Business Checklist - COVID-19
As we progress up and down Alert Levels, businesses need to review their business continuity plans, and...
A well-designed website is one of the most effective ways to increase sales, build a strong customer base and showcase your brand. Think of your website as the digital version of your shop or showroom. It should take visitors on a tour, show them what you have to offer without hassle, and lead them towards doing business with you. A great website is a core business tool and should be a focus of your marketing efforts.
Time to read: 4 mins
To keep your customers on your website, your content (pictures, words, videos etc.) needs to be engaging; if you haven’t captured your customers attention in the first two – ten seconds, they’re likely to ‘click back’ and try one of your competitors. It sounds rough but we live in a competitive world, so treat your website landing page as you would the front window to a shop. Your content needs to attract/draw the eyes of those walking past, exciting enough for them to give pause or stop, and encourage them to walk in and browse. Let your brand’s personality shine through and stand out from your competitors.
Lastly, don’t forget a call to action. Provide an option for customers to easily contact or purchase from you. This can be an enquiry form, a chat bot, a phone number or text, email address, booking form or a shopping cart if you sell products online. Make sure your customer knows exactly what to do, to do business with you.
Do you get frustrated when you’re on a website and you can’t find what you’re looking for? It’s important that you think about the customers’ needs first (why did they come to your site, what did they search for?) when developing the page layout. Always consider the needs of the customer first, not what you think you want to say about your business.
Make sure each topic has its own page and organise things in a logical way. Consider the customers experience - what steps are needed to do business with you? Make sure you test your website and get some ‘market research’ (i.e. ask people to test it for you), and listen to that feedback and make adjustments.
To help understand how people use and navigate your website, there are many UX (user experience) tools that help you understand what’s working and what’s not. From user analytics to heat maps showing a customer’s journey around your website – there are tools to help you understand if your site is optimised effectively.
Good quality imagery will engage your audience a lot more than a wall of text. We’ve all heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and it’s not wrong. Strong, appropriate, high-quality imagery will capture your audience’s attention in that very short window of opportunity.
When including high-quality imagery, be sure to check the file size. Large files can slow down the load time of your website, which is frustrating for users, and they are also likely to exit the site. Be sure to always use web and mobile friendly formats.
Be mindful not to ‘steal’ images off the internet. While it doesn’t happen often, many NZ companies have been in breach of copyright laws for ‘copy/pasting’ images after a google search. Use a local photographer, take them yourself, purchase stock images or use copyright free stock images if you don’t have your own.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps to place and display your website listing on search engines (e.g. Google, FireFox, Bing or Microsoft Explorer) when people ‘google’ your product or service.
If you want your website to be at the top of the page of listings after a search you need to add keywords and page descriptions to the back end of your website. It is a very important part of having a well-functioning website.
To test how well your current SEO is working, search your service lines, keywords or products in Google and see if your business appears. If you are in a competitive market, you might have to invest in paid Google Ads. While you won’t see instant results, the benefits of SEO can enhance your online presence and search visibility.
Talk to your web developer to find out if your website content is search engine optimized. Or jump in the back end yourself and start adding key words asap!
One of the afore-mentioned UX tools is Google Analytics. To understand the true performance of your website, you will need to dive into Google Analytics. As a starting point, I recommend monitoring the following metrics:
Understanding these basic metrics will help you to improve your websites performance. e.g. if your audience are leaving your site within seconds of arriving, they aren’t seeing what they are expecting to see – so there might be misalignment with your SEO or the content you display on your website. You can then use that knowledge to adjust the site and monitor the analytics the following month to see if your statistics improve.
The five tips above will help you maintain a strong website. If you would like help developing a new website, or would like to discuss marketing your business more broadly, contact our Taranaki based Marketing and Communications Assistant Nicole Colless on: email@example.com