Your website is one of the most important decision making factors for prospects and business partners. Customers will check out a business online before they commit to using its services. Even if your goods and services are predominately sold offline, there is a growing trend analysts are calling Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO).
According to Harvest Research Marketing, 64 per cent of shoppers research purchases online before buying offline so your website is more important than ever.
Your website should be a reflection of your business and present your core values to the outside world that don’t know you, so here are a few ways you can make sure your website is working hard for you.
- Keep it relevant
It’s important to keep all areas of your website up to date. Your content needs to constantly evolve to effectively represent what you do. Remove information about products or services that are no longer available and ensure that your team information pages are updated frequently with new staff. Old, out-of-date information will put people off.
Fresh, relevant content is essential for all business websites. Having a blog or news section can be perfect for sharing company news, relevant information or even helpful advice for customers and potential customers. This helps to drive prospects to your website and increase their trust in the expertise of your business. Be careful though, as having a blog that hasn’t been updated in months can give off a bad impression, so be sure to keep it frequently updated.
- Make it responsive
In 2015, mobile became the number one device for browsing the web, overtaking laptops and PCs and in November, Google expanded its search algorithm, penalising website not optimised for mobile devices.
It’s important that you don’t miss out on potential clients by having a website that doesn’t work for mobile platforms. You can find out whether your site is mobile friendly and ways to improve it using Google’s webmaster tool.
- Get rid of clutter
Your business website needs to present you as a professional business, so get rid of any of the clutter that may currently exist. Make sure that no links are broken and that your navigation is clear to users. People want to visit the website and find what they’re looking for almost immediately, so make it easy for them to get to their destination and extract the information they need.
- Concise messaging
Long paragraphs, long sentences and jargon can really put people off. Along with having a concise navigation, your messaging needs to follow suit. A large, clear statement on your home page lets users know who you are and what you do straight away. Don’t bore website visitors by rambling on, and get to the point quickly. If there’s a need to have lots of information, try to think of a way to make it digestible, such as the use of videos and images.
- Make contact information visible
The main reason most businesses have a website is to gain customers. Ensure there is an easy way for new prospects to contact you. This should be through a contact form or a call-to-action such as a telephone number or email address. Your contact information should be visible on every page to make it easy for potential customers to get in touch, no matter where they are on your website.
- Improve your credibility
Your website will already provide a level of credibility if you incorporate some of the above tips, but it never hurts to improve this even further. A great way to show people that your business is a reliable is to include customer testimonials and reviews on your website.
According to Econsultancy, 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, so if you have happy customers, why not ask them to provide feedback you can link to on your website?