If you’re self-employed and running a website, you’ll have noticed that some months of the year are busier than others. While it can be a challenge to manage these times of feast and famine, why not take advantage of the quieter moments, and use them to refresh your website?
Keeping your site fresh and up to date is vital for improving your online reputation, attracting customers and converting traffic to sales. Over time securing larger orders and better paying clients.
Sound good? If things are a little quiet, take a look at these tips and tricks for maximising your website’s potential, and boost your business in a few simple steps today.
First impressions matter
Getting traffic is one thing, but to successfully convert visitors into paying customers requires a great first impression.
When people are browsing the web – whether they’re looking to hire staff, find that product they need, or browsing for gifts – their attention span is short. A great site has to tell your customer everything they need to know at first glance, and entice them to learn more about you. So, how do you create a great first impression while being informative at the same time?
The first thing your visitors need to see is a line of text and/or an image which does two jobs: it needs to grab their attention as well as telling them something about you.
What is your unique selling point (USP)? What sets you apart from your competitors?
Your opening line and visual content tells your customer how you solve a problem that they have, and why they should choose you for the job.
Think about who your customer is – from their age band to their job prospects – and direct your USP towards that demographic. This means using appropriate language, references and visuals that will attract that specific customer.
Make copy short and sweet
No one wants to be faced with a giant wall of text when they’re browsing, so avoid filling your website (especially the homepage) with dense paragraphs.
You might have a great product, but throwing tons of information at a potential customer will overwhelm them and put them off your brand. One of the most important rules of successful marketing is that you are selling a feeling, an idea and a lifestyle more than an actual product.
Your copy should communicate the essential ideas as concisely as possible. This makes visitors more likely to read and take in your message, and it also exudes competence and assurance. Waffling looks like you’re trying to gloss over the facts, so keep it short and sweet.
First, write down, in as many words as you like, the main story and unique selling points of your product or service. This might end up being several paragraphs long, but get it all down and you’ll be able to work from it. Then, slowly begin to whittle down your copy into fewer and fewer sentences, until you have just one or two short clauses that describe your brand. Each and every word must add value: shave off anything that isn’t essential.
And don’t be afraid to talk up your business. Include each and every success and testimonial you think will help your image: it makes you look serious and self-assured, and is an easy way to build customer trust.
Remember your customer
It might sound obvious, but whenever you feel your site needs a refresh, it’s helpful to refocus around the customer. Who are they and what do you want them to know? You’re not trying to win over website experts (unless you’re selling websites, in which case, you probably won’t need this article!) – you’re trying to sell your product to real people with real money.
You’re not trying to trick or confuse them: your site needs to be user-friendly and inviting, and the copy must be clear and easy to understand. It can be helpful to implement this focus in your design and copy by imagining you’re creating a site for friends or colleagues. Make it approachable and customers will automatically feel a connection to your brand.
Regularly update your site
Google’s search ranking algorithm rewards sites that it sees have been recently updated, and reportedly penalises those who haven’t been changed for a while. This is because a regularly updated site is more likely to have relevant and useful information for visitors. To get more traffic to your site, you’ll need to play by Google’s rules and tick a few SEO boxes.
Updating regularly is essential for getting those visitors you need. Perform a fact check on your site once in a while, and change up a few words and images every month or so to keep everything looking great and feeling fresh – and Google will reward you for it.
A great website is often the difference between a successful business and one that falls flat. Create a fabulous first impression, keep your copy tight and flawless, make every change with the customer in mind, and frequently tweak your site to keep it current, and you’ll vastly improve your visibility on the web. More traffic leads to more potential customers, and you’ll soon see the sales begin to role in. Good luck – we’re sure your site will do great!