1 Content is KingMore than 20 years ago, Bill Gates wrote a paper entitled ‘Content is King’ in which he spoke about the Internet giving businesses the opportunity to publish information, adding ‘opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet’.
Today, with the rise and rise of social media channels, the opportunity to publish and share content is even bigger than Mr Gates could have imagined. It is absolutely key then to make sure that there’s a regular feed of content going onto the news/blog section of your website and that this is shared on any social media channels.
2 Utilise Google Analytics
There are a number of free tools in the marketplace to benefit your website, including Google Analytics, which can be used to track data about the way visitors to your site engage with it. It is also essential to analyse data from any search engine optimisation (SEO) you might run, while you can also identify which pages and links visitors click the most.
3 Don’t forget mobilesWhen developing a new website, many organisations primarily think about how it will look on a PC. But, when we’re working with clients, we highlight the importance of developing a site which is accessible and viewable across a variety of platforms.
According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2019 the most common type of device used to access the internet on the go was a mobile phone or smartphone at 79%. This has risen from 53% in 2013.
People expect a lot from their devices when they are out and about. In fact, according to figures shared recently by Sitecore, a huge 85 per cent of Internet users expect the mobile version of a website to be faster than the desktop. This again highlights the importance of creating websites which deliver across all platforms, with a particular focus on mobiles.
4 Make the most of imagesWhile many people spend most of their time thinking about the words on a website, images are just as important. Make sure you always utilise high quality images and that you establish you have the permission to use those photographs. Certainly, don’t take them straight from another website!
Be creative. You don’t have to use the images you’ve got as they are, why not crop them to make them more impactful? In addition, be aware of using photographs on your website which immediately age them, such as Christmas decorations in the background.
5 Consistently is keyMake sure that your website content has a consistent ‘voice’. To aid you with this, take the time to write a simple style guide to make sure that everyone contributing in some way to the website content follows these guidelines. This could be as simple as writing the date in a particular style, to how casual/formal the approach to content should be.
6 Check all the links workNothing is more frustrating when visiting a website than wanting to ‘find out more’ and clicking on a link to discover it’s broken. It’s really worth spending the time to go through and check that your links all work. You can easily lose a potential customer with missing and broken links.
7 Plain and simpleTake the time to look at the layout of your website, trying to imagine it’s your first visit. Is it easy to read the text, particularly against the background colour you’ve chosen? The key is to make a website visit as straightforward as possible.
8 Include a contact formIf you want potential customers to get in touch with you, then don’t invite them to send an email; instead channel enquiries through a contact form. This has a number of advantages. It enables you to track any enquiries easier and it also means that you can collect some information about the person making the contact, while keeping on the right side of the GDPR regulations. In addition, it will cut down on the spam you receive to any email you might have included on the website.
9 Include your telephone numberWhile most website visitors are happy to pop onto a page to find out a bit more information, it is worth putting a telephone number of your website too, just so people know that they can get hold of somebody if they need to. It will make your business look ‘real’ and it will give potential customers peace of mind. For the same reason, it’s also good to add some photographs of key members of staff in a ‘meet the team’ section; again to add authenticity to the site.
10 Proof your workFinally, proof your words and think about spelling and grammar. If your copy doesn’t read well or has mistakes in it, this reflects on your business and on your brand. Also, if your grammar isn’t spot on, your message might be difficult to grasp. In addition, be as brief as possible, people have short attention spans and limited time.
If you want to find out more about making simple changes to your website to make it more engaging and effective, then give our team at Lake Solutions a call.