Many businesses these days exist solely online, which is why every business needs to have a decent website. A website is a company’s shop window – what a visitor sees when they click on the site will determine whether they stay to look around and make a purchase or hit the Back button.
There is no beating the internet when it comes to traffic. Most consumers are internet-savvy and will do their research online before making a purchase, whether that ends up being conducted online or in a high street or retail park store.
A good company website makes a business more accessible to potential customers. It provides several means for them to make contact, opportunities to find out more information about the products on offer and, perhaps most importantly, a way for them to do this and hopefully make a purchase during non-office hours.
It is a good idea for businesses to take a good look at their website and see through their customers’ eyes, to discover why the site may be turning them away. Good questions to ask include: is the site easy on the eye or does it seem too cluttered? Is there too much information on there so that customers do not know where to start? Is it easy to navigate? Are there any dead links? There are some elements of conventional websites that immediately turn a visitor away. These can include flashing or blinking text, frames, keyword stuffing, plug-ins and visual/audio advertisements.
It is essential for a business to fully understand their target audience. This means identifying what the visitors are looking for when they select the site and keeping information concise and written in plain English, no jargon or industry-speak.
In terms of content, it is a very bad advertisement for a business if the website is littered with spelling mistakes, poor grammar and typos. It shows a lack of attention to detail, and makes a customer wonder what else the business might not bother about. Content is key and often dull, uninspired wording or just plain waffle turns off a customer. Far better to get the website content professionally written by copywriters who know exactly the kind of language to use, to both describe the services on offer and attract customers.
These days keywords do not play as important a role in search engines as they once did. Search engines now look for proof that a website is still relevant and therefore worth including in their results. This means a website needs regular, fresh content. This is often best achieved by having an RSS industry news feed, a blog and a section for informative articles. This also helps to retain customer loyalty, for a customer will return to a site that keeps up to date with the latest trends and products.
It is worth remembering that many people now view websites on mobile devices, so it is a good idea to check how a site appears on a smartphone or 7” tablet. These devices may not be able to cope with a complex website, so ensure that customers using them can at least access the critical parts to retrieve the information they need.