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How to get your website business ready

How to get your website business ready

October 27, 2011 by Fiona Humberstone

Traffic lightsWhen was the last time you reviewed your website? I mean properly and objectively reviewed it, rather than just looked the other way when you opened the site by mistake? I always recommend my clients review their sites at least every six months, at the very least. It’s amazing how much your business will change, the market will move on and your customers’ needs will change over six months, and it’s important that your website is always business ready.

By business ready I mean that it needs to be ready to attract the right sorts of clients; position you in the best possible light and provide conviction that you are the best company for the job. Often small tweaks, changes to images or adjustments to your copy can be all it takes to get your website business ready again. Sometimes it’s about adding in a couple of extra pages or taking out irrelevant information. And sometimes (and only sometimes) you need to throw everything out and start again.

Here’s how to get your website business ready.

Ask yourself: what do we want to be known for, what are we best at, what work do we want to win through the website? Now be honest – are your words, images and design communicating that?

What is the goal of the website? I was talking to a potential new client yesterday who was frustrated that her website didn’t get her more members joining. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that there was nothing on the homepage asking you to become a member, no pages to outline the benefits of membership and no imagery to lead your eye to the membership section. I suspect that if we had delved a little deeper there would have been more that we could have found to help her achieve her goals, but often an objective glance is invaluable.

What’s working, what’s not? Use your gut feel, client feedback and anecdotal evidence as well as information that you can glean from Google Analytics. We find the exit pages, site overlay and general information invaluable when gaining feedback on how well a website is performing. Come up with a plan of what needs to change.

What information is out of date? Team members perhaps, products that are out of stock or no longer in use. Is everything that you provide or sell on there? I realise that I am highly innovative and will often change things at the drop of a hat (much to the delight of my staff as you can imagine) but almost all businesses will develop and change over time – make sure you keep your website up to date to reflect this.

If you have a website with a content management system, then much of what you learn throughout this process you’ll be able to implement yourself. Most of it is likely to involve changes to your website copy, perhaps to some of the images or perhaps small tweaks to the structure. So go on, give yourself just half an hour to get your website ready – I promise you’ll thank me!

P.S. I really do practise what I preach. Having tweaked, nipped and tucked the Flourish website over the past 18 months we are now in the process of a bit of a redesign… But that’s another story for another day.

Fiona Humberstone is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and runs her own creative consultancy.

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Comments

Great post Fiona. One point I would add is to check page load times on all devices including smartphones and tablets. A slow loading website will almost definitely turn a prospect away – before you’ve even had the chance to talk to them. Anything longer than a few seconds, and your visitors will click that back button – and you’ll have lost a customer. The blog below contains some more tips to consider when designing a website. http://goo.gl/g6z90 

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