5 Things Your Website SHOULD Be Doing

You’ve spent time and money on your website. Shouldn’t it return your investment? Here are 5 criteria that will ensure your website is pulling its weight. Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of rdomino via Bigstockphoto


It’s very easy to assume that just because you have a website, you’ll suddenly generate a tonne of traffic and every person that clicks on your website will become an instant lead and you’ll be a millionaire in no time at all. But considering there are over 1 billion websites on the internet (www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/) that would mean that a 7th of the world’s population are millionaires just from having a website. They’re not.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s website is being used to its top potential and it might even be giving off the completely wrong tone and impression to what the business actually does. So take a look at these tips to find out what your website should be doing.

1. Is your website telling YOUR story?

Of course, when a visitor clicks on your website, they’re usually looking for information about the services or products you offer so that they can make a more informed decision. But that doesn’t mean that’s all they’re looking for. They’re instantly judging you. It sounds harsh, but how often have you clicked on a website and thought “I don’t like the look of this one, I’ll try another”? The messaging, visuals, content and features that you pop onto your website all play a vital part in telling your potential customers who you are and thus revealing YOUR story.

In this day and age, knowing that our local milkman is competent at his job isn’t enough. We want to know what moves him. We want to know why he became a milkman, where he came from, has he always been a milkman? Then as a consumer, you need to ask yourself, why do I use this milkman and not just buy it from a supermarket? This is the same for websites; there are so many other websites just like yours and knowing that the product you’re selling works isn’t enough, you need to sell yourself. Sell your story. Make yourself stand out.

Do you excel in customer service? Do you donate any of your profits to a charity? Are you a family owned business? Where did you start out? Have you got experience in this field? Find something that can help the visitor relate to and support. All this information is going to be taken into account when they’re looking to make a decision. So ask yourself, whats your story?

2. What are your Core Business Goals?

Maybe it’s because we’re the country that invented football (although China would argue this…) but goals are really important to us. Whether it’s setting yourself the morning goal of getting all your work finished by mid-day or trying to lose weight for that party in 3 days time, we set ourselves goals all the time. So why not shout about it on your website? Just to clarify, I’m not suggesting that you tell your page visitors that you have completed your step goal for the week (unless you’re a fitness business, in which case, that idea was a freebie!) but your business goals.

Many times businesses are so excited about having a new website, that they pop the content on the website and set it free into the depths of the internet. Don’t be naive in thinking that having a site that exists is better than no site at all. Whats the point in having this awesome marketing tool if you’re not going to use it to its full advantages. Your website should be an extension of your company and should achieve the same kind of goals that you have set for your business. (At this point, if you haven’t set your business any goals, you’re on the wrong blog post!). Goals for your website could include simple ones such as creating more lead generation or get more people to call you or fill out more data capture forms.

We like to use S.M.A.R.T. Goals:

Specific:

What would you like to accomplish?

Measurable:

How will you know when it’s accomplished?

Attainable:

Can it be realistically accomplished?

Relevant:

Does this match your business needs?

Timely:

When would you like this achieved by?

S.M.A.R.T. Goals are great for helping you set website objectives in general but can be edited to be more suitable for your visitors to read.

3. Are you Educating your visitors?

This is a really important question to ask yourself – are you educating your visitors? Your website should be there to inform your visitors about your services, it should provide knowledge and insights into your industry and/or topics relating to whatever it is that you do. This can be done through a blog, newsletters, creating video’s and even sharing links to third party websites. Utilise those social media platforms (make sure they’re linked to your website) and use them to your advantage, you have access to millions of people and you can capture them (not all of them just yet!) by sharing a funny meme with a bit of information about your business underneath with a link to your website. By educating your visitors, you make yourself a true resource and just like Wikipedia you’ll become indispensable.

4. Are you flaunting your assets?

No, not in that way! Cheeky…

You’ve spent hours writing the most incredible blog post on why frogs are green and you think you’ve made a groundbreaking discovery, you’ve tweeted it, you’ve Facebook-ed it, you’ve even MySpaced it. But you haven’t received any traffic to your website. Why? Because you forgot to link it back. As I mentioned above, it’s important to utilize social media platforms, but whats the point if you haven’t linked it back to your website? And if you have linked it back to your website, is it easy to find the content?

Make sure you’re flaunting those assets! Do you attend conferences where you speak on topics related to your industry? Show your visitors this; they might have attended the conference and loved your talk but didn’t catch the name of your business. Do you create online tutorials designed to help people fix their problems? Make sure people know where to find it. Are you and your team going on a team day out to Sea World? TELL YOUR VISITORS and make sure it’s easy to find. Often we’re sitting on a goldmine of content assets that we don’t even realise. But pull them out of the attic, dust them off and make them part of your website.

5. Create an Experience.

This is the biggie. This is what all the other tips and tricks lead up to. Creating an Experience. Anyone who has ever worked in sales knows that you have to create an ‘experience’ for the consumer. You take them on a journey to find out what it is they’re after, why they want it and you cater to their needs. If people enjoy their user experience and find that they have the answers they’re looking for (or know who to contact if they don’t) they will come back time and time again. If you implement the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to being one of the 23% of actual millionaires.