We know – your website doesn’t get the love and attention it deserves, if you have one at all. You’re too busy fulfilling orders or crunching the numbers – important to your business without a doubt. However, in an increasingly digital world you need to make sure your website is designed well and kept updated while turning visitors into customers. Here are ten reasons you should be investing more in and expecting more from your website.
1. Your Website Is A First Impression
What is it they say? First impressions last forever? Something like that. Much like a potential reader scans a book jacket or a shopper in the checkout line glances at a magazine headline, a first impression can go a long way when finding new customers. Your website acts as a first impression for a lot of potential customers. In a recent poll a majority of small business owners reported that a quarter of their new customers were found through online channels including their website. That’s a whopping 25% of new customers found online. Not to mention that in 2014 it was found that nine out of ten B2B purchasers researches online before buying. If customers are looking for you online, it’s important to look your best.
2. Get Your Message Across Concisely
When it comes to acquiring customers online your “elevator pitch” is a priceless resource. Your website gives you an opportunity to send a precise message to a large audience. What is it you offer? How much does it cost? Why is your company better than the competition? These are things that matter to a customer. Explaining to them how you solve their problem and doing it quickly is a great sales tool.
3. Cleaner Website Designs
Too many websites today are heavy with images, videos, links, and all sorts of distractions. Sure, you want to showcase your business as best as you can, but distracting the user from what you want them to see is a recipe for disaster. Creating a cleaner, more funnel based approach to design will help steer your customers in the right direction. Make the user focus on specific things at a time. You don’t have to bombard them with text, but just be cautious when mixing in too many elements at once. Simple color changes or fonts can go a long way. In the end, “keeping it simple”, at least in design, and using effective calls to action can increase leads and sales.
The site below, belonging to App startup, Docker, is a great example of the first three points. The website is clean, concise, sends a message and has good calls to action.
4. Analyzing Your Website Visitors
Maybe your website looks great and you gain a lot of business from it already, but are you using any analytics tools to help you see even better results? Simple, free tools like Google Analytics are priceless when it comes to getting a better understanding of your website visitors and what they are looking at on your site. Are your website visitors exiting your site quickly? What pages are they looking at the most? How many visitors are you getting each day? Which ones are becoming customers? These questions can all be answered by using analytics on your website such as Google Analytics. These tools are very robust and allow for very unique queries and drilling down of your website data. It may sound like a simple no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many small businesses don’t use these types of tools to their advantage.
5. Make Your Website A Resource
Knowledge is a gateway that can ultimately lead to better brand visibility and more customers. Keeping your website up to date with unique content gives people a reason to visit your site, even if they aren’t necessarily looking for you or in the market for your product. Content drives user-ship, and having the best content ultimately boosts your visibility in Google searches. Use the knowledge of your industry to your advantage. Provide useful articles, promote events, or start a discussion forum to give people a reason to share your brand to others.
6. Better Website Management
Keeping your website up to date is a tough gig, and making sure your great content is posted regularly can be a challenge. But it is imperative to keep your digital presence up to date. This lets customers know you are current, and very much open for business. Not only that, you can promote new products or upcoming sales – especially if you have e-commerce products. Using your website as a means to the endgame of gaining new customers requires keeping it up to date – most especially in an e-commerce setting.
7. Improve Your Web Hosting
It’s not a good start when people come to your website and your website is down – or worse, takes forever to load. A simple hosting change can solve a lot of these little problems. Reliable, fast hosting is very affordable these days; and if you’re having issues it may be time for a change.
8. Sell Your Products On Your Website
This may seem like another no-brainer, but many store based or brick and mortar businesses don’t currently sell their products online. This is mainly because of the perceived hurtles and lack of knowledge. Setting up and online store is not as time intensive as it once was, and many of the current options out there provide users an easy experience when collecting payment and managing orders. Hiring out a company to do your online store can pay dividends as well, especially if they help manage it for you (wink wink..shameless sales pitch*) so you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff, just fulfilling orders.
9. Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive
Mobile devices are everywhere, and people use them to browse the Internet all day everyday. Because of this responsive website design is a must, and soon you may be penalized for not having a responsive or mobile website. Making sure that your website’s experience is as nice on a phone or tablet as it is on a computer makes a lot of sense. Too many people fail to test what their website looks like on a small device. The user experience can change drastically. It’s important to keep in mind what mobile visitors will see. This may mean creating a totally different mobile site, or having your current website respond to changing screen sizes while keeping a positive user experience. A high number of visitors will find you on their mobile device, don’t forget about them!
10. Statistics, Statistics, Statistics
Don’t fall into the trap of not paying enough attention to your website. The statistics say so too. According to HubSpot, over 60% of internet users research products online and almost 50% use a search engine to find what they’re looking for. Furthermore, 50% of mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, with more than 60% of those instances resulting in a purchase; adding merit to the idea that optimizing for mobile visitors is imperative as well.
Overall, your website can be a great tool for your business’ growth – if you use it the right way. It may seem like a long road to results, but in the end it’s worth every bit of time, money, and effort. These are just a few ways you can start using your website to your advantage. Some are simple steps while others may need more time or expertise. Ultimately, you’ll be happy that you took the steps to improve your online presence and your website as a whole as it will lead to better results.