Making your website work for you Newsletter no 10

Whatever happened to January?

Here we are in the second week of February and I’m thinking “This year is going even faster than 2012”.  Mind you, quite a lot has happened this year already:

  • Three weeks of snow and ice (and more to come)
  • David Cameron has - so far – managed to survive going out on several limbs with policies and promises
  • Richard III has been dug up and they’re arguing about where to bury him again
  • We’ve apparently been eating GG-burgers
  • The Pope has resigned
  • Several New Year’s resolutions made – but not acted on!

A lot of small businesses start the year making resolutions to do more marketing and business promotion including a website revamp. But business and life in general takes over and the year slips by and you haven’t had time to even think about it. When swamped with stuff to do it’s always a good idea to do the things you can complete quickly and which will make a difference. It will make you feel better anyway.  So here are a few ideas to beef up (or 60% horse-up!) your website that won’t take long and will make a difference.

3 Quick Things You Can Do
to make your website work better

    1.   Add a news story

    It’s always reassuring when you visit a website to see some recent updates. You know then that the website – and the business or organisation behind it – is actually still operational and likely to respond if you make an enquiry. Update your news page (or add a news page) with a short piece about changes in your company – new staff, new product or service, special offer, training course, something relevant to your market. Something has happened recently in your business or market – tell your prospective clients about it. But keep it brief – that way you’ll get it done faster!

    Have a “Latest news” panel on your home page with a link to the story page or to your blog or Facebook page (which, of course, has a link back to your website).

    Extra good news for you – search engines such as Google and Bing love fresh content on websites and will rank updated sites above old neglected ones.

    2.   Make sure your contact details are on every web page

    People want information quickly and easily and most aren’t prepared to search for details. Having got someone onto your website you should make it easy for them to find what they want and, if your website sparks their interest, to do something about it. If you have a shopping site the “do something” is likely to be “add item to shopping cart”. Otherwise it will be contact you to see if you’re the kind of person they want to deal with and to ask questions. This is your opportunity to make the sale, arrange an appointment, answer their query and so on.

    So make it easy for visitors to contact you:

    • Have your phone number & clickable email at the top of your website –“above the fold” as they say, which means that it can be seen when the page first loads and without scrolling.
    • 20% of visitors may be viewing your website using a smart phone or tablet so it makes sense to have your business name and contact details on the top left-hand corner (i.e. the first bit they see before scrolling up and/or sideways)
    • If you prefer enquiries via a contact form, consider having a small form on each page or a clear link to a form.

    3.   Shout your web address from the rooftops!

    This week I’ve had a couple of communications which made me cross (three if consider the one from the tax man!)

    One was a regular e-newsletter from our MEP Bill Newton-Dunn. He writes each month about what goes on in Brussels and tries to explain to his constituents the mysteries of the European parliament. Well done Bill for taking the trouble to communicate with his constituents. But this month he made a real booboo. He told his readers about a new question and answer service on his website but forgot to include his website url! (its www.newton-dunn.com/ )

    The second was a notice from our GP about some changes to the practice – a new partner, new opening hours and so on. But no mention of their website. What a missed opportunity to connect with their somewhat dispersed patient-base and keep them up to date with opening times, immunisation availability and general health advice.

    Make sure everyone knows what your web address is. Put it on every bit of communication, stationery, publicity and real estate you have:

    • email signature
    • stationery, brochures
    • press releases
    • shop window, cars & vans
    • presentations
    • carrier bags, packaging
    • Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, blogs
    • and your roof-top if you have one!

If you don’t have time to do all three things – do one and make a difference.

I hope these tips on Making your website work for you are useful. Give me a call or email if you've any questions or if I can help in any way.

Best wishes

Sandra Dillon

If you found this useful and would like me to include any specific topic in a future newsletter please let me know sandra@realcom.co.uk.

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If you are considering a website for your business or organisation or would like professional help with an existing project please email me at sandra@realcom.co.uk or call on 01530 440000

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