August 5, 2022 Andy Driver

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a website for your business. For any business, young or established, it’s vital that your website is appealing for viewers, compelling in its purpose and up to date with its content.

It’s important that your website enables you to showcase your creativity and capabilities in the best possible light.

If you already have a website, it’s tempting to believe that that job is done, and you need to move on to other things relating to your marketing or business development. But be careful.

Keeping your website up to date

In many ways, your website is always a work in progress. Because your business will continue to develop, alongside your offer and proposition. Which means that your website needs to change too.

The key to a successful, well performing website, it to review it regularly and update it with details of your latest development, services and products. Many business owners fail to do this. It’s a common problem.

It could also be a costly problem.

One of the most common reasons why existing customers don’t return for an additional service is because whilst you have moved on with new services, you have somehow forgotten to update your site. This means that your current, most loyal customers simply don’t know about your latest services and products.

So remember, up-to-date content of your website is an imperative for your business.

Your website is a window on your business and your brand

Your website is an important cornerstone of your business.  It should explain clearly what you do, how do you do it and illustrate each of the products and services that you provide.

If you are in any doubt about the effectiveness of your website, start to measure what it achieves for you. Ask your customers and prospects how they heard of you.

Ask customers whether they visited your website. Ask them whether they found it helpful, clear and informative. Listen to the feedback, particularly when they say there was something which they didn’t understand. Your reaction to this is crucial and part of your brand. Don’t ignore it.

Your competitors can provide insight into how to structure and populate your website. Take a look at your competitors’ website and see if you can work out how they want you to use their website and whether it is well thought. This is called the ‘User Journey’ or ‘User Experience’ (UX). It’s vital.

Ownership and control is a big element of your website. If you have a fast-moving business and know that you will regularly need to update your content, it’s important to develop a site with a content management system through which you can add new content, or change existing content quickly and easily.

Most template websites allow you to do this. It’s true that the content management system can take a little bit of getting used to, but the more of it that you do, the easier it becomes. Many of them work on a simple Word-based “What you see is what you get” style system.

Content Management System

If your content management system is in the hands of your web development company, then use their expertise and guidance on how to improve the performance of your site, and to implement updates to your content.

You may prefer to manage your website’s content management system for yourself. Remember that it takes a little bit of practice to get this right, and you will need to use it regularly to become an agile operator.

The power of images

Imagery is really important on your website. Please see my article on photography for some help on this. Your website needs to be authentic and reflect you and your business. It should therefore look unique. So, ensure that your website imagery is bespoke whenever possible, and of course compelling.

Your website words 

‘Copy’ is the technical term for the wording on your website. If you are a gifted writer, then you should push ahead and write your own content. However, always use feedback from your colleagues, friends and family.

Your website is your silent Salesforce and you should ensure that the language on it is working hard. Think about short, succinct sentences, short paragraphs and clear blocks of copy. Take a look at competitor sites to see how they do this well.

If you are in any doubt about your ability to write the copy for your website, think about employing a professional copywriter to help write your website, perhaps from your initial draft, or possibly from scratch. The cost of doing this will be paid back in terms of the value that it adds to your site.

Use the tools supplied with your website to optimise its performance. Many template sites come equipped with core website optimisation tools built into the content management system. A common one is Yoast. This will look at each page on your website and measure small but powerful elements of the page content. For example, the readability of the wording on your site; sentence and paragraph length; the number of internal links (i.e. links to other sections of your website) and external links to other sites.

By following the advice built into tools like Yoast you create some initial advantage in your website and optimise its performance. There are of course also website companies which will give you advice on how to optimise your site’s performance. Alongside the content they will help with page design, functionality and page loading speed – all important aspects of your website and its performance for your business.

So, your website is an important tool for your business in many ways. First of all, it conveys authority and credibility. It also demonstrates your credentials to do business.

Everybody believes that they work hard for their money and wants best value, so it’s important that your website says that you are a good organisation to trade with.

It’s also important that your website enables you to showcase your creativity and capabilities in the best possible light. You may decide to invest in fully bespoke, unique website from which you can create an ecommerce platform and trade your goods and services. This is more complex and often requires a website firm to help you develop this. No code websites are all the rage right now, and will remain so for the foreseeable future as they offer such flexibility.

However even a simple website that encourages customers to call and speak with you and order over the phone is an important component of your business.

Looking for help with your website? I can help. Drop me a message.

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