Website developers can talk endlessly about their area of specialism, but what are the key areas which really make a difference to the success of your website?
It’s imagery which makes the initial impact, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to come up with something different. The best advice we’ve heard is to look at your competitor websites and use these as a basis for what NOT to do. Your designer should be coming up with some fresh ideas on imagery, colors and design elements.
2. Communicating your specialism
Ideally you have a proposition which gives you a competitive edge and ultimately a profitable business, but if you are not able to communicate this clearly on your website it is wasted. Whatever your business, if your proposition is unclear, people very quickly click away. Bin the jargon and stock management phrases and concentrate on telling your target market exactly what you can do for them.
The common pattern for a new website is initially plenty of fresh new content and then slowly but surely the amount and quality of content declines. Does your website actually reflect your current offerings, is the news area outdated? Out of date content creates uncertainty about a business – no attention to detail? Nothing new to communicate? Make it a priority to keep your site content up to date.
Website analytics are simple to add to a website and free if you use Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides a huge amount of information. Get some high level information quickly or spend some time digging through the statistics to find out more about where your visitors go on your site and perhaps even more importantly where they leave.
For a quick measurement of how strong your website is in the search engine world have a look at Moz. Moz provide a domain authority score out of 100. The higher the score the stronger your domain authority and the higher you rank in search engines.
6. Traffic paths
Most people assume everyone starts at the home page. It’s not always the case – visitors may enter from a campaign landing page, through a blog article or a page that has been forwarded by a friend on an email. This means it’s important your key messages aren’t just on the home page and that there is a clear “breadcrumb” communication on the page, so people can easily see and understand where they are in the site structure.
7. Search engine optimisation
The purpose of search engine optimisation is to boost your position in the search engine rankings. Ignore your position in the search engine rankings and risk new customers never being able to find you online. Maybe the majority of your leads come from other channels? Even so, potential customers will still search for your website to find out more information or reassure themselves. If your low down in the rankings think about your content, domain authority and developing content for your target audience.
8. Accessibility & responsiveness
Can your website be accessed and easily read and used from a mobile phone, iPad or old website browser? Websites which adapt are called responsive. Today, people expect a website to be responsive. All website designers and developers now design for a website to be responsive.
9. Management of content
The creation and management of content is often an ongoing challenge because great content often relies on many people taking time out to contribute. A content management system (CMS) are designed to enable non-technical people to update content.
10. Calls to action
If you need a visitor to react in some way you need to make it easy for the visitor to go to the next step. Examples are asking for a brochure, starting a free trial and clicking on a buy button. Make sure you have an appropriate call for action on all your campaigns.
11. Social media
Social media is here to stay, and people are increasingly looking at social media for product referrals before they take the plunge to purchase.
Ignore social media at your peril.
Get the website basics right and ensure your website is an effective sales and marketing channel.