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Technology / Business websites

Tips for a better website

If you make reference to your website in your business marketing, perhaps via a Yellow Pages ad, now is the ideal time to spring clean and create a better website.

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Is it achieving what you had hoped? Is it cost effective? Or is it simply lost in cyberspace? If people are being directed to it from your Yellow Pages ad, does it help qualify or convert these leads into customers?

That important front door

The front page of your website is 90% of the battle in winning a sale or getting a prospect to make contact. Beware! If your target audience is professionals aged between 25 and 55, you only have 10 to 12 seconds to grab their attention and only 8 seconds if your audience is younger than this.

Take a step back for a moment and glance at your front page. Does it clearly summarise what you do and prompt visitors to look further, take action and/or make contact?

Freshen your content

To create a better website, it is important to keep your content up to date and fresh! Content that stays the same year in year out will become boring to regular visitors and portray a poor, outdated image to new visitors.

"Content that stays the same year in year out will become boring to regular visitors and portray a poor, outdated image to new visitors."

The content that you provide should be relevant and useful to the visitor. Providing information is what the web is all about. If visitors can’t find it at your site, then they will look elsewhere.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business websites section.

Integrate the web into your business

A website is not a stand-alone marketing tool. It should work together with all the other business marketing communications tools you use — brochures, advertisements, sponsorships, magazines, newsletters, letterhead and speeches.

Most people don’t go to websites to be dazzled by technology and sophisticated designs. They go to get well organised, quality information as quickly and easily as possible.

Once a new prospect purchases something or makes an enquiry on your website, how long do you take to respond? Do you get back to them faster or slower than someone who phones you up or comes to your premises in person?

Make your website really perform

You want to get a good return on your online investment and make your website more profitable, right? Then you must make sure that you spend time analysing (and changing where necessary) all the variables to make a better website that will really work for you.

For example:

  • Your site may look great but has it been optimised for search engines? Can people find you online?
  • Is the text on your web pages scannable, compelling, concise and web-friendly? And does your copy guide your visitors through their buying decision, by effectively communicating your site’s key benefits?
  • Do you have a mechanism to enable a two-way relationship with your site visitors (via opt-in / e-marketing)?
  • Is your site designed to cope with platform and browser diversity?
  • Is your site content ‘sticky’ and fresh enough to encourage repeat visits and word-of-mouth marketing?
  • Are there enough calls to action and contact information points?
  • Is your site accessible, quick and easy to use?
  • Are you tracking visitor numbers and metrics effectively?
  • Are you aware of the strengths, weaknesses and problems with your website?
  • And just how enjoyable is your website visitor’s experience?

Get all of these variables right – and your website will generate much improved results – guaranteed!

Use this month to review your website performance and profitability, set your online goals for the year ahead and Take Action to create a better website!

Melissa Norfolk

is an Internet expert who speaks to business, school and community groups about online marketing, email newsletters, effective use of the Internet, finding what you need online and Internet safety.

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