When it comes to website development, many small companies fail to properly optimise it as a marketing tool. This is when I am usually asked to help. . .
It’s not unusual. Some of my clients have very flashy looking websites, with glorious images and impressive graphics. Some of these websites might even qualify for a design award. There is an ocean of design talent out there and many small businesses fall for the glitz. So many bespoke website development companies have great expertise in coding but are essentially amateurs when it comes to marketing content. And that could be money down the drain.
Other clients, by contrast, have more modest websites. Sometimes they are hosted on unsupported or obsolete platforms or they are template websites – cheap and cheerful in their limited way – but lacking the flexibility to properly convey their marketing message. Content is shoehorned into available spaces rather than the space being designed to hold appropriate content.
Either way, what they end up with may look great or be inexpensive, but if the website fails to be an effective marketing tool, they would be better off without one.
And that is not where the story ends. A website needs to be visible in order to do its job. Some businesses treat their website like a cactus. They plant it out and then leave it alone. They don’t water it or fertilise the soil. It survives, as cacti do. But it never flowers, is never noticed and never attracts the visitors it needs to multiply and grow.
Websites need attention. A good marketer will design a website with content that grabs the readers attention and is noticed by Google. They will nurture the site by adding well-written fresh new copy in the form of blogs or articles. They will understand the art of copywriting and know exactly how to press all of Google’s buttons. Like a plant, the website is watered, fertilised and flowering. It is visible, read and admired, and provides the client with a great return on investment.
As far as content is concerned, there are three issues you should be trying to address on your landing page. The area first visible – often described as ‘above the fold’ – should allow the reader to:
1. Recognise that they have found what they are searching for. Ask yourself, does the area above the fold quickly establish what product or service you are offering? If not, they may just bounce off and try another search result.
2. See themselves reflected in the content. Again, ask yourself, is the website speaking to all the targeted segments and does it provide each with the opportunity to begin a personalised journey through the site?
3. Benefits, benefits, benefits! Is the content grabbing the attention of the reader? Can they see the benefits of staying on your site and exploring further? Can they see the ultimate benefits you can offer to them, through your products or services?
If you can nail these three issues, the reader might just stay a while and read more.
In summary then, whether you have a great looking website or an inexpensive template site, you should understand that the journey has only just begun. Ensure that the static content is right and give Google what it is looking for – freshly updated new content – in the form of blogs and articles. If the copy-writer knows what they are doing, they will know exactly how to promote the website up the Google rankings. Every business owner deserves that their website provides a return on investment, but an invisible website might as well not exist at all.
If you are interested in ensuring that your website is seen by your target audience, and want proper advice on website development, contact James on 07902 290165 or use the contact page by clicking here.