Every business is different. You need to decide what you want, which will not necessarily be what every business wants. Some businesses just need to publish basic information so that customers are aware of the business. Maybe you know that people who find out about your business some other way will most likely ‘check you out’ on the web. This is a valuable function. Let them find out what they need to know. Many businesses want their website to attract attention from search engines and other links on the web. Lots of businesses want to either attract leads and do some business from their websites. Each one of this is a valuable function. You just need to know what makes the most sense for your business.
Most (but not all) businesses these days have a website. Some websites are integral parts of the operation of the business while other websites kind of just sit there, forgotten. Either way, as a business person it probably makes sense to ask yourself, “Is my website working hard enough?” In my mind, there are 3 main parts to answering that question:
What do you want from your website?
Is your website setup to do what what you want it to do?
Do you have a way to measure the results you are getting?
One of the biggest mistakes I see on small business websites is that when a visitor gets to the site, they neglect to tell them site exactly what they should do.
If you want awareness, tell them where the best information is and what parts they should read. If you want them to call your business, then tell them to call, make it easy to find the number and tell them what will happen when they call. If you want to get a lead online, tell them exactly where to click, what information they need to provide and what will happen after they do it. Make sure to also answer the question, ‘What is in it for me?’ If you are selling something, make it easy to find and buy what they want.
Measure the results
So my #1 thing was to know what you want from your website. So the natural follow up is to figure out if you got what you want.
If what you want is awareness, that is the hardest to measure. One valuable way to measure is to have your people ask a question when they contact the business. ‘How did you find out about us?’ is typically a great question to ask and monitor the answers. Google Analytics is a free tool that will tell you how many people are finding your site from search engines. This can be a really valuable measure. Leads are easy to measure if you have a form or something on your site for people to get in touch with the business. Sales are the easiest to measure…you get hard, accurate data.
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