How effective is your website?

    Your website is your shop front to the world, the first place potential customers land after finding you online. So what does your website say about you and your business? How effective is it in generating traffic, enquiries and ultimately new customers? Read on to find out some simple ways of making sure your website is working as hard as you do.

    Here’s the scenario. Your business has a website. It cost you some money to build. When it was built, you had a list of objectives that you wanted it to achieve, so here’s the question. Is it doing what you set it out to do?

    As a business owner and entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate and the thought of reading the rest of this article gets you a little bit nervous. With a ‘to-do’ list as long as a piece of string, your time is precious. You’re wondering if reading further is going to add yet another job to that list.

    The thing is, a standalone website with no support isn’t an asset. It won’t help your business grow; it simply becomes another ‘thing’ you need to worry about. However, a good website coupled with the right digital marketing strategy can become your business’ second most important asset… the most important asset being ‘you’ of course!

    I promise that if you take ten minutes now to consider a few simple things, you’ll be armed with the most relevant information to take your website to the next level.

    1. What objective do you have for your website?

    Sounds obvious, but many business owners don’t ask themselves this simple question and their website isn’t built with the core objective in mind.

    Do you need your website to drive enquiries, leads or new customers? Are your customers going to buy from you online? Is your website purely about portraying your premium brand or more of a tool to tell your story, rather than generate masses of leads?

    Once you’ve established the objective for your website, you can build the appropriate marketing strategy to complement it.

    2. Are you getting enough inbound leads from your website?

    Have a think. Over the past month, how many enquiries have you had that have come directly from your website? Do you even measure where your leads come from? If not, start doing that immediately. If you are measuring them, are you getting enough via your website?

    Your website and any digital marketing spend you invest in needs to be costed in, just like any other source of new business. Once you’ve established how many leads you’re getting, compare that to how many you need, then you have the basis of an objective for your digital marketing.

    3. Is your site visible in organic rankings?

    Your first source of online leads is going to be via organic traffic. These are the results that show up in the main section of results when you search on Google and roughly 60% of users click on these links.

    Here’s the catch; Google will only rank you at the top of the results if your website is deemed ‘relevant’. Great content, links to your website from other reputable sites and how user friendly your website is all factor when it comes to how high you appear in Google’s results. Optimising your website to make the most of organic traffic is called SEO or search engine optimisation.

    Check where you appear. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. You’re looking for a business that does what you do, but you don’t know any by name. What search terms would you use? Type them in.

    Does your business appear on the first page? With 75% of users never scrolling past the first page of results, the higher you appear, the more ‘organic’ leads you are likely to get.

    4. Do you need even more leads than organic traffic alone can provide?

    So you’ve got a good website, optimised it to appear high up the search results page on Google, and got some good traffic and leads coming your way. But perhaps that is still not enough.

    The next way in which you can drive traffic and leads is via paid advertising online, or pay per click. Google calls this Adwords.

    By simply selecting a few keywords that best describe what it is your business does, the geographic locations you are interested in driving traffic from and the maximum amount you are willing to spend, Google will ensure your website appears at the very top or the right hand side of its results page.

    With 40% of users clicking these links, this is another effective way to drive traffic and leads your way – plus you can increase your spend, or shut it off altogether depending on how much traffic you need.

    5. Are these hard-won leads turning into customers?

    The final step in making sure your online presence is meeting your objectives is to ensure some of that hard won traffic on your website converts into paying customers.

    You need to ensure the information on your website’s easy to find and navigate. Are your products and services easy to find? Do you clearly describe what you do and how potential customers can take action? Is your phone number, email address or online product catalogue easy to interact with?

    These sound like simple questions, but make sure you put yourself in your customer shoes and think carefully about how they will navigate a website they are probably seeing for the very first time.

    These tips will give you a good initial view of how effective your site is, but as a business owner, do you wish there was a more in-depth solution to see how you could improve the site so that you drive more traffic to it?

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