Is your Website letting your Business Down?

So what are some warning signals that your website is harming your business?

Probably the most common signal is the feedback you get from people. If you hear from your clients that they found it hard to use your website or found it out dated, then it’s time for a change. You want to keep your clients happy and if that means a web redesign, then so be it. If they have to buy products from your site and find this process arduous, then its time to kick things into gear and ditch the old site. Ecommerce sites, especially need to be extremely easy to use so make sure you must make the buying process a pleasure. If clients start looking elsewhere cause they hate your site, then guess what? You’re going to go out of business. This is the reality of the online space and if you think that it can’t or won’t happen to you then think again.

A very strong signal that your website is destructive force in your business is if people tell you that they looked everywhere but couldn’t find your site. They typed your name into Google and it didn’t show up. Well, what’s happening is that there are some serious coding issues and this is why your site is not being indexed by the search engines. Take immediate action as the remedy can be quite simple. Overall, if there are coding issues for these types of things, then a full website audit is probably in order.

Can you go and make a cup of coffee whilst your website is loading? Does the spinning wheel seem to hand there forever? If so, you are going to need a complete web overhaul. Heavy graphics that are killing your site loading times are also ruining the customer experience and this in turn will drive people away from your site. Irritating, bothersome extensive site downloads are going to eventually ruin your business.  People expect lightening fast website download speeds so be prepared for a mass exodus if your pages are taking more than a couple of seconds to load.

When was the last time your read your website? When was the last time you changes the photos of the people working in your company? If you can’t remember, then this is a major sign that there is trouble brewing. Web content needs to be updated regularly. I have blogged exhaustingly about this and I can’t telly you how important fresh new relevant content is, not only for your clients but also for your internet rankings. Also, the last thing you want to have is a photo of yourself dating back to the 1990’s. Imaging what will happen when your clients meet you and they see a completely different person. Not a good look I’m afraid. Keeping things current will do wonders for your brand, business and consumer perception.

Do you need to go back to your developer every time you need to make a small change to the site? If so then you should be looking at upgrading your websites content management system so that you are in full control of the site. Many website built years ago where developed using proprietary CMS platforms. A bit confusing I know. But, what this means in plain English is that your web people gave you a website that only works on their hosting and was developed by them to be used only by them basically, you have no where to go or no other options other than to dump the site and move on if you want to break those nasty shackles. Imagine the freedom you will have when you are in total control of your content and don’t have to keep on out laying money for the slightest change.

Have you been utilising social media to its fullest advantage? Have you been blogging, tweeting, playing in the Google+ space.  If not start now. Get your web team when they are designing your new site to integrate the social media platforms and get going. Its free it can be fun and best of all it works. Everyone is using it and your website must have these social icons on there.

Where is your website hosted? Who in your office is in charge of making updates? Where is the domain name registered? Is there any SEO being done on the site and if so when was the last time you had a ranking report? Who is writing the blog? All these questions need to be answered and most importantly all these loose ends need to be consolidated so there are no issues with the site in  the future. If it looks like the website is handled by too many different sets of people this is a bad move. Get it redesigned, move to a open source CMS, get trained in how to use it and put 1 person who you can trust in charge of its marketing.

I know it’s a big ask but now has never been a better time to take stock of your online presence and show the world just how great your business or company is. This exercise can be a very uplifting and motivating experience. It’s like throwing out your old wardrobe and filling it up with new clothes. It will give a whole new personality to your business and will more than likely get your inquiry rate up. It’s a no brainer – get it done now and get it done properly – let us make your website look fabulous!

6 Free Great Tips for Marketing your Website

Tip # 1: Make sure the website has been designed by an agency and not some template wielding, price busting, cheap n cheerful gang of cowboys. This obviously is after the horse has bolted so to speak, but if you look at your website and have paid next to nothing for it, then I say bin it. Take the loss, move on and look for another company that can design a site that will work for you. That is a company that can make you look unique, and design all pages that are aimed at site conversion.  Nowadays, websites need to look spot on. They have to appeal to the consumer within a few seconds and draw them into the site. This is why every web page needs to be planned out and lots of preparation put into it. Having an average looking site, will not cut it anymore. You can forget about it. Might as well pack your bags and go on holiday. So the first tip here is to engage a company like us here at hopping mad designs.

Tip # 2: If you are going to launch a site and your intention is to use this as a platform to drive new business, then use a SEO company that knows its stuff. Getting ripped off at this stage is a common occurrence and many businesses fail because they do not understand SEO or the processes involved. All I can say on this matter is try to use a web company that has a solid background in SEO. Splitting the 2 disciplines is not a good idea. My theory on this is that web design and SEO are so intertwined that it’s best to keep it all under 1 roof. This way the right hand knows what the left one is doing at all times. You can have the best looking website in the world that has been 100% optimised for conversion, but if you stuff up with your SEO then the whole exercise is going to be pointless. I would say the best way to go about this is to interview a few companies before embarking on this project and make your decision based on 2 areas. Their ability to design and the techniques they will use to rank a website. Make no mistake, There are literally hundreds if not thousands of so called SEO experts out there in the market place just dying to get your business. If you fall for their lies and fake promises then you are the one that will be going to suffer, with extremely poor site rankings and zero web traffic. This is a massive recipe for a disaster waiting to happen. I see it all the time and I get phone calls from people in such a panic about their Google rankings that it’s scary.

TIP # 3: Keep adding to your website. By this I mean you should be constantly looking to add content to the website either by blogging, creating news articles or even adding pages to the site. Don’t freak out here! I know you are busy and you have got much better things to be doing than publishing blogs, but 1 or 2 per month is all you need. Why? Cause Google loves new content and if you have something interesting to say, share it with the world and Google will help you get it out there. This form of marketing, known as content marketing is now common practice so if you have never heard about it, then get your web guys to add a blog feature on your site and go for it. To get a clearer idea of this message why not browse the hopping mad blog. From here you will get a better understanding of how a blog will work and how it can promote your business. I try to blog at least once a week on anything web or SEO…read the headings and you will get my drift.

TIP # 4: Probably one of the least active components of a small business marketing strategy is how they utilise and interact with their social media. More often than not this is an area that is over looked or forgotten about, but businesses should at least have a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Instagram account. These are awesome marketing tools and can seriously push your brand or business message to a whole new audience and the best thing about it; IT IS TOTALLY FREE! Try it out and see the kind of results you are getting. If it doesn’t work vary the message or look at it from a different angle. There is no harm in trying this over and over again, till you hit the winning formula.

TIP # 5: Make sure your website has a data collection area. That is, collect visitors email addresses by getting them to sign up to a newsletter. This way you can stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Quarterly, half yearly, yearly, whatever, as long as you are front of mind for these people when they are looking for your product or service and a direct email campaign is just the ticket to do this.

TIP # 6: Lastly, make sure that your website works on a mobile phone. Make it super easy for the public to browse your site, no matter the screen size they are using. Known as responsive design, this will help you target a mobile audience which is really where all web content and pages are heading. This may not be overly critical now but in years to come this is going to make a huge difference to the way users interact and engage with your site.