It takes more than a great design theme to build and launch a website. There needs to be an underlying website strategy, supplied by you, to ensure that the website is meeting your objectives for building your business.
Is Your Website Building Your Business?
Take a minute to answer these 10 questions:
1. Is every page of your website set up to clearly show your name, logo and the services you are providing?
It is important to remember that potential clients arrive at your website through different routes and don’t always land on your homepage so take the time to make sure each page is branded and clearly states the value of the services you are providing. This may seem obvious but is not always the case.
2. Is every square inch of space on your homepage filled with text and media?
Get rid of all the clutter – nobody enjoys the feeling of sensory overload. In fact human brains are instinctively wired to trigger a need to get away. That is not the feeling you want trigger in your potential clients when they visit your website. Do not be afraid of the white space.
3. Are you using stock photos of generic people and office scenes?
Too many websites are relying on the same sources for stock photos so over time you start to see the same pictures again and again. Your services are unique so avoid the generic or low quality and go with high quality images that further convey the meaning and purpose behind your content. Better yet, try to capture as much of the real you and your clients to help add some personality to building your business.
4. Do you have at least one clear call to action?
When potential clients arrive at your website they are expecting to see a call to action. Your responsibility is to convey to the potential client what the benefit is to them of acting on it. Don’t be afraid to put your website homepage to work to generate leads for you and send them to a landing page. Do you want them to download an e-book of best practices or sign up to your blog filled with insider tips and tricks? Tell a good story, trigger their curiosity and make sure you deliver!
5. Do you have at least one customized landing page?
A landing page is a page that allows you to collect a visitor’s information through a lead form. Landing pages should be strategically designed with a defined target audience in mind. These target groups may represent visitors that want to sign up to your blog, download a free e-book or arrange for a free consultation. For each offer or pay-per-click you are promoting on your website and within your social media campaigns there should be a unique and customized landing page. This is an effective way to keep building your business.
6. Have you included your SEO keywords in your website content?
These are keywords that you have identified as being core to the services you provide. They are based on the research you did on who your target audience is (i.e. to whom are you selling your services) and the industry and search terms your audience would be using to find you (i.e. what would they enter into Google to find your website). These keywords also have a positive impact on your SEO and your rankings when used strategically and consistently.
7. Have you customized your meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are the short descriptions that you see under the titles when you perform a search on Google. These descriptions can be customized (using your SEO keywords) to accurately summarize what the content is on each of your webpages. This makes it easier for potential clients to find your website and makes search engines happy too.
8. Is your website designed to be mobile and tablet compatible?
Our advice is get on your mobile or tablet and see for yourself. Social trends and the use of mobile devices are on the rise. The text should be easy to read, the images should not be distorted and the tap targets should be appropriately sized so that visitors can navigate around your site easily. You also need to size your content for the viewport to provide a better user experience. You don’t want visitors having to scroll horizontally to read your content. A 2014 market review by comScore revealed that 57% of consumers were “multiscreening”, accessing sites by both desktop and mobile, so consistency across devices has become critical.
9. Are your social media links and blog feed at the top of your homepage and strategically placed throughout your website?
You need to make them easy to find and easy for visitors to your site to follow, like or subscribe to your blog. There is nothing more irritating than finding great content on a website, wanting to learn more, and then having to hunt around to find the right link – definitely not the right approach to building your business. I will always give up and not subscribe and typically not return to the website either.
10. Are you reviewing the analytics from your website on a regular basis?
Analytics provide a window into the online behaviour of your clients and potential clients. Analytics show you how they found your website, which content on your website is receiving the most traffic, where visitors are spending the most time and if they become repeat visitors. All this data allows you to fine tune your content to zero in even more on where your visitors are looking for and finding value on your website.
How are you feeling about your website after answering these 10 questions? Is your website building your business?
Are you suspecting your website may be more flash than substance? If so, you are not alone. While working with our clients we have audited many websites that are designed to leave a great first impression but when you scratch below the surface the supporting foundation is close to non-existent.
It is never too late to make improvements so ask yourself this additional question and be as detailed as possible with the answer: Why do I need a website? (it is this question singular as I am referring to this question) Are you using it to share content about yourself and your business? Is it the launching pad of your lead generation campaign? Is it the shared home for all your social media platforms? It may be all of these things. You need to be clear about your needs so that you can strategically build the supporting structure and content of your website.
Tweaking and fine tuning your website is an ongoing process. It keeps your content fresh and engaging for your visitors and is good for your SEO too. Remember, you have less than 15 seconds to make that first impression. Keep your clients and potential clients engaged and coming back for more with a website that is designed for building your business. A website that is easy to navigate, contains content that is customized to your target client and is SEO optimized will have a positive impact on visitor conversions – turning a potential client into a new client.
A strategically updated website is the best foundation for building your business.
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