Most businesses have a website nowadays but there are countless websites that are massively underperforming (sorry, honesty is my policy!). The digital world is constantly evolving and the website you got years ago may not necessarily be up to scratch now. A good website is extremely important for your business, especially if you are aiming to get customers online (and you should be!).

Even if you had a great website years ago, business, and more importantly the internet, moves on very quickly and if you don’t regularly review and adapt then you may just get left behind. Wow, that was depressing. Let’s concentrate on getting your website great, yes? First things first, WHY do you need a good website anyway.

1. People look online first before making a decision about a purchase

Over 80% of potential customers look online first before making a decision about a purchase (according to the study here). They might try to find your website directly if they’ve heard of you before or they might stumble across it via your marketing efforts. However they find you, you’re now a potential solution to their problem and your job is to provide them with the answers and convince them to make that purchase with you rather than your competitors.

Your website needs to make a great first impression and show this potential customer why they should work with an excellent business such as yours.

2. Customers do judge a book by its cover

Sorry guys, people do judge a book by its cover…at least when it comes to design. You might be the best business in the world but if your website features crazy colours that makes visitors squint or tacky graphics that don’t communicate your brand, then you could be getting an awful lot of people leaving your website without really giving you a chance.

Your website needs to represent your brand and ensure you come across as a professional and reliable company to work with.

“94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website” ironpaper.com [Tweet this]

3. How do you measure up against your competitors’ websites?

Your website may also be compared to your competitors’ websites and if they have a lovely website with plenty of useful and relevant information and their website is easy to use and navigate, then they’re already a step ahead of you if your website doesn’t offer this.

Realistically, you might be the better option for that customer but not everyone will necessarily take the time to research that if your website is difficult to use, doesn’t work properly or just doesn’t look very professional. It might be worth doing a bit of a competitor analysis to see where you stand with your website.

4. Most businesses now have some sort of online presence

You don’t HAVE TO have a website, but I honestly believe it’s beneficial. Even businesses that have always done brilliantly without any online presence could really benefit from something online. Even a simple free directory listing on Yell.com for example could make someone who wasn’t aware of you before, now aware that you’re located near them and offer exactly what they want!

It may just be my generation, but I find it a bit weird when a company doesn’t have a website or any social media accounts. It makes me wonder whether the company is still actually up and running but I’m often too busy to research further.

5. Some customers simply want an easy life

Your customers are probably busy people. Heck, everyone’s got something going on – if they can save time, they will! While some people love to have a chat on the phone or don’t mind digging around for information, a lot of people will probably be very appreciative of information that’s easily available to them on your website.

By having a website, you can put your company information, your services, and maybe your price list online where your potential customers can quickly and easily research what they need and whether you can provide it.

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Now, what makes a good website?

If you’ve read all of that and you’re thinking “OMG, where do I start?” then don’t worry. Here are some of the main things you need for a good website:

  • Clear and easy navigation – can customers easily find the pages and the information they’re looking for? None of this pages within pages that link to other pages rubbish.
  • Well structured text content – don’t overwhelm them! Make text as clear and concise as possible. Use paragraphs, bullet points and images to break text up, rather than just a page that people could easily get lost in.
  • Write for your customer – you won’t necessarily be your business’s target customer yourself. When writing content, keep your target customer in mind.
  • Keep your website consistent with your branding – Your website should be an extension of your brand. You’ll want to keep your website consistent with your branding to make sure it’s recognisable as your business.
  • Make it clear what you do – a customer needs to quickly see that you have what they need. It’s surprising how many websites I come across where I have no clue what they offer or I make assumptions about what they do and it’s something completely different! It’s not my fault as a customer, it’s just that the website simply isn’t clear enough. Remember, you know your business inside out. People visiting your website are likely to know nothing about you.
  • Make your contact details easily available – your customers need to actually be able to contact you in order to work with you. Don’t fall at the last hurdle!

So, do you have a good website?

If you don’t have a website at all, or you’re looking to update your existing one, or if you simply aren’t sure whether your website is up to scratch, please contact me. I’m truly passionate about helping small businesses to create a brilliant website that’ll help their business. I offer a free consultation and free quote with no obligation to go ahead with the website build. Email me at info@amberphillipsdesign.co.uk or give me a call at 01245 898 605.

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