What are you forgetting when it comes to your website?

what are you forgetting when it comes to your website

what are you forgetting when it comes to your website

The web has come a long way, and seems to be gaining pace each day. The majority of businesses now have a website, or know that they should have. But with 996 million websites out there, we’re all bound to forget something right? Here’s some basic points of consideration when you’re looking to keep your website in check and in competition.

 

Can people find it?

We have a lot more capability than ever before when it comes to websites. Whatever design you want. On whichever device you want. Saying exactly what you want. About whichever products or services you want to talk about.

However, in this exciting stage of putting everything together, choosing how everything will look and feel. It can be easy to forget, how are people going to actually find all of this hard work? Is this SEO friendly?

I know the phrase ‘SEO friendly’ will send shivers down the spines of some businesses. Those who have worked with overzealous marketing companies. Who pushed the phrase down their throat, but they do have a little bit of a point.

We now live in a customer centric world, with 90% of us saying, when we’re ready to buy, we’ll find you. Our buying habits have changed, and believing the old saying of ‘build it and they’ll come’ will lead you to more disappointment than happiness.

Take a little time to consider your SEO and it may make a bigger impact than you realise. A huge 57% of B2b marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation, meaning it may be worth spending those extra couple of days in the creation process, and a regular review during the lifecycle of your website to ensure you are making it as easy as possible for customers to come to you.

Still not quite sure on how SEO works, and why you should be considering it? We wrote a post on this not too long back, which explains a little more about what it is, as well as including a useful graphic that shows all of the considerations that happen for SEO, and how much pull each factor has, so you know what aspects to prioritise on.

 

Can people use it?

Once people have found you, and hopefully for all the right reasons, can they actually use your site? This may sound a daft question, but it’s something we cover a lot in our line of work, with companies making sites for the company, not for their customers.

Not sure what we mean? Well consider as a user how many times you have gone on to a beautiful website, full of gorgeous graphics that leave you dying to know more, but for the life of you, you can’t find the product you need, or even how to contact the company for more information.

Yes, that image of a beautiful city shot with the sun shining down may perfectly encapsulate your urban setting, and that you are one with the business world, but if there’s no other information to complement your picture, your user can’t find anything, it defeats the purpose.

Make things easy to navigate for your customer. How do they think? How do they get to what they need to in the minimum amount of clicks, ensuring you are making the most of their attention for the short time you have it?

47% of website visitors go to a company’s products or services before looking at any other part of the website, and why wouldn’t you want them to get there easily if it means more sales for you?

This doesn’t mean forget design altogether, because well designed websites do stand out! But when you review your website, look at it through a customer’s eyes, not your company’s eyes.

Still not sure on how you can create a user friendly website? You can get a good guide in one of our previous posts on this, as well as a case study on how it worked for one of our clients.

 

Can people read it?

Copy is an aspect many people underestimate. How hard is it to write a few words on a page? Very, as it turns out. To write copy that your users want to read, that is informative and that pulls them through the sales funnel, all whilst being SEO friendly.

There is a lot of hype at the moment about ‘content marketing’, and that’s because it works. Which can be seen with 86% of all marketers are using content marketing. As we mentioned earlier, almost all of us will look for products when we’re ready to buy, rather than waiting to be told about what we should buy.

It can be hard to make this shift. Particularly if you’re a business which is used to dealing with more traditional methods of marketing. But just think of your content as an extension of your sales process. So when people reach your website, they still receive the professional/friendly/technical information they would if one your reps was out on a visit. They receive all the benefits as to how this product or service will help them, and the killer line that makes people buy. And then you encourage them to take action in whatever way fits. Whether that’s making a phone call, completing a form, or reading another blog post.

Take the time when it comes to your copy, and make it something your customers will actually want to spend reading. And if you are struggling, reach out and speak to an agency or freelancer, as there are some very talented people out there, that could really propel your website forward, and ensure important points stand out on the page.

If you want to take on your copy yourself though and need a little help, then we have plenty of articles full of advice and tips, including this post on how to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales.

 

Can people steal it?

Copy writing your website may not be your first thought. However, it is important to ensure other people don’t steal and potentially profit off your hard work.

In the nicest light it can be seen as flattery that someone is so inspired by what you have done. They want to claim it as their own. But the majority of the time, it is painful to see someone else taking credit and sales from your work.

You should at the very least be ensuring your website includes a copyright. This should have your business name and the year. Also adding clauses in your terms and conditions that anyone who copies content without permission will have action taken out against them.

You can also be proactive in checking whether your content has been used elsewhere by using free tools such as copyscape, to perform a quick check where else your content appears.

If you want to read more about how you can copyright your content, images and design of your website, you can read one of our previous posts on protecting your content, brand and ideas.

 

How are you going to keep people coming back?

Now you have your website all set up, and your content sorted, and you’re getting visits to the site, how do you keep all this going?

By regularly reviewing your website! Again, it’s not just a build and they’ll keep coming. You need to freshen up your content. You need to check that all the links in your site work. You need to check your analytics and see how people are finding and using your site, and adapt accordingly.

Websites are a live document, so even if you can’t constantly be updating, you need to ensure you regularly review how it’s doing to make it successful for your business.

 

If you do require any help or advice with your website, why not speak to the experts? All of our team are friendly, efficient, and have a passion for marketing, so what do you have to lose? Call us today on 01543 495752.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

How to Create a User Friendly Website.

How to create a user friendly website

How to create a user friendly website

A user friendly website which provides a great experience is vital for encouraging users into your website and steering them down the sales funnel.

Ideally you want everyone who visits your website to become a customer (preferably straight away!). But if your website if confusing or frustrating to use, that won’t happen.

Providing users with an easy to use website and a great user experience will make buying easier. If they don’t buy then and there, they’ll remember your website and may return when they are ready to buy.

 

Design

Your website’s design is important for creating a great user experience and an easy to use website.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, your website should look easy to use from the second a user arrives on your website. If it looks confusing or cluttered people may be put off and decide to visit another website instead which looks easier to use.

It is also essential to ensure that your websites branding matches the branding on your marketing collateral. And your social media profiles, to avoid confusing users.

 

Navigation

Gardening Delights menuYour navigation is the core of designing a user-friendly website. If users can’t figure out which page they need to go to or how to find the information they’re looking for, they’ll go to another website where they can.

The page titles in your navigation should give users a good idea of what they can expect to find if they click on that button.

If you have a lot of pages or sections on your website, you might consider having a sub-navigation within each section or page to make things easier.

For example one of our clients, Gardening Delights, has a sub-navigation on the left hand side of root-category landing pages to help users navigate around categories easily.

To ensure you don’t confuse users, ensure your navigation is exactly the same throughout your website. And always make sure to include a ‘Home’ button.

 

Blog

If you have a blog make sure it’s integrated into your website and sits on the same URL as the rest of your website. For example ours is www.themarketingpeople.com/blog. Not only is this SEO friendly, but it also makes it easier for users to find.

It’s also important to use your websites navigation on the blog so users can switch between the two easily. Not only is it website friendly, but it looks much better and more appealing. Rather than having a blog which looks completely different to the rest of your website.

 

Content

Creating concise and useful content is important. As we’re sure you’ll want users to leave your website having learned something about your company or products, even if they don’t become a customer on that visit to your website.

There’s nothing worse than arriving on a website to be met by a wall of unformatted text. Even if it contains the best solution or answer to a user’s question, they’ll be put off by a block of text.

Encourage users to read your content by making it look appealing by using titles, headers, paragraphs and images. You should also consider whether the font’s readable in terms of; the font itself, size and the colour.

 

Mobile

Last year roughly one sixth of all internet traffic in theUK came from a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, and that number will only continue to grow.

Having a mobile optimised website means that mobile users also get the same great user experience and are able to browse your website easily.

 

Case Study

We recently carried out some work for one of our clients, Gardening Delights, to help them create an easier to user website. This involved; reviewing the website and planning and organising the changes and carrying out the changes themselves.

As part of the websites update we;

  • Re-organised their navigation and renamed pages to make it clearer what kind of products users would find if they clicked on that button.

 

  • Added new categories to make large categories with lots of different yet similar products smaller and easier for users to look through.

 

  • Created and implemented new sliders and graphics for the homepage which linked to the root-category landing pages

 

  • Created three new landing pages which fit with the brands current positioning, which offers users helpful information.

The final result is a website which is much more user-friendly and enables users to find the products they’re looking for quicker and easier.

 

Contact Us

If you’re a small business based in Cannock, Burntwood, Lichfield or Staffordshire and need help making your website more user-friendly, get in touch to us to find out how we can help you. To find out more, call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in the contact form on our website.

 

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.