There’s no question that every business should have a website – it’s a shop window for what you have to offer open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But all too often businesses spend a small fortune on a website with all the bells and whistles only to then leave it festering and collecting cobwebs. They fail to give their website a second thought and yet still expect it will do the business of bringing in new clients for them.

If you want an effective website which is a selling point for your business, it may be time to consider these top tips.

1. Be clear on what you want your website to do

What is the main goal of your website? Is it about raising awareness of who you are and what you do, is it about selling online or is it a way of getting sign ups on your mailing list?

When you know what you want to achieve you can look at your website with fresh eyes and make sure it is doing what you need it to do. Add or delete pages and restructure the whole site if necessary  to lead visitors to the pages you want them to see. Also, have a read through the text on your website. Poor spelling and grammar can make your business look unprofessional, so if words are not really your thing, hire a professional copywriter to whip your website copy into shape.

2. Make it mobile friendly

More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse and Google is taking into account whether your site is mobile friendly in its rankings, so it can’t be overstated how important it is that your site looks just as good on a small screen as it does on a desktop.

3. Go minimal on the menus

Are there a dozen choices on each dropdown on every single menu item on your site? It may be good in many respects to offer a choice to your customers but when it comes to your website menus it’s best to keep it simple. Make it easy for users to find what they want without having to second guess which option may be the one they need.

4. Be clear on your Call to Action

Now you know what you want to achieve with your website it’s time to make sure your visitors know too. Have a clear call to action on every page which leads your visitor down the route you want them to take. Give them a contact form so they can get in touch or a link they can follow to buy your latest ebook, for example. After they have found the info they are looking for on your site, the page should be leading them on to taking the next step in the “buying journey”, whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or a map showing where they can find your bricks and mortar shop.

5. Add an About page

If you haven’t already, consider adding a page which tells your potential clients more about you. Business is all about people, so give your business some personality and let your website visitors get to know you and what you and your business are all about. Tell your story to help build a relationship with your potential clients that in turn builds trust and loyalty.

6. Use big, bold images

A picture paints a thousand words and although that’s a lot of pressure to put on a simple image it is true that websites with big, bold images are more likely to hold the attention of visitors than those with big blocks of boring text. If your business lends itself to it, take photos yourself, but if that’s just not possible there are a number of sites where you can lay your hands on free images. Try Pexels or Pixabay.

7. Be consistent on your branding

Do you have a company logo, colours or fonts that you use on your shop front, company literature, the side of your van or in your newspaper advertising? If not, you need to consider your branding to give your business an identity. If you do, make sure it is consistent across all channels, including your website, so that your customers come to recognise it.

8. Cut the distractions

You’ve been through your website and restructured it to lead your visitors by the hand to take the actions you want them to take, but are there still things standing in the way of them reaching the end of their buying journey? If you have distracting music playing in the background of your website, big flashing banners, or any other distractions, get rid of them now. While you are at it, check that your pages load quickly. People can be very impatient and if your pages are slow to load, they’ll go elsewhere.

9. Add testimonials

Shout about how great you are by letting someone else shout about how great you are.

Word of mouth is still one of the powerful ways to market your business, so if you have a happy customer who is willing to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), don’t be shy about using their testimonial on your website. Many potential clients will be swayed by what other people say about you, as they want to know you can be trusted to treat them right and come up with the goods.

10. Add a blog

Distinguish yourself as someone who knows what they are talking about in their chosen field by adding a blog to your website where you share your knowledge and expertise.

As well as providing valuable information for your customers and prospective clients, your blog is another way of raising your profile and building awareness and trust without “in-yer-face” selling. It’s also good from the point of view that by regularly adding relevant content, your site will do better in search engine rankings. If you struggle to string a sentence together, consider hiring a copywriter who will work with you to craft interesting and informative blog posts.

If, after reading this post, you need help overhauling your website or writing posts for your blog, call Plan B Marketing today on 07595 036454 or email connect@traceysweetland.co.uk