A lot of people set up a website for their business and then forget about it, thinking the job has been done. Well, maintaining your website is an ongoing process (see my previous blog on this topic: Why Updating Your Website is Important for Online Success) and if you don’t get it right, it can actually deter people from doing business with you.
Here are 5 common website mistakes that many business owners make, which can be easily fixed for very little effort and far less money than you might think.
- No call to action. When visitors arrive at your website, they only stay a few seconds before they decide whether what you’re offering is for them. That’s why it’s important to have a call to action on each page so people know what you want them to do. This can be a telephone number to call, contact form to complete or free eBook to download.
- Slow upload. Images on a web page are a great way to attract the reader’s eye and break up the text. However, remember to optimise your images before uploading them on to the site. If your page takes ages to load, then the visitor will bounce right off it.
- Broken links. One of the worst things you can have on your site is links that don’t lead anywhere. It looks totally unprofessional and makes you look like someone who is not serious about your business. So if you redesign your site or change the structure, make sure that all the links on your pages still work. If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that can check broken links for you.
- Out of date content. Whether it’s an old copyright date at the bottom of the page or latest news which is over 6 months old, out of date content can look like either your business has closed down or you don’t care enough to keep visitors to your site updated.
- No contact details. You must put your full contact details on your website if you want to look credible, eg phone number and business address. This is actually required by law if you are a limited company. Be careful with email addresses as spambots can pick them up so either add your email as an image, or put spaces in the address.
All of the above are easy to fix without breaking the bank. You can either do this yourself if you have a content management system or you can outsource it to someone else.
Here at Smart VA, we can edit web pages with keyword rich content, add and optimise images, and check links, and all this at a far lower rate than a web designer. So if your website is looking a bit tired and outdated, then find out how our website management service can help you maintain a website that will attract a steady stream of visitors.
One of the things that a lot of people struggle with when they set up in business is getting to grips with marketing. I know that I did when I started writing content for my website. It’s a great way to communicate how your services or products can benefit your potential customers. However, like a lot of people I made one of the biggest marketing message mistakes there is.
I fell into the trap of writing my content from the point of view of “what we do” (WWD) rather than “what’s in it for me?” (WIFM).
It’s said that when people are searching on the internet and click on a website, they will only spend about 3-5 seconds before deciding whether what the company is offering will fulfil their needs. So the content needs to be clearly focused on the service or product you’re providing, the benefits it brings to clients and the results they can expect from using it.
Think about it, how many times have you searched for something and come across websites that just say “we do x, y and z” or “we provide this kind of service”. All they are doing is communicating about what they are interested in. However, you, the prospective client, is reading the content from a position of self-interest – all you want to know is how you will personally benefit from using the service or product.
Well, the same goes for your website or newsletter. When you’re writing it, put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what they’re looking for, what are their struggles and challenges and how you can help them. Websites that are centred on “what’s in it for me?” will get far more hits and enquiries than those that are based on “what we do”.
So whether it’s writing content for your website or putting together your newsletter, remember to not just make it all about you, your company and what you offer. It is essential to give your potential clients a good reason as to how they will gain from using your services or products. If you can show them that you are able to understand and address their needs, then they are more likely to do business with you.
If your website is out of date and no longer giving out the right message, we can update it for you. We can create new web pages and and edit existing ones, insert images and videos, and check and update links. An up to date website will attract more visitors and improve your rankings on the search engines. Click on the arrow button to find out more about our website management service.
A website can be a great way to communicate your products or services to your target market but it takes considerable planning and development to make your website truly effective. However, the job doesn’t end with getting your site up and running; there’s the ongoing task of keeping it updated and maintained.
We all know about the necessities of regular maintenance. This could be taking your car for an annual service, going to the gym every day or visiting the dentist for a check up! Well the same thing goes for your website. You might have spent a lot of money and effort creating it, but you’ll get no return on your investment unless you also spend time maintaining it.
Here are five reasons why updating your website is important for online success
Regularly adding fresh material encourages visitors to keep coming back. This could be content such as blogs, latest news about your business or any upcoming events. Spending the time and resources to regularly update your site will help drive traffic to it and get it noticed by the search engines
Your website isn’t a printed brochure. Like all your marketing activities, it must evolve to meet the demands and needs of your target market. You can use a sign up form for your newsletter, video advertising, and podcasts etc to communicate to your visitors and build a rapport with them.
Your website is only successful if people can find it! Search engines love fresh content so keep your website updated – blogs are a great way to do this. Also ensure that your content features the target keywords that people are using to search for the services or products that you offer.
Is your website still there?. My website got hacked into and instead of visitors seeing my lovely web pages, they got a black page with a message denouncing America! So keep a regular check on your site to ensure that all your files, folders and images are still intact, and your links are working properly. You can check to see if your site does go down with tools such as Pingdom.
Know your visitors. Use tools such as Google Analytics to track how many people have visited the site, what pages they’ve viewed, and how long they’ve stayed. You can then make any necessary changes to improve traffic and visitor retention. Anyone who relies on their site for business purposes should monitor it weekly or at least monthly.
If you’ve only got a small site for your business then maintenance should only take a few hours a month. However, you may not have the time or skills to do this yourself, so consider hiring a virtual assistant to do it for you. Check out our website management services to see how we can help you keep your website maintained so that it will attract more visitors and have greater visibility online.
The first thing that many people do when they set up in business is create a website for their services or products. They will spend a lot of time and effort on the design and layout, but what they very often fail to do is create a plan for bringing visitors in. They think that because they have a beautifully designed website, people will automatically come flocking to it. But your website is like your business – you have to have a marketing strategy so that people can get to know about it.
So here are 5 actions that you can take to drive traffic to your website.
Give away free e-books and articles that contain your website link. These can be used as an incentive to get people to sign up to your newsletter or mailing list. Alternatively you can allow people to post the articles on their own website as long as they acknowledge you as the author and have a link to your site.
Write and submit articles relevant to your industry to other sites such as Ezine, Technorati etc, again ensuring that your website link is included.
Get involved in online forums that share your interests and post comments and articles that include links back to your website.
Send out regular blogs and email newsletters and add share links so that people can post them on to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook etc and also forward them on to friends and colleagues.
Update your content. Either link your blog to your website or create the whole thing in WordPress so that your blog is integrated into the site. Add a news section with the latest updates on your business or industry. Having up-to-date content on your site is essential if you want to look like a credible and professional business, and also helps with that all important search engine ranking!
So now you know how to drive traffic to your website, but you may not have the time or skills to keep it regularly updated. Check out our website management services to find out how we can help you update your site so that your visitors always see the latest information about your services.
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