With technology growing at an alarming rate over the last decade, the Internet has been at the forefront of each and every single one of these advancements. Smart phones and tablet devices are now a part of everyday life. You can even use them to do your banking and to pay for items and services. Yes, technology is most certainly king and for that reason, if you want to stand any chance of succeeding within the business world, you need to embrace it and get with the times.
The size of your business is irrelevant. The simple fact of the matter is that if you want to stand any chance of succeeding, you will need to own a website for your business; and if you want your business to flourish in these new times, your website will need to do more than the days of old. Your website will need to work for you. If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed, this could potentially be costing you thousands in lost revenue every single month.
If your business is suffering and you’re not quite sure why, maybe, just maybe, your website could be to blame? Here’s a look at 5 ways in which your website could potentially be costing you new business.
One of the best ways of actually getting what you want is to ask for it, and in simple terms, that is essentially exactly what a “call to action” is. On your site it is your job to encourage or even to direct your customers towards exactly what it is that you would like them to do once they’ve finished browsing your services and/or products.
Exactly what you require them to do will of course depend on what your business is all about. Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? If so, a simple hyperlink linking to the “free trial” page with the text “Click here for your free trial” is all that you need to do. Do you want them to browse your service or products? If so, “Click here to browse our full range of products/services.” Place these clickable links strategically throughout your website, ensuring you don’t overwhelm the customers with too much text or content.
It’s essentially the same as using bait while fishing. A few carefully placed links with simple call to action text will bait customers into clicking them, seeing your products, seeing something they like the look of, and purchasing it — while making you a tidy profit in return.
On average, a new visitor to your website only spends six seconds evaluating whether to stay on your site or to click the back button and go somewhere else. If your website’s most important information is buried under the fold, then there is a pretty good chance it’s not being seen. The layout of your website is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when creating a new site for your business. Although there are a number of “create your own” websites out there that cost little to nothing at all, it is advisable to always hire professional web designers to create and design your website for you.
You should think about what you want each page to say, and then look for ways of saying it using as minimal text as possible. Hey, if you have a talent for writing, that’s great – that’s what your blog is for.
Most of your potential customers will be visiting your website to browse your products and services, not to read long walls of text. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Make sure you keep the text to a minimum, don’t try to include too many images, and make sure each page is well balanced.
A great website design can validate to consumers that your business is a legit, professional business that they want to patronage. It can either boost your reputation or turn potential consumers away.
If you’re trying to save money by doing it yourself, you could actually be losing potential customers, and in the end, losing money. By taking design into their own hands, small business owners cause themselves more headaches and risk by ending up with a poorly designed and planned out website. Not surprisingly, 41% of small business owners who are unhappy with their current website say design/aesthetic is one of their top priorities.
Word of advice – do it right the first time. Hire a professional web design company and make sure your website looks contemporary, attractive, and allows customers to easily engage with your business.
Social networking is now a part of everyday life, and whether you like it or not, it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
First of all, if you don’t have several social networking pages created for your business, you need to consider getting them set up ASAP. Social networking is ideal as it’s a great source of free, or very cheap marketing and advertising, millions upon millions of people use these pages, and it’s a great way of potentially drumming up more business.
After you create your first several social networking pages like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc., you will then need to ensure that you provide links to each page from your website. Linking to social networking pages is ideal because it allows you a way of keeping in touch with potential customers, and keeping them up to date with what’s going on. So let’s say you are having a sale. People love sales, right? By promoting your sale through social networking sites you have a direct line of communication to people who are already interested in what you’re selling.
Your friends, fans and followers then see the amazing deal you’re offering and will likely take advantage of it because you’re speaking directly to your target audience. We spoke about calls to action earlier, and social networking links are prime examples of how effective a call to action can be. Simple text such as “Stay Informed by liking us on Facebook” with a direct link to your Facebook page is all that is required, and it’s proven to be extremely effective.
As mentioned previously, smart phones and tablet devices are now extremely common, with close to 68% of all US citizens actually owning at least one of these devices. For that reason, more and more people are using these devices to browse the web rather than laptops or computers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly you could be missing out on a lot of customers. This is something that you should address as soon as possible!
Websites that are not user friendly show up incredibly small on the screens of smart phones, forcing the user to have to enlarge the text and to then scroll left, right, up, and down, every few sentences. If there are any clickable tabs or links on the page, they often inadvertently get clicked by accident, which is extremely frustrating for the user. Rather than spending 10 times as long as normal to simply read a few paragraphs, the user will instead search for a much simpler alternative, namely one of your competitors with a mobile friendly website.
Mobile friendly websites recognize when a user is browsing via a smart phone and will display the text in the perfect size for your device’s screen. This means you won’t need to enlarge the text, you won’t accidentally click on the wrong page, and you won’t need to scroll left and right every few words. You simply read the text and scroll down as you go. It’s simple but it works so much better than the non-friendly alternative.
Studies and expert research have both found that including your contact information on every single page of your website is the most effective way of maximizing your potential to increase and boost your sales.
Many businesses make the mistake of placing their contact information solely on their ‘contact us’ page, or sometimes not at all. Visitors don’t want to navigate through different pages just to find a telephone number or email address. Visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. You can easily eliminate any frustration by listing your business phone number, your operating hours and business email address at the top and bottom of every page.
For further benefit make sure to include links to your social networking pages with your contact information. The easier you are to get hold of, the more likely you will be to land yourself extra leads and sales. You get the results you want, and so does the customer who easily finds exactly what it is they’re looking for without wasting time by navigating through page after page.