Are you getting the most from your website?
An effective web presence is crucial to any business. Providing your customers with an informative, well-designed and user friendly website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can invest in. Many small business owners dive into creating their website as they know it’s an integral part of their business plan – and it’s one of the fun bits too!
But before you leap into getting your name in (cyber) lights, Digital Marketing specialist Bridget Adams of Zambezi Digital advises you to take a step back to ensure you get the most from your website. Here Bridget shares her top tips for success:
Consider cost vs. investment
Instead of focusing on how much a website will cost, ask what value will my business gain from it and how can I maximize this investment? You can measure your website’s value on a daily basis if needs be, whether it is how many people are visiting your site, buying your products or contacting you and if something isn’t working you can change it pretty quickly.
By looking at your analytics, you can soon see if it is money well spent and measure your return on investment (ROI). If your website increases your turnover by 20% per year, then it’s worth investing in.
Set measurable goals
Set specific goals as to what you expect your website to do for your business. If you are selling online and want sales to increase that would be a clear, measurable goal. However, if you acquire clients after a process of meetings, then perhaps your goals should be around generating client leads or to showcase your work to potential clients via a portfolio or gallery.
Create an ideal website for your customer
Once your web strategy is sorted, start drilling down to the detail. List out all of the content areas your customer needs to know and even draw a site map to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything. Try to get a balance of relevant content and also consider what will make your website stand out from the competition. Whether it is great photos, or a clever use of copy, your website should be relevant, professional and have a wow factor when potential customers click on it.
Make the most of social media referrals
While social media is brilliant for building your brand and a community that loves your business, products and services are more likely to be sold via your website. Referrals from Facebook or Twitter are fantastic but make sure your website is also the best reflection of your brand. That way, potential won’t be left disappointed or unable to locate the business information they need when they link to your website.
As Google is God, it’s imperative that you follow SEO best practices so potential customers can find you. Simple, clean site designs and sites that follow web development guidelines are what search engine spiders like as it enables them to retrieve relevant content easily. Your content should be well written and contain relevant keyword phrases. Adding new content regularly also helps as does blogging, referrals from and to other relevant and reputable websites, social media and increasingly, linking content to your Google + account.
Keep up the good work!
Remember that a website is not a static product but a service that must be kept up to date and should be seen as a long term investment rather than a one off. All websites require some on-going maintenance and content management, so you need to ensure that your budget (and time) not only covers getting the site live but also maintaining it, whether you do this yourself or via a web agency.
You wouldn’t leave your shop window dressed the same way for a year – so don’t do this with your website!
Bridget has over 16 years of marketing experience across varied sectors including; retail, recruitment, charity, media and entertainment and across web, TV, mobile and publishing platforms. She is a guru of all things digital having worked in this area for over 10 years with major organisations such as the BBC, Channel 4 and Glu Mobile.