Posted 19 July 2016 by Anthony Green
With the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reporting that, in 2014 80.8% of UK businesses had a website, it is undeniable that over the years your website has gone from simply another Marketing tool to a critical part of customer engagement. But what makes a good website? Blue Chip’s Sales and Marketing Director, Anthony Green, explains what content needs to go into your site to make it a valuable asset for your business.
At Blue Chip, we take our customer relationship very seriously and have recently invested in this fresh new website, on which you are currently reading this very blog! We have followed some simple points to ensure that we can best engage with our visitors, and quickly and concisely provide them with the information they are looking for.
From both a design and content perspective, the first aspect of your website to concentrate on is your homepage. Assuming your visitors are coming directly to your site and not through a link to a particular page, it’s the first thing that people will see so you need to leave an impression! Your branding should be consistent so that your customers know it’s your website, and it should resonate with your target audience. From there you should give customers a clear path to start their journey. For example, Estate Agents might have two pathways to follow – Sales and Lettings. This will direct your customer to the information that best suits their need. For Blue Chip we’ve taken the Business Executive and IT Professional pathways as each group will require different information and a different style, the content on each pathway reflects this.
You must have heard of the K.I.S.S. rule – Keep It Simple, Stupid! Don’t use 50 words when 10 will do, as your customer probably won’t have the time or inclination to sift through all that information to find what they need. If you’re promoting a product or service, try focusing on how it can benefit your reader, rather than just bombarding them with sales messages. A diverse set of Case Studies can be helpful for this reason, as they should explain how you have used that particular product or service to solve a customer’s problems previously. At Blue Chip, we think it’s vital for any business to be customer-centric, so our new site is full of Case Studies as well as written and verbal testimonials to demonstrate how we have helped a wide range of businesses, of different sizes from a variety of different sectors.
Ensure that any text is free from spelling and grammatical errors as for every person who doesn’t mind the odd mistake, there will be one who will take exception at finding such an error! For obvious reasons, your site should also be factually correct. This includes Blogs, which are great for both SEO purposes and for customer engagement, as not only does it show that you are an active company but the language tends to be more relaxed and “chatty”, allowing you to get your message to the reader across in a relatable fashion. Finally, from a back-end perspective, your web designer should ensure you include appropriate keywords, meta tags and meta descriptions, which are important for SEO and can help you in getting your website into a prominent position in search engine results.
Following on from my aforementioned point about pathways on your website’s homepage, it is important to ensure that you website is easy to navigate, user-friendly and intuitive. Your customer will want to find the information they require as quickly as possible. One excellent way of ensuring this is to have a built-in search facility, site maps can also be helpful– it will give the customer a page-by-page breakdown of your website in order for them to select the most likely page to feature the material they need.
A speedy site is also very valuable; I’m sure that we have all visited a website which takes a long time to load, and have rapidly lost interest. To help prevent this, ensure that any imagery on your site is of a relatively small file size; 72dpi is often adequate for web use, though some people prefer to use 96dpi to retain a high image quality. A fast-loading website will also prove useful for viewing on mobile devices, which is fast becoming the most popular toolset for web browsing. If you don’t have an app specifically designed for mobile devices, it’s vital to remember that your website could look and perform very differently on a mobile phone or tablet, so ensuring that the site is mobile-friendly is a must! And it goes without saying – no broken links!
Finally, your website could be the most beautiful and informative in the world, but if your customer doesn’t know how to contact you then all that effort will have gone to waste. When redesigning Blue Chip’s website we made sure that a way to get in touch with us was on every single page so users can connect with us at a single click of a button. Whether it’s a Call to Action or easy-to-find contact details, it’s essential that you make it as easy as possible for your customer to contact you.
Additionally, the ONS report we mentioned earlier has revealed the extent in which Social Networking has provided a new way for companies to connect with their customers, with a reported 51.5% of businesses using Social Networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn in 2014
. It’s therefore not only important to be active on the Social Media channels you decide to use, it’s imperative that you include these links in a prominent place on your website. A great place to position them is on your site’s header or footer, as not only will the links be replicated across every page, this will be where the eye of your reader may expect to find them.
Please take a look round our brand new website and let us know what you think! And if you see one of our services or solutions that you would like to know more about, simply contact us on email@example.com
or call us on 0845 034 7222.