It’s a sad fact that there are a lot of businesses whose websites are under-performing, leaving thousands of dollars on the table without even knowing it. When it comes to websites most businesses are frustrated with poor conversions, sales and the lack of qualified traffic the website receives.

If you are going to be investing in online marketing and using your website as means of building and growing your business, it is essential that you extract maximum value from your investment by ensuring your website is performing to its full potential.

Having the best looking site has NOTHING to do with whether it will bring you more clients, make more sales or grow your business. A fact lost on many organisations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have a good looking site, but the design element of your site should never be your first consideration.

The simple truth is this: the internet is one of the greatest business building inventions EVER, but you have to use it the right way or it becomes a huge black hole that you pour money into.

So how do you ensure your website gets the most from your online marketing efforts?

Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of your website

1. Focus & Purpose. Your site should be built with a specific purpose in mind. If this is unclear you are going to be shooting blanks in the dark. Ensure your website is set up to achieve a specific outcome from the onset.
Some common purposes include:

  • An extension of our current advertising (radio, newspapers, etc.)
  • To educate customers and prospects
  • To develop a list of qualified prospects
  • To make/ increase sales
  • To compete in the global marketplace

2. Show them the Value. If you don’t immediately show your visitor just how valuable your site is, then they will leave… QUICKLY. On the Internet you only have a few seconds to capture your visitor’s attention, otherwise they are gone… and they AIN’T COMING BACK! It’s a known fact that people will do business with companies or people they like and trust. Your website should answer these 4 questions in the mind of your key prospects:

  • Is this what I was looking for?
  • Who is this company?
  • Can they help me?
  • Can I trust them?

3. Beware of the glorified brochure syndrome. Your prospects are tuned into channel WIIFM, (What’s In It For Me). Your site needs to speak directly to your ideal customers and you need to show and tell them that you have what they are looking for and how they can get it. Visitors come to a site expecting to find answers to their questions, solutions to their problems or for entertainment value.

4. Function over form: Flash based sites look good but you will really struggle to get them to rank well in the search engines. So many sites focus on the design element and miss the point all together. Your website must be easy to navigate and designed in a way that makes it easy to find information. One of the goals of your website design should be to keep usability easy, and simple.

5. Let your business occupy their head space. Remember this: your visitors will only be on your site for a short time, and once they leave they are NOT coming back. Unless, unless, unless you do one very important thing…YOU NEED TO CAPTURE THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION!!!

6. Follow up: Once you have your prospects contact information you can then follow up and build a relationship with your prospect.

7. Basic SEO elements are missing. Good luck trying to rank your site if it is missing basic SEO fundamentals.  Before you ever lay down a byte of HTML code for a site you have to know and understand at least the basics of SEO and how it fits into the design. The number one aspect of SEO for web design is selecting keywords relevant to your site.

9. Keep your site up to date. Have you ever seen those sites that haven’t been updated in four years? Full of outdated material, outdated pictures, maybe even a copyright date that says “2001”?

Nothing will drive people away faster than a site that looks like a ghost town… remember, your visitors don’t trust you… and they are looking for any validation of that mistrust that they can find.

10. Measure to see what’s working. You need to measure and see what’s working and what isn’t. So many web site owners have no idea how to track, manage and gather statistics so that they can make better strategic decisions. This is crucial to the success of your online endeavors. A tracking solution like Google Analytics provides invaluable intelligence that no website should be without.

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