Making your website work for you Newsletter no 13

Wandering about

Years ago when I was still an apprentice in business management I remember a phrase from a guru (whose name I’ve forgotten) recommending “Management by wandering about”. The idea is that whatever business reporting structure you have in place there is no substitute for taking a stroll to the coal-face and seeing for yourself what’s going on.

It’s too easy to accept what people are saying – the sales manager isn’t going to let on he has no pipeline, the production manager is going to tell you all is well with the staffing and HR will tell you everyone is suitably trained and happy in their jobs. Marketing report the social media platform has thousands of followers and the website more hits than the competitor’s site. People are more interested in keeping their jobs or getting promoted than telling you the truth.

You need to do this even if you’re a consultant or sole-trader. You can’t just put a tick in the “website box” and assume you’ve done your on-line marketing bit. You need to get out there to see for yourself and try to be objective. Put yourself in the place of a prospective client who visits your site for the first time.

So - when was the last time you looked at your website?

Go there right now and take a good look.

  1. Is it obvious on the home page what you dowhat benefits customers can expect, where you are located or do business and how prospects should go about finding out more or buying?
  2. Are your contact details clear on every page and do you respond to all enquiries?
  3. Do you have a “call to action” on each page  – e.g. “Call us for a quote”, “Sign up here for product updates”.
  4. Are products and prices up to date?
  5. If you are a wholesaler or manufacturer – do you have a list of retail outlets with their contact details and websites? (Helping your distribution channel will boost loyalty as well as increasing your sales.)
  6. Off-line - are you using your website to best advantage – on signatures, packaging, mailers, flyers, press releases, signage, etc?

Your website is the cornerstone of your on-line marketing strategy. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are useful for engaging customers, letting them know about new products and services or offers, keeping them up-to-date with market trends and even related legislation. But social media has a timeline and your message will quickly slide down the list and disappear from your clients’ view. Your website provides a constant, always correct and up-to-date shop-window for your business.

How to make sure this happens:

  1. Give someone the responsibility of regularly updating your website and make sure they, and everyone else, knows this is an important part of their job description. Ensure that they have sufficient time and resources to look after your on-line marketing properly.
  2. If you don’t have in-house skills for updating your website – or the time or resources – hire a professional webmaster who can ensure your site is up-to-date and will work with marketing and product development, badger the various departments for news and do the updates. This person needn’t be the same as your web designer so long as they have access to a good content management system.
  3. If you use social media make sure you have a joined–up on-line marketing strategy.
  4. Regularly give your website a critical look from the point of view of your customers, prospects, sales and marketing departments and check that your website is actively assisting your business.

The most important thing is that your website is doing what you want it to do:

  • More enquiries
  • More / more profitable business
  • Easier sales
  • Better communication with members, clients, suppliers, retail outlets, press
  • Lower cost of marketing (see Marketing on a shoe-string)
  • Cornerstone of your social media strategy

Take a wander round your website on a regular basis and make sure it continues to tell your customers and prospects the best about your business, so you can be as proud of your website as you are of your company.

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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