Do you have a website? Do you think it "works"? And what does "work" look like for your business? Enquiries, sales, awareness? Whatever your objective, your website is the 24 hour shop front for your business. And the beauty of that is; it's always open.
But your website doesn't work for free. It's a work-in-progress and unfortunately the "build and they will come" philosophy doesn't float online. Instead, the "build it and keep making it better" philosophy works.
If your website isn't pulling its weight, check out these nine tips to get your website working its sock off.
YOUR SITE LOOKS LIKE IT'S STUCK IN THE 90S
A fresh, up-to-date website will give your business more cred than you think. Outdated, boring or drab designs can damage your brand and prevent people from using your services or buying your products. Websites are all about building trust online. Would you trust a site from the Stone Age?
YOU NEED A ROAD MAP
If your site is busy, cluttered and confusing you make it difficult from people to buy. Remove any distracting banners, or advertisements and opt for a clean, simple and user-friendly design. Make sure your call-to-actions are clear. If you don't tell people what you want them to do, then your conversion rates will suffer.
YOU'VE LOST CONTROL
Not being able to update your site easily is a big no-no. In fact these days there's no excuse for not building a site in an easy to use CMS (content management system) like WordPress. That way you can update your images, text and blog regularly. Your customers and potential customers will not only love you for it, so will Google.
SITE? WHAT SITE?
When your site launches, invest some time (and yes, money) in getting your site out there. Register your site with Google My Business, Yelp, Google+, and other social networking sites that your audience will be interacting on such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are also loads of business listing sites that you can list with that will help boost your website rankings.
A BOGGED BLOG
You might have a blog page, but if it was last update 5 months ago it's not going to do your customers, your brand or your website any favours.
And if you do blog, you might not have the right content strategy in place. Posting content is one thing, but consistently posting with a purpose is another. Know your target audience, brand's voice, SEO objectives and distribution channels in order to craft compelling, fresh and accessible content that visitors will crave. Check out our blog on blogging here.
NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
All websites need to be fully compatible with mobile devices. Not ifs or buts. Mobile traffic now accounts for considerable portions of website traffic and if you're not mobile friendly you could be missing out on sales.
YOU'VE MISSED THE MARK ON MESSAGING
If you haven't taken the time to write authentic and unique content, your message is more than likely missing the mark. A general rule of thumb is that if a 5th grader can't read and understand it, then it's not good copy. So keep it simple!
YOU DON'T PLAY THE NUMBERS GAME
Marketing is measurable - website traffic is measurable. Small business owners should look at their website stats at the very least, monthly. Google Analytics is a great (free) tool that packs so much analysis punch, you really don't need to go anywhere else. By reviewing your stats you can find a goldmine of insights, including where your traffic is coming from and opportunity.
SUFFERING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA SHYNESS
By being active on social media you drive traffic to your website. If you don't regularly post links to your website (mainly through your blog) on social media you are missing out on mountains of traffic.
Not only is your audience active on some sort of social platform, search engines like Google use social media networks to give authority to websites that have social proof. Social proof is determined by looking at how many times your content was shared across various social networks and how many back links social media websites link to your website.
Photo Credit: Website Design/shutterstock