A website that works is a wonderful thing. It brings customers and things good to your door – from enhanced visibility, expert kudos, effortless enquiries and increased sales. When it doesn’t work it’s like “wearing a fur coat, but no knickers” as the saying goes i.e. it might look fabulous but it’s not really practical.
The majority of websites are set up with no marketing and little effective SEO (search engine optimisation), and that’s grand if all you need is a digital brochure to display things beautifully but doesn’t need to be found or sell anything. If that works for you then that’s fine, but it’s not what I offer.
What I do is specialise in creating websites that work – or rescuing websites that aren’t working and making sure that they do.
So how do you know if a website works? It can be found easily by people looking to buy what you are selling, they enjoy using it and look at lots of different pages, share your articles and blogs, sign up for your emails and newsletters, recommend you, and ultimately they buy from you.
Sounds simple? It is, but it’s not easy.
What Makes a Website Work?
First off it’s got to do what you want it to do – that is, achieve your goal. Don’t worry if you really don’t know where to start! I’m here to help, so you won’t be presented with a blank piece of A4 and told to post it to me when you’re done.
There are a few things we can agree are best practice for the best way to build a website that works, so in no particular order:
It’s got to look good and be recognisable as your brand – If the first thing customers see on your website looks unprofessional then that will be their takeaway opinion of the business. (If you haven’t got company branding, that’s something I can help with)
The technology and hosting environment must be reliable. Your site should be available 24/7 and 365 and not only on certain browsers when there’s a y in the month. It must also be robust enough to survive a sudden surge in traffic without falling over and fast enough to load before people get bored and click away. This is, of course, something you won’t have to worry about because I do.
It’s got to be easy for visitors to find things and navigate intuitively. For example, if you want your customers to ring you, then don’t hide your contact details under a three-level drop-down menu. If you want to give them free goodies, you need to make sure it is well signposted. If you want them to stay on the website make sure all the pages are interconnected with links and easy to follow click-throughs. Again, you won’t have to worry about how this happens, because I will do it for you.
It’s got to be responsive – it’s around 50:50 as to whether your visitor will be using a mobile device or a computer. Your website has to work nicely on both.
It’s got to be found on search engines for your keywords – SEO is something I take seriously and too big a topic for this post. Suffice to say that getting SEO wrong can be an expensive mistake, mostly because then people won’t find you and if they can’t find you, they won’t buy from you (like having a shop in the wrong part of town). So if you want to have a website that works properly so people looking for what you sell can find you, I can help.
It’s got to sell whatever it is you’re selling to the people who want to buy. The look and the message have to be right, there needs to be good marketing in place, numerous entry points with different ways of encouraging people to sign up to your emails or give you their contact details in exchange for taking something useful away that answers their needs (and if you don’t know what those are, I can help you with that as well).
I know all this and more about making websites that work because I’ve been doing it a long time (I have clients that have been with me over ten years), and I can guide you through every step of the way and make sure your website really does work for your brand and isn’t just a fur coat.
And when you’re ready for a fully visible, full-blown e-commerce website with social media integration together with on-going social, marketing and PR campaigns then I’m with you on the journey.