A well-designed website is crucial to enhancing a business’ brand image. A website has the power to make a small business look bigger, build customer confidence and increase their willingness to buy. These tips have been developed specifically for Business to Business websites, where typically the objective is not to sell the actual product or service online – however the website will still need to ensure the visitor takes ACTION of some sort – whether it’s to pick up the phone to request a meeting, download a case study document or register for your newsletter.
Tip # 1 - Get the Brief right
The briefing stage is vital to the overall success of your internet strategy. Be clear about your objectives for developing or refreshing a website.
1. Who will visit the website?
2. What do you want to tell them?
3. What action do you want them to take prior to exiting the website?
These 3 simple questions will help define the content of the website and ensure it is succinct, targeted and relevant to the browser.
Tip # 2 – Think about Conversion
Once a business is online with their website and is receiving visitor traffic from Internet marketing campaigns, it’s time to turn those visitors into buyers. The conversion rate of a website (the percentage of visitors who make a purchase; sign up for a newsletter; download a report or whatever the objective may be), is really the most important statistic when it comes to understanding the health of a website because it’s how you measure that site’s Return on Investment.
The reality is, most websites don’t work. Business owners who thought getting a website would instantly improve their bottom line but ended up being disappointed by the lack of results are probably suffering from a poor conversion rate. What no one told them is putting a website online is just one step in the process. Just like building a car, how a website is engineered plays an important role in how well it performs. Measuring and continually improving a website’s conversion rate is a top priority.
Tip # 3 -Think about your Call to Action
Once launched the website will hopefully enjoy high levels of traffic. However, much of this traffic will be anonymous – browsers will visit the site, read the pages and may never contact you.
In addition to the standard ‘Contact Us’ pages, you must therefore consider promoting other calls to action, to motivate visitors to the site to take the first step e.g. Request a Brochure, Request a Call Back, Ask the Experts or Join the Mailing List.
Tip # 4 – Make Yourself Look Big
Customers can be skittish, especially online. The slightest sign of impropriety can send them back to their search engine results to find another site which may have a more professional and trustworthy appearance, even if it means paying a little more for the same product or service.
Design, layout and overall presentation are important factors that affect a website’s conversion rate. No one likes to shop in a store that’s disorganized, run down or poorly staffed. Customers want to find what they’re looking for easily, and when they have questions they expect a knowledgeable associate to be available to assist them.
This is also true online.
Confusing layouts, incomplete product information and broken links account for the majority of customers abandoning a website even though they had already made the decision to purchase. When the goal is for your prospect to take action, there should be as few roadblocks between the products and services and the “cash register” as possible. And the same is true no matter what the objectives are for your website.
Tip # 5- You can't afford to ignore Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
For many websites, search engines can contribute around 85% of website traffic. It is therefore essential that search engine optimisation commences at the very earliest stages with the website design (eg. choosing suitable keywords, the use of the web development language, interlinking of pages). This will then be followed by site submission to the major search engines and directories. Search engine placement must be reviewed on a regular basis as this is an ongoing task rather than a one-off activity.
Tip # 6 Do Consider Advertising
Another option for driving traffic to your website is paid for ads eg. pay per click and weblinks. A trial pay per click campaign with a clearly defined budget could be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of this method for your organisation. This should be carried out across two different sites (eg. Yahoo Search Marketing and Google Adwords) in order that their effectiveness can be measured.
Tip # 7 Linking for success
Links are an excellent way of generating high quality traffic to your website. Not only will you benefit from ‘click throughs’ from other websites, but links are becoming one of the major factors used by search engines. A good web designer should research your market and provide advice on the best method of obtaining links including.
Still have Questions? Then please contact us for further advice and guidance.