A website should help, not hurt, a small business or start up. Today’s users expect (and deserve!) an awesome online experience. Customers have been spoiled by hardworking sites that are fast, easy to navigate, attractive and, in many cases, even fun.
Unfortunately, many businesses have websites that look like an afterthought… sometimes they are even cringe-worthy. Sure, your website is mobile-friendly and your call-to-actions are bold and enticing. But, that’s not enough! It has to work harder day-in-and-day-out.
Gone are the days when you’d create a website and then leave it to do its job. Now, we are constantly having to test, track and make modifications to keep it competitive and on target. All this, so your organization doesn’t have to settle for a less-than-fantastic, user-friendly user experience.
Here are 9 easy ways to energize your website to make it work harder for your business…and actively make it a destination for consumers.
- Focus first on your customers (or clients).
If you want to attract customers, your website has to be a customer magnet. How it looks and what it says has to appeal to them. Otherwise, all you have done is built a monument to your own imagination. Tell them what you can do for them. Answer their questions, and counter any objections.
- Rethink your links.
Do links into your site target specific, relevant pages? These are the links you use in marketing materials and social media. Don’t aim every link to your homepage. Instead, create links that bring prospects to the place on your site that will help them the most, such as a product page, contact information, or FAQs. Don’t assume that visitors will take the time to search further for the information they want or to place an order.
- Enhance your content.
How much information are you providing? How have you titled you pages and named your products or services? To improve the chances of showing up in search, include “title tags” on your pages that use the terms most commonly searched for. Include as much useful information as you can, including prices or fees. Outdated, poorly written or off-target content is a turnoff and makes a site look and sound second-rate. Review and update content regularly. Provide tips, case studies and other information that helps prospects solve a problem or accomplish a task. Avoid excessive jargon and keep it conversational.
- Display fresh testimonials and reviews.
Your current customers trust you…they’ve bought from you. Why not use them to recommend you to prospects considering a purchase? The testimonials and reviews from satisfied buyers about how great your service is or how wonderful your products are go a long way toward converting prospects into buyers, as well. Featuring fresh, new testimonials can be highly influential in the buying process. Luckily, you can easilyautomate the posting of reviews and testimonials to your website with reputation management services like Reputation Loop.
- Use videos, slide presentations and infographics.
People suffer from ADHD. They need to fast, easy ways to become involved with your website, like through videos, slide presentations, and infograhics. They not only like to view these handy tools to help them understand how products work or to learn more about the company, they frequently share them with friends. But, be sure to keep videos short, because most consumers like them cut down to 60 seconds or less to stay engaged.
- Make it look and feel professional.
Are your photos up-to-date or tired? Only use current photos that make your company looks like a class act in the second decade of the 21st Plus, keep your website clean and tidy. As with a bricks-and-mortar store, you want to enhance your visitors’ experience and instantly make them feel they’ve come to a business that is credible, modern and trustworthy.
- Upgrade your design.
Sites that are filled with multiple type fonts, garish colors and dated graphics cast a negative light on your business. Like clothing and cars, contemporary website design changes all the time. If your site looks old fashioned, customers will shun you for someone else. Check out our recent Solamar post on what’s hot in web design for 2017. Think like People Magazine or Sesame Street. Use images. Lots of images. Vibrant images. Images of happy, smiling people having a good time. Don’t overpower visitors with too much content. Leave plenty of white space so images and text stand out.
- Change the way customers contact you.
Make it super-easy to reach your business without last-century contact forms for customers to fill out and have to sit around waiting for a reply. Often, they don’t even want to have to go get a phone to call you, either. So, give them convenient options, like chat or online scheduling.
- Track your changes.
Just building a good website isn’t enough. You have to understand your analytics…to know how your changes impact your results (more visitors, leads, sales, etc.). Business News Daily recommends that you measure “…with the numerous free and affordable website analytics tools…The key is to test, measure, optimize and repeat.”
When you want to jump-start your website and make it work harder to get more leads, and/or sales and make more profit, turn to the website pros at Solamar. You can simply ask us to help amp up the content, switch up the layout, add videos, or make it a bit more SEO friendly. Or, we can help you do a total face lift or re-do. We’ll help you figure out what’s right for you and get it done.