In today’s online marketing world, business owners may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices they face and end up making decisions that aren’t necessarily the best for their business. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to the foundation of a business’ online presence: your website.
When you begin the process of building a new website (or updating your old one), there are a few main points to keep in mind that are simple, yet extremely important. Remembering these simple tips will ensure your website helps your business connect effectively online with current and potential customers.
Think of your website as the digital home base of your business. Websites should be easy for your customers to find, and always there when they need the information and services it provides. If you have multiple websites,
• Your customers will not know which site is the right one and may be confused
• You won’t be able to drive traffic effectively and measure your website traffic growth
• Search engines will not be able to trust you. If you have one site that delivers consistent and accurate information, the search engine then knows it can trust it enough to show it to searchers.
If you aren’t happy with your current website and want a new one, it is extremely important to make sure you take the old site down. Don’t make people sift through multiple websites to figure out which one is the most current or accurate.
A domain is your website’s address on the internet, or what people type into their browser’s address bar to get to your website (i.e. www.yourbusiness.com). If you don’t own your own domain, your website will look something like www.yourbusiness.wordpress.com, which is harder to remember and dilutes your branding.
Letting another party own your website domain reduces the amount of control you have over your website, including the credibility you establish with your visitors and the trust you build with search engines. It’s also a good idea to avoid having multiple domains.
It’s important that your business website promotes your business and explains the value it brings, but the manner in which it does that is important. You want your website to promote your business as a solution for your customers, and convey the value it brings to them.
Yes, injecting your personality and personal tastes into your website can help to personalize and humanize your business, but once again, this should be in a way that resonates with your ideal customer.
The priority with your business website is in satisfying, engaging, and retaining visitors who can benefit from your business.
Your business website isn’t just a brochure that tells interested prospects about your business. It is an experience that a visitor has with your business each time he or she visits your website. It’s an experience from which visitors will make observations and collect information that guides their future decisions related to your business.
It is of the utmost importance to make sure that your website visitors not only get the information they need and see the value your business brings, but in an easy, satisfying and hassle-free way. To do so, follow these tips:
• Make sure your navigation bar is intuitive and geared toward what users are looking for in your site.
• Avoid auto-play music or videos or full-screen popups that make users feel forced into an experience.
• Interconnect your website pages with internal linking, so they can seamlessly move throughout your site without having to press the back button too much or return to the homepage every time.
• Make your website responsive so that it functions properly on any device.
Your business website is a vital part of your content marketing strategy. Whether it’s your products and services page, about us page, or blog posts, your content should never be taken from another website (which is plagiarism and will hurt your credibility and reputation) or duplicated from another online channel of yours (which can compromise your SEO).
High-quality content is a must for your website, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Writing like a human, in a language your audience can understand, and being helpful and informative are the pillars of high-quality content.
With an intuitive and easy-to-navigate website, your users are more likely to get the information and build the trust they need to follow through with an action that is important to your business. As mentioned above, your website isn’t just a brochure, it’s a channel through which potential customers can engage and interact with your business.
Whether it’s contacting you for a quote, downloading a piece of content, signing up for your email list, or making a purchase, make it as easy as possible for visitors to perform this action. Do this by:
• Including relevant call to action buttons on multiple pages of your website
• Using effective call to action phrases that invite people to act
• Making your CTAs easy to see (in particular, above the fold and in a place that users will expect it to be)
• Keep your forms short and easy to fill out quickly.
By making it easy for people to engage with your website, you can turn your website into a lead-generating machine for your business.
Your website is your business’ online establishment. You wouldn’t put up with a confusing and messy set-up in a physical storefront, so your website should be no different. You want customers to find what they need to know, trust that the information is valid, and be able to get in touch without a lot of hassle. Make it easy and the customers will come to you.