Don’t waste money on your website
Websites are arguably the most important marketing tool that your organisation has to attract sales and enquiries.
The way we see it is that websites are your most loyal and knowledgeable employee, available 24/7 and should have the answers to just about everything. So, treating your website well and maintaining the information and software is essential – especially as competition is always out there to take your place online.
Marketing is a ‘digital first’ environment where much of our day-to-day business is online, if your website isn’t up to scratch it reflects on your brand.
The first thing to do is to make sure you don’t waste money on a website – whether it’s a new website or an existing one, some businesses don’t invest enough time, resources or money and that’s often when problems surface for all to see. Here are a few things you can do to give your website a health check;
- Speed – speed is everything and a slow website is a big turn-off. Search engines rate a website on how fast it is, and this could determine where you appear in searches. Speed is determined by hosting, content, coding and general build.
- Maintenance – just like an engine that does a lot of mileage, to keep it in the best condition a website needs regular maintenance. This means regular security and software updates, it’s far better to keep a website maintained than to try and repair any damage after it has happened.
- Experience – when somebody lands on your website it reflects your brand and should immediately describe what your organisation offers. Put yourself in the place of the visitor and regularly review how the website looks, the images and the language you use – it takes less than 1 second to form an opinion about your company from a website, so first impressions count.
- Responsive – many websites are viewed on mobile devices or tablets. The website should be designed to be responsive; this doesn’t mean just shrinking it down, ensure you present the right information for people on the move.
- Analyse – make sure you have analytics installed so you can extract valuable information about how people use your website.
Google is the largest search engine and it studies every detail of how people interact online. Google tracks every click and you can gain informative insights to help influence your online presence. For example, understanding how people arrive at your website gives an impression of how to focus or re-focus, your marketing activity this includes social media, email marketing, SEO and digital adverts.
Overall, make sure your website is effective, don’t waste money on getting a cheap website or template, because it might just not make the grade, and then you may be faced with spending money on bringing up to scratch. Here are a few stats on why your website is so important;
- 92% of people don’t trust websites that have mistakes or are slow to load.
- 90% of people who phone, email or visit your business will have visited your website.
- 60% say that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website.
- 85% of customers look and compare online before making purchase decisions.
- 40% will stop looking at a website if it is difficult to navigate quickly.
- 50% of people expect a maximum load time of 2 seconds.
However, it’s no good having an attractive fast website if no one knows it’s there. People often turn first to search engines and social media channels to learn about products and services. This is where your customer’s journey starts. Websites have to earn their place in rankings, so the right SEO-structure helps you manipulate how your brand appears in search engines to create the best first impression. Also keeping your social media and wider marketing messages consistent and clear are just as important.
To generate sales or leads online, focus on making the website look and perform well centered around the customer experience, which, if done right, can attract the right visitors.
Try not to think about your website as a cost, instead think of it as an investment. You spend money to make money, so spend wisely.