Your Website Is A Business Tool
The Importance of your Website
As professional web designers in Cork, we are constantly surprised to discover how many companies still don’t have a website today or companies that do have a website but management has no idea how well it is performing for them, if at all. A well-optimised and converting website is an essential tool for your business’s success today.
You need to ask yourself two simple questions:
1: Is my website bringing my company business?
2: Can my website be improved to bring me more business?
Congratulations to those who answered Yes to question 1 and No to question 2 you’ve achieved the impossible, to everyone else there’s potential for growth.
How people find, purchase and consume your products and services is changing rapidly. According to a report from Smart Insights, 81% of people now search online for products or services and 74% have purchased online.
For many companies, your website is the first impression potential customers have of your business and in some cases, your website will be the only impression your customers will have of your business, particularly for eCommerce companies.
Potential customers are deciding on whether or not to do business with your company based exclusively on their experience with your website long before they even speak to a salesperson.
Your company website needs to perform two interdependent functions effectively. Firstly potential customers need to be able to find your website, it needs to Attract potential customers. Secondly, it needs to Convert these site visitors into Leads and Paying Customers.
It goes without saying that if you don’t have a company website the first step would be to get one but make sure it’s a good one that’s going to attract and convert many customers for your business for years to come.
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Attracting Visitors to Your Website
Having a website developed and then not promoting it or optimising it so it can be found online is like having brochures printed and then hiding them in your desk drawer, it’s a waste of money.
There are numerous ways in which you can attract potential customers to your website:
1: Search Engine Optimisation. Getting your website to rank high in Google Search Results is “free” but takes time, knowledge and work. Don’t give up on SEO it might take time and a lot of work, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort and are long-lasting in getting your website to perform as a business tool.
2: Content Creation. Content marketing works hand in hand with SEO, blogging or writing articles to post on your website and social media is a simple example of Content Marketing, but content can be any form of material that your potential customers may be interested in including text, video, vlogs, podcasts and webinars.
3: Owned Media. Provide links to and promote your website on every piece of owned media. Owned media are platforms you own such as your Social Media platforms, Letterheads, Email Stationery your Blogs etc.
4: Earned Media. Try to encourage reviews of your products or services, reach out to influencers in your industry for mention on their platforms etc.
5: Paid Media – Advertising. Invest in Google Search Ads to attract potential customers when they are searching on Google for your goods or services. Social Media platforms are another source of Paid Traffic that can provide good Brand Awareness and Lead Generation but choose the correct platforms carefully. Google Display or Banner Ads are a good way to create brand awareness.
Converting Visitors on Your Website
It might surprise you to know that an average of 96% of your website’s first-time visitors will bounce off never to return but you can use numerous techniques to improve these figures and convert more of your website visitors into leads and eventually into Paying Customers.
Certain basic website design issues will improve your user’s experience on your website including.
1: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, more than half the internet traffic today is performed using mobile devices. If a potential customer cannot make use of or read, your website on a Mobile Device you will lose him. You can test your website with this Google-Friendly Test Tool. Not being Mobile Friendly will also negatively affect your rankings in Google Searches.
2: Make sure your web pages load quickly, the longer a page takes to load the more likely a visitor is to push the back button and move on to your competitor’s website. You can check your page speed using Pagespeed Insights Tool. Slow websites are also negatively impacted by Google Search Results.
3: Build a List. Offer something of value on your website for Free such as an eBook, Whitepaper, Voucher etc Request the visitor’s Email address in exchange for this item of value. The more valuable the free offer the more information you can request. This effectively turns this unknown website visitor, who might otherwise be lost, into a Lead that is open to future communication and nurturing and may become a future client.
4: Keep it simple and don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There are certain norms that website visitors have come to expect and doing things differently may confuse them. The general rule of thumb is “Don’t make your website visitors have to think” Your website design should be intuitive. We expect the company logo to be on the top left with the main menu across the top of the page on a PC. We are happy to have to scroll up and down to view content, but not sideways. Don’t clutter the pages especially not the Homepage, make effective use of whitespace to make items stand out.
5: Provide quality content that your potential customers will find interesting and of value, address their pain points and provide solutions.
6: Don’t be afraid to tell your website’s visitors, what you expect them to do next, it’s human nature, we like to be told what is expected of us. Include Clear and Concise Calls to Action buttons.
7: Develop your website with your customer in mind, you will have every internal department trying to influence the web design in their favour and fighting over prime real estate on the homepage, but ultimately it’s your customers who will be using the website.
8: Use the power of Social Proof. Add genuine Testimonials, Reviews and Case Studies to your website.
Make use of Free tools such as Google Console and Google Analytics to track the performance and effectiveness of your website as a business tool.
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