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Is Your Website Working For You?

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If you’re a business owner then you will probably have a website for your business and if you’re a start-up business then getting a website will probably be high on your agenda. But are you just going through the motions for the sake of it?

Too many small and medium sized businesses complain that they’re not getting the best from their websites. It could be that the website is not fulfilling their needs anymore or, if it’s a new website, that the specification wasn’t right in the first place. Unfortunately though, it is common for many businesses to fail to capitalise on the potential of their website, therefore wasting the investment they’ve made.

Doing nothing with your website is just like having glossy corporate brochures printed, leaving them on the doorstep and then wondering why no one is picking them up. Businesses know the answer is to use them for their intended purpose but for some reason they don’t extend this thought to their websites.

Cost Effective

When compared to other marketing channels, pound for pound your business’s website is one of the most cost effective ways to promote your business, your products and services and, of course, your brand and its values. It’s available 24 hours a day and its potential reach is unlimited. What other marketing medium comes close to this?

Individuality

It’s also one of the few remaining places, digitally, where you can still be individual. Of course, social media for business is a must but you’re still working to the design conforms of the particular platform. So, to an extent, you look the same as everyone else. With your website, however, its design, layout and content are completely in your control. The world is your oyster.

Focal Point

Your website should become the focal point. It can and should consolidate all other marketing efforts. For example it can hold all your company marketing literature and brochures, your special offers, how to get the best of your product videos, tools, downloadable documents, case studies and your news/blogs to name a few.

If you’re business is active on social media then never miss an opportunity to include a link to your website or the relevant page on your website. If you have news or write blogs on your website then don’t just place the article on social media, include a snippet with a “read full article here” link to the website. Once on your website, visitors will be more inclined to have a look around, like what they see and buy!

Validation

You may think that your new business doesn’t come from your website but how much business have you lost because people don’t take it any further once they’ve seen your website. You’ll never know.

Even if you’ve been recommended, don’t be mistaken, you will be checked out online before a potential customer buys from you or makes contact. What’s more, you probably do exactly this when you’ve had a recommendation to a company. And business statistics back this up – 85% of referrals are checked out online before a buying decision is made.

Keep It Fresh

If you visit a website and it has old and out of date content on it, what do you think? What impression does it give you of the business? And more importantly, do you feel encouraged to do business with them?

Make sure the content of your website is relevant to how your business looks now and not a year ago. If you are going to blog or have news items then keep them regular.

Getting It Right At the Start

If you’re building a website for the first time or are considering a rebuild then ensure you plan and build a website with everything you need now along with anything planned for the business. Design it so it can grow and change to match the growth and changes in your business.

Resources

For further reading on how to get the best out of your business’s website then head over to the OwlTree website. The Articles and News page (www.owltree.co.uk/articles-and-news/) has lots of articles to get you thinking. From “How to Achieve Web Design Success” to “Making the most of Social Media”, it’s all there. And while you’re visiting have a peek at the rest of the website. Oh, you're already here!


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