2021 is only just around the corner. Is your business ready?
Recently I have been meeting with motivated business owners from a variety of industries including trades, professional services, construction, real estate, consulting, events and ecommerce. When planning out their business growth for 2021 they all have a common goal: to maximise their web presence in order to get more qualified leads and increased sales from their website.
In the ever more connected world we live in, the website you made back when smart phones were still the new big thing isn’t going to cut it. Over the last 5 years we have seen dramatic changes in the website landscape, with huge changes to the Google Algorithm, such as the mobile first approach to indexing sites announced earlier this year and the shift towards AI with the Google RankBrain update in 2015.
There’s also been a massive shift in user behavior, such as more people using mobile phones to search and higher demand for video on websites than ever before. If you haven’t made a significant change to your website in the last 4 years it is probably time for a update.
It is staggering how many businesses in this day and age still have an old looking website with poor navigation, calls to action that are lost, and content and images that are either no longer accurate or don’t give a clear reflection of the business to potential customers. It doesn’t have to be this way!
I have put together a list of the most common questions I use when talking with business owners about what they need to update on their website, whether it is overhauling the current site or having a new website designed and built. This article is written to help business owners understand the changes they need to make, to ensure their website will help them achieve their business goals for 2021!
It is vital to update your website for 2021. This article will explain the reasons why by exploring the following questions:
- Why do you have a website? What is the purpose of your website?
- Does your website look professional?
- Is your website easy to use?
- Is your website a true reflection of your business and brand?
- Is the company location information accurate on the website?
- Are the images on your website accurate?
- Can your potential customers find your website?
Why do you have a website? What is the purpose of your website?
They may seem like simple questions, but you’d be surprised how many times I have asked business owners these questions, only to be met with a blank expression and murmurs of “I’m not sure”.
The purpose of every business should be to make money – and as such – the main purpose of your business’ website should be to acquire new customers and enquiries for your services. For this to occur, you need to ensure that your target audience can find your website and potential customers are given a compelling reason to engage with you.
When evaluating your website’s performance, you need to assume that anyone who clicks on your website is a potential customer, and as such your website needs to reflect what you would like any potential customer to see.
Does your website look professional?
Potential customers will only buy from you if they trust you, and the design of a website goes a long way to building trust. If the website looks dated or old, a user isn’t going to feel like they want to buy from you.
‘75% of a website’s credibility comes from design’ (www.webfx.com)
Have a look at your competitors and some of the large players in your industry. Does your website look better than theirs? If the answer is no, it won’t just be you that thinks so – your potential customers could think the same way, and would be more likely to trust one of your competitors. If this is the case, your website needs a refresh!
Is your website easy to use?
Every page on your website needs a clear call to action to drive traffic to convert to a sale or sales enquiry. Good, clear calls to action are the most important thing when it comes to getting sales, leads or sales meetings booked through your website.
The main call to action for your site should be one of the following:
- Making a sale (if ecommerce)
- Booking an appointment
- Completing an email capture form
- Picking up the phone and giving you a call
‘Strong calls to action can increase conversions by up to 202%’
It should be easy and clear for a user to find and complete the call to action. Most of your web traffic will land on the home page, so it should take no more than 2 clicks from the home page to complete the call to action. Good navigation and high quality web design are key. It’s amazing how many potential customers are lost because of weak calls to action and complex navigation.
Is your website a true reflection of your business and brand?
All businesses change over time, however 2020 has been a year where businesses have experienced more change than ever. From dealing with lockdowns to changes of legislation, many Australian businesses have encountered substantial change over the last 12 months.
Are all your services on the website?
Have you added new service offerings for your clients that aren’t mentioned on the website? If this is the case, you are missing out on potential new business opportunities, and the potential clients that do make it to your website won’t know about this new service.
Are your trying to target a new potential client?
If this is the case, maybe the content on your website needs to be updated to target this audience more. People respond best to information that relates to them and their needs. If you have changed the types of clients you would like to work with, you need to make sure the information on your website is written in a way to appeal to your new target market.
Is the company location information accurate on the website?
Have you moved locations since the website was last updated? Like ourselves, lots of businesses have moved in the last 12 months. Does the new website reflect this? Has the Google My Business Listing profile been changed so that potential customers can find your new location on Google Maps?
97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
Are the images on your website accurate?
There is nothing worse for a business owner than having images on your site that don’t reflect the current activities of the business. For a potential client, there is nothing worse than clicking on images that don’t load properly, are blurry or are obviously stock photos and don’t stand out whatsoever.
‘39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load’ (https://www.sweor.com)
Throughout 2020, lots of businesses have seen huge changes, and the images on the website may need to change to reflect that. It may be that you have images of an old staff member who is no longer with the business or that you have moved offices and all of the images on the site were taken at the old place.
Can your potential customers find your website?
Your customers cannot buy from you if they can’t find you! If you can’t be found on Google, you are missing a huge opportunity to be found by potential clients and people who want your services! If you type into a google search the services you offer and your location, do you come up? If not, or you aren’t in the top 5 results on the first page, then you may need to update the content on your site and look into implementing an SEO strategy to help build your site’s authority with Google.
80% of consumers use search engines to find information on companies providing local services. (https://blog.hubspot.com/)
A well-designed website (with good content and clear calls to action) can be an absolute goldmine for any business and should be the foundation of any digital marketing strategy.
High quality web design is essential to ensure you can maximise the opportunities in gaining new clients from your website. Make sure that your website and your Google My Business profile are up to date and reflect any changes you have had in the business. A SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign should be implemented to ensure your potential clients can find your business in Google search results.
After the year we have had in 2020, the rate at which we are moving towards a more digital economy has only increased, and it is not going to slow down anytime soon. Make sure your website doesn’t get left behind!
About the Author: Peter Austin
Peter is a business partner at Straight Up Digital with a wealth of experience in helping businesses maximise their potential online. When away from the office Peter enjoys sailing, camping and adventures
About Straight Up Digital
Straight Up Digital is a full service digital marketing agency based in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Australia. We specialise in Web Design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Paid Ads (AdWords & Facebook Ads), Email Campaigns and Video Marketing.
Straight Up by name. Straight Up by nature. We prefer to tell it how it is and we aren’t afraid of the difficult conversations with our clients. Our goal is to become the most transparent and results focused digital marketing company of the third millennium!
We have been helping businesses for over 10 years across a variety of industries including restaurants, real estate, construction, manufacturing, certified trades, professional services, podcasts and events.
Whilst based on the Gold Coast we service clients all over Australia and around the World. If you have any questions about your website, social media or lead generation please get in touch.