The online face of your organisation is your website. It might be relatively easy to create a website with the help of a good web design company but maintaining a successful website is something that needs to be worked on continuously and will take some planning.
This is the place where your prospective clients will be visiting before and during initial conversations with your company. Maintaining an up to date and useful website for the web visitors is essential and below are some pointers on how to do that.
1. Responsive Web Design
In today’s world users are not restricted to accessing your website from home or work using a desktop PC or laptop - they'll also access your website using a smart phone, tablet, net book or e-reader. Responsive web designs are now the standard for the industry.
A responsive web design is a way of making a single website work across all browsers and devices. This can mitigate the cost and time of creating different versions of your website for different devices. The existing website can then be relatively easily reviewed and updated as required by making changes to just one website 'system'.
When you look around the web you will see that some of the current trends include parallax effects with big fonts and retina display images – but in 18/24 months a new website design trend will be in place and you may want to make your website design keep pace with the trends.
With a single responsive web design you just need to update one website 'theme' and that will be reflect across all devices and browsers. With a professionally built responsive design you're also future proofing yourself for new devices that will come to market in the next few years as the responsive design is 'fluid' and stretchy' so it can adapt to all displays perfectly irrespective of the device the site is being viewed on.
2. Relevant And Updated Content
First impressions are the best impressions and this idea applies perfectly to a first time visitor to your website. Easy to read web pages, great look and feel, and the latest up to date information all entice the visitor to stay on your website for longer and read more content and be more impressed by your ability to look after their product/service needs.
Various studies show that visitors are not reading entire web pages word for word, but they are extracting the important words and highlighted paragraphs, headings, bold text etc. While updating the web content, identify the most important data that your web visitor should see when they scan through the document and design accordingly by highlighting keywords and headings.
It will not be a good user experience for your website visitor if your web pages do not contain the most up to date information – so you need to read your own website regularly and ensure that everything is up to date. This is one of the most important jobs that your website does so you need to allocate this job to someone so that it gets done regularly. This also will improve your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) too by having content that is continually updated with highlighted headings etc.
3. Social Media & Blogging
The quickest and easiest way for your website to reach out to a mass audience is to have a strong social media system in place. Each of these social media websites are intended for different purposes. Based on how you want to interact with your end users, you may want to plan how to use these social media platforms.
Think about which platforms are you competitors using? Do they use Facebook? all of them? none of them? If you see that all your competitors are using e.g. twitter then you should consider using twitter too.
Blogging is another useful tool to use to encourage your customers to come back to your website frequently to read the new articles, updates and comments on previous articles. This can have a very positive impact on your SEO as well.
Some of your blog articles can generate very unique streams of information and commentary that make for compelling reading for your industry – and you don't have to write all of it either! You only need to generate one quality blog article and the blog readers will provide the commentary and you can audit and manage this commentary and ensure that the commentary is on-topic, useful and appropriate.
4. Use Your Web Design Company To Help With Updates
You may find that you don't have the time or staff resources to do updates on your own site regularly, yet you realise that you do need to keep your website up to date. This is where your web design company could help you.
They are experts in getting content onto websites and they can do this through your existing CMS (Content Management System) or otherwise. As well as doing the updates they are also experts on what kind of content you should have on your website and they would also have good contacts for professional writers who could help you to write articles about new products/services in your industry as blog articles. Having a word with your web design team would be a smart first step to see what they can do for you, how long it would take and what it would cost.
5. Client Testimonials
Your satisfied existing customers can give a huge boost to the rest of your business. Adding Client testimonials is an inexpensive way of enhancing the credibility of your company, your products and services. The best testimonials share the following characteristics: Concise, Credible, Specific, Outcome oriented. You probably have a few clients in your mind already, that you get on really well with, who would gladly give you a glowing reference so you should start with them.
Make sure you include the most recent client testimonials to your website design too. Customers who visit your website would not be that interested in doing business after seeing testimonials that are 3/4 years old.
6. Study Your Website Visitor Stats
It is always good to do an analysis on your website visitors statistics and on the conversion rates - this is the percentage of visitors who finally turned out to be customers. The stats will show you a feast of information about your website including: what pages your visitors are visiting, what pages they are not visiting, what pages do your web visitors leave from.
This will give you an idea of the areas of improvement that are needed in your website which can increase your sales lead conversion rates. You can also see from the stats the pages that may need new content or more content. Once you have rewritten a web page remember to study the web stats for the coming week and see if they have changed as a result of the new web page content you added.
There are many other ways to improve the conversion rates - one example would be to give the good headlines. Headlines are the first thing a visitor reads, so giving the right headlines can increase the conversion rates hugely.
Think About The Customer
You need to have a good think about your website content after it goes live - you need to keep it up to date and accessible to your visitors. Think about them - what do they want to find on your web pages and how do they want to access that information. Those answers will help you to decide what up[dates you need to make on a continual basis.