (PCC) and search term marketing. Want proof? Of course you do. You need on-going visitor analysis, website audits and provision of sales leads. This is what it is all about; generating sales to increase your business’ profits – it’s all about the money.
Just in case it is all sounding too capitalist, the Internet, once deemed as the killer of human interaction, has now become the leader in social networking. If you haven’t already done so, embrace social networking. The key is to talk about what you want to talk about, keep it relevant to your business and make sure you can track your results – you want to know what works and what doesn’t. If you use it properly and your customers know you are listening, they will tell you what is working and anyone else who is listening. There is no better recommendation than word of mouth.
Your company website is an extension of your business, working even when you are not. Like the best employees, it’s worth the investment, so make it work for you.