7 Things You Need To Know About Your Business Website
Having a website for your business is an essential cog in your marketing wheel.
It’s not just a case of publishing a website and leaving it to work on your behalf. There are factors you need to be aware of as you create your website (whether alone or outsourcing to others) to ensure it’s doing the best job possible for you and your business.
That’s why I’ve created this list of 7 things you need to know about your business website, so it can truly be the powerful marketing tool you’re hoping for.
1. Keep it simple
This is your shop window, and it helps to think of it as such. Will customers be enticed by a cluttered window display showing absolutely everything you have to offer, or is a simple and elegant design going to work better?
Avoid over-complicating your website.
A video on the home page works well at introducing you, so can a carousel of pictures with your products, but do you need both? Not only does this look cluttered and make it difficult for your visitor to know where to look; it can slow down your website and affect your SEO.
Your website visitors want to get to the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. The design comes second. So, keep that focus in mind as you create your website or discuss your requirements with a web designer.
2. Your home page isn’t the focal point
Surprised by that?
Your home page is about bringing people into your website and sending them to the relevant page that contains the information they’re looking for.
In actuality, most of your website visitors won’t be taken to your home page by Google. If you’ve got the SEO of your website right, they’ll be taken directly to the page or blog post that answers their search query.
So, keep the text on your home page shorter and to the point. It should be a clear “this is what I do and this is how I can help you, click on these links to find out more”.
3. Let your personality shine in your about page
People do business with people and they will check out your about page to discover more about you.
This is the place to let your personality come through and share who you really are.
Websites can have a personality of their own with branding, tone of voice in the copywriting, etc. A lot of problems come when there is a mismatch between the website voice and your own voice when you’re on those discovery calls.
That’s why the about page is so important.
It’s your page to introduce them to you, the owner of the business, and the person they’ll be doing business with. So, be authentic, be you!
4. Make your website more interesting through visual elements
Videos and images are a great way to make your website more interesting.
But use them sparingly!
Visual elements should be there to reinforce the message of the page rather than just for design purposes. They break up the copy with a visual representation so your website visitors can digest the information easily and make that rapid judgement if you’re right for them or not.
This is where stock images can be problematic.
Those free stock images are great, but when your website visitors are seeing them on most websites they come across (and believe me, they will!), it detracts from what you’re offering.
If you can, invest in paying for some stock images. There are some reasonably priced libraries (such as Bigstock) that are used less often by your competitors and are generally of a higher quality.
5. Make it easy for people to contact you
Website visitors tend to make rapid judgements about the content they come across, so when it’s a positive “yes, I need this”; don’t make it difficult for them to get in touch with you straight away.
Have a way to contact you on every page – even if that’s just your phone number or email address in the header/footer.
A call to action should be on every main page of your website that’s nudging your visitors to make contact with you. It’s a “if this resonates with you, get in touch with me now” prompt usually followed by a phone number or maybe linking to your contact me page. You might find several calls to action on one page is needed if you’re talking through different services, or have slightly different target audiences.
Make your contact page simple and easy to use.
A lot of people will drop out of sending you a message if they have to answer lots of questions on the contact form. A simple name, email, and message box is enough for that initial contact.
6. Use a blog to keep your visitors informed
You can’t cover everything you do in your web copy. Attempting to do so will look clunky, create too much text, and can over-complicate the message you’re trying to get across.
Think of your web copy as the showcase of what you have to offer – this is me, this is what I do and this is why you need me. That’s the core message.
Everything else goes in your blog content.
Your blog is the place to share your thoughts on topics, dig deeper into what you do and how, and provide information that’s helpful to your visitors but not directly related to what you do. This is the place to share your expertise and build that rapport with your website visitors.
That doesn’t mean you can’t link to and from your blog to your main website pages – you absolutely should be doing that! It’s just about keeping your web copy focused on what your visitors are looking for right now and having a separate section for everything else.
If you’re thinking “I don’t have anything else” so don’t need a blog, please think again. Providing high-value content your dream clients will love is one of the most powerful forms of search engine marketing there is, i. e. getting people to your website in the first place!
It’s also a good source of content for your social media marketing.
7. Your website should be dynamic
One of the benefits of having a blog you add to consistently is that you’re keeping your website dynamic.
A static website that you publish and leave alone may work well for a few months, but after that, any Google rankings gained are likely to decline.
Because your competitors are updating their websites regularly and adding new things.
Because Google changes its algorithms often, that means best practice at website creation may be bad for it now.
Because your visitors want to know that your business is active and the core message of your website is accurate and up to date.
Changing things regularly will attract people to come back more often, and that’s where the “sales magic” happens. I don’t mean completely changing the design and structure but tweaking and updating the web copy, adding a new blog post regularly, and linking between posts and pages will keep your website dynamic and working well for you.
So, those are my 7 things you need to know about your website. I hope you found them helpful. Were any of them a surprise? If you’d like to discuss the information I’ve covered in this blog in more detail, do get in touch!