Most businesses today agree that they should have some online presence, of which a website is the most common. But what’s less clear is how to be perceived as credible.
Is your site ready to rock the world? If it has these critical factors in place, you’re probably on the right track.
Probably the most important factor is having a professional and up to date design. Nothing screams “Out of business” more than a website that was made in the late 90’s. If it’s not up to scratch, chances are your potential customer will move on to a competitor that has a professional and credible website.
Advice: Make it a priority to get your site updated.
- Have a look at the latest design trends (http://anthillonline.wpengine.com/setting-website-web-design-trends-look/)
- Find a suitable web developer: Get in touch with a few web developers and tell them what you need along with your budget. A good idea is to have a look at some competitor’s sites first and put together a list of elements that you want included on your new website.
- Buy a theme: If you’re on a tight budget and are willing to put in the time, just buy a professional looking theme. (http://themeforest.net/)
2. Website speed
People searching online are notably impatient, and won’t wait for your site to load properly. On top of that, Google has put a lot of emphasis around web speed, meaning that fast sites will be rewarded with higher rankings in search.
Advice: This is easy fix and therefore highly recommended.
- Go and put your website’s URL in this speed test. (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/)
- If you do have an issue with speed, contact your web developer and show them the recommended changes.
3. Key Message
You have seconds to engage a visitor- so what are you selling and what benefit is it to them? Having a clear value proposition is going to keep people browsing on your website, increasing the chances of them becoming a customer.
Advice: Make it easy for people to understand what you’re offering.
- Craft your message. Spend time coming up with a short sentence that clearly describes what you do and how that solves a problem for a customer.
- Display this message “above the fold”. Make this message prominent at the top of your pages, so the visitor receives it on arrival.
4. Compelling Copy
Having a strong value proposition will only go so far if you don’t back it up with strong web copy on your website.
Advice: Make sure you have top quality copy
- Solve problems: You’re in the business of solving problems. This includes what you’re offering and also the information you provide to the customer. The more you can help them, the more they will trust and hopefully convert them from a potential to an actual customer.
- When creating content for your website, its a good idea to be in this mindset- “What type of information does a visitor need?”. This case study shows how an English school mapped out their site based around what questions a potential customer might have.
- Keep information up to date. Make sure you’re always adding and changing relevant information. If you’ve decided on a blog, keep it updated regularly.
- Hire a copywriter: If writing isn’t your thing, hire a professional copywriter to get the job done well.
5. Inspire confidence
A new visitor to your site is naturally going to be skeptical about what you are offering. It’s your job to convince them otherwise.
Advice: Show your visitors why you’re worthy of their business
- Testimonials: Contact previous happy customers and get them to write a few sentences about their experiences dealing with you.
- Logos: Another effective way for turning visitors into customers is displaying the logos of clients or trusted organisations that you’re affiliated with. This is especially helpful if you are still new to the market.
Adam Binstock is the founder of OnlineMarketing.com.au , a website that makes sure Australian businesses get the right advice and help with their online campaigns.