If you use the Internet enough, you know how frustrating it can be to visit a site and find it difficult to use, outdated or perhaps even plain unattractive to look at. Not only is this damaging for a company's online presence, it could deter people from patronizing the organization entirely. Of course, this is entirely the opposite intention of what a business' website should do and it's important to have a site that is not only modern and attractive, but one that promotes the enterprise in such a way that it entices potential shoppers or patrons to stay on and purchase goods or services.
How do you know if your website makes the cut? Use this handy checklist to ensure you are putting your best image out onto the World Wide Web.
Is your content updated?
In order to stay relevant and at the forefront of customers' attention, it's important to have content on your website that is interesting and related to what you have to offer. This could take a few forms, but what you need to do is update it consistently. If you want to produce a blog post once every two weeks, you need to stick with your schedule or else your client base may lose interest.
What appears in your content? Well, it can be anything related to your business, even just vaguely so. Perhaps your company handles behavioral management training for managers. Your content could be a piece of fiction on how training could have saved a project that went awry or a commentary on a recent survey that relates to training and success rates. Or, if writing isn't your forte, consider investing in content tools to help you out, such as Title Tool and Quora, as SmallBizTrends suggested. Look at some of these great examples of content!
The Best Email Marketing, Copywriting, Social Media and Content Marketing Posts of 2014 http://t.co/VLMHxT5aLu— Kissmetrics (@Kissmetrics) July 16, 2015
Why is it important to have updated content? Posting regular updates shows that you care about your online users and that you are actively trying to work on your branding. Cutting out a large market by leaving your website to suffer will only reflect poorly on your company. Also, no one wants to read about a promotion that you held over two years ago. If something is on your website, it needs to be current and interesting to an audience, even if it only appeals to a niche following.
Are you active on social media?
If you haven't jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, it's never too late to join the millions of users who stay connected to family and friends as well as businesses. According to a Pew Research Center report, over four-fifths (84 percent) of American adults use the Internet, and another PRC report found that over nine in 10 teens (92 percent) use the Internet everyday. When that many people are constantly on a platform to find your site, and many of those users are logged into social media websites as well, it only makes sense to reach as many of them as possible.
What should you put on social media in the first place? Social content can be a little bit more flexible than a bi-monthly blog post and should be more fun, too. Let your customers know what the company has been up to, what new merchandise is in or how the team is adjusting to your new location. Popping up on a person's newsfeed is a subtle way of marketing your brand to people who already like you.
Why should you have social media connected to your website? If a person finds your site and then realizes he or she can keep tabs on your organization using an application with which the individual already uses, it makes it much easier for him or her to stay up-to-date with all of your information. Your website should be seen as your home base on the Internet, and visitors should be able to find out as much about your company as possible just from that one single source. It makes no sense to make potential customers search around for your social media accounts, so having social icons clearly displayed with the other updated business information makes it simple for consumers to keep in touch with the company.
"Your website is a reflection of your business."
Is your website personalized?
Your website is a reflection of your business and it should match the clientele that frequent your establishment. If you cater to a younger crowd in-store, then your website should have a young feeling and appearance. Of course, it's smart not to ostracize different demographics should they stumble onto your website, but focusing on your main audience is likely to keep people interested for longer.
How will people stay on the website? If your visitors feel that they don't need your website, they'll leave it without clicking around. However, if there are pictures and links that appear to be interesting, it's more likely that potential customers will explore what your site has to offer before looking elsewhere. Again, this relates back to relevant content and focusing on the established audience. Giving your website a personal feel and presenting it as easy to use and fun to be on, will get you more attention than a site that suffers in those categories.
At the end of the day, it's important to have users interested in your company and your website is the best open window to better visibility.