I have a confession to make… I am constantly judging businesses by the quality of their website. Now this probably has a lot to do with the fact that I am so involved in online marketing but I’m sure that I am like just like your average customer. I want to know more about the business I am dealing with, I want to know they are a genuine business and that they will take my custom seriously – so surely a decent website isn’t too much to ask for??
The statistics in Australia are actually frightening! A recent MYOB report into online marketing in Australia found that more than half of Australian businesses don’t promote or sell products and services online, with a quarter believing that a website wouldn’t benefit their business at all.
Interestingly, the report also revealed that businesses with a website are more successful – 32% reported a revenue increase in the past 12 months, compared to 22% of businesses without a website. We can only hope that the quarter of businesses believing a website wouldn’t benefit their business read that statistic and took notice! Businesses with websites are also more much likely to expect increased sales in the next few months, and they also display greater confidence that their revenues will increase in the coming 12 months.
If your business does have a website, how long has it been since you gave it a serious evaluation? Is it up to date? Are there enough quality images and does it do your business justice? A website re-design or make-over doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise and the benefits can be enormous. Traditional bricks and mortar businesses shouldn’t discount the opportunity to sell their products online to boost their sales and expand market opportunities.
There has been so much emphasis on social media over the past 2 years that many businesses have forgotten that it is their website which should be the backbone of their online marketing efforts. Your website is ultimately the one thing within your control – no Facebook or Twitter changes will bring your website down. A website should integrate with your social media marketing, if you are driving the traffic back to your site you need to make sure it is up to the job.
Here are some key considerations you should make when reviewing your website:
- Loading times – is your hosting fast enough to cope with the content and the amount of traffic your site receives
- Aesthetics – does your site look the part?
- Navigation – a crucial element, website visitors have short attention spans – they want to find what they are looking for quickly.
- SEO – have you covered the basics of on page optimisation? Once this is taken care of look at off-site optimisation.
- Integration with Social Media – if you are utilising social media then let your website visitors know!
- Blog – a website review is the ideal time to consider creating a blog as part of your site design
- Mailing list sign-up – email addresses are like gold… don’t discount email marketing as a way of converting your website visitors into paying customers.