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Often overlooked as a static billboard, business websites today can become dated quickly and forgotten about in the hype of social media development  – so how do we keep it working hard?  And more importantly, how does a great website benefit our businesses? Your website is often the very first stopping point for your customers – new and existing, so it’s crucial to get it right.   We’re here to advise a few top tips to help you develop engaging and authentic sites that will have your website working hard for your business.

Show Personality

Every well developed brand and company has a personality –  a feel and a message that is unique and sets you apart from your competitors. Your website should reflect this. It needs to be unique to you and your brand, and communicate the feel and personality of your brand, service or product offering. Visually this can be translated into the strong use of your logo, images of your work, your people, your product or place of work. Graphically, this may mean not using a standard template layout or perhaps bringing your company values to the forefront or even showcasing a snapshot of your business story.  This sounds simple and it can be – but often business owners need marketing help to bring this personality to life. If you are too busy working in your business, to work on your business – then external marketing assistance is easily on hand to help do this for you. It is cost effective, fast and the results will speak for themselves. Contact us to find out how we can handle it all for you.

Be Real & Authentic

Your website needs to be engaging and real. The content also needs to be true to your brand/service promise and ideally without the BS. People want to relate with real people delivering what they say they will, and not corporate or hard out sales messaging. Be personable and authentic – write your web content as if you are speaking directly one on one with your most valued customer, sharing insights on what they want and need.

Be Consistent

Make sure your messaging and branding is the same across all mediums; online, printed material, signage, the works. Consistency means using the same colors, same fonts, imagery, tone of voice and the same key messages. This reinforces and strengthens the connection between your website and what your business physically offers to your customers. It also communicates quality, gives a sense of assurance and assists brand memorability.

Be Clear & Concise

When it comes to websites, more isn’t necessarily better. Ensure the site is easy and fast to navigate. In short, your website should provide customers with the information and services that they are seeking in an easy to understand, well-presented format. Don’t write website content for content’s sake – or just anything to fill the space. Content fatigue is real and you will lose the interest and confuse those you are trying to engage if you barrage them with too much irrelevant communication or confusing filler content.

Be Effective & Actionable

To engage and interest your target audience, websites also need to achieve something.  It pays to link into your overall brand or business objective, and the key messages you want to communicate, and keep these in mind when developing content. Make sure your website encourages the reader to 1. Think about one thing in a new way, and 2. Encourage them to do something new. The ‘Do” is the ‘call to action’. That may be a promotional offer, simply book an appointment or take details for a complimentary assessment.

Have a Content plan

We can’t stress this one enough – have a website content plan, ensure that your site reflects your overall marketing plan – communicate your events, latest releases, new products as they relate to your marketing plan, share seasonal updates, client wins and project progress as they occur. It doesn’t have to be rigidly stuck to, but it will give your brand and business relevancy as well as keep your search optimisation current.

In summary

Relevant, helpful and meaningful websites will increase your digital reach; engage more of your desired target customers, increase enquiries and ultimately increase your brand awareness and sales leads. A strong digital presence isn’t just a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity.

NB:  This article was published in the EMA “Business Plus” magazine.  Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world.  EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.

EMA “Business Plus” magazine Nov 2017 | Energise Marketing Agency