If you have formed your own business, it is likely you already have a website up and running. There are many advantages to having an online presence, not least of which is free marketing for your product.
However, if you don’t look after your website, your business is going to suffer.
Here are some valuable tips to help you maintain your website, ensuring it serves your business well.
Create a great looking website
You may have built your website from the ground up, used a free software tool to create one, or hired a third party web designer to create something for you. That’s great, you have something up and running, but it needs to look the part to make you stand out from the competition.
To begin with, we need to look at the aesthetics. Is your website eye-catching or does it suffer from drab coloring and a poor use of fonts? You want people to visit your site, enjoy their stay, and come back at a later date. If your web page is cluttered with unnecessary information, too many links, and a dull design, people aren’t going to stay very long.
Do a little research and compare your website to that of other companies. Have a look at the coloring they use, the fonts in descriptive texts, and the placement of photographs to showcase their product. Learn not only from the best but also from the worst.
Make your website look professional
You want to be taken seriously, so a quickly thrown together website isn’t going to do you any favors. Considering your company is just one of many in a competitive market, you need to create something that will make you stand out from the crowd.
First of all, if you have used free web-building software, you are going to be stuck with their company name in your URL. You will be taken far more seriously if you buy your own personal domain. You will have to pay for the privilege, but you will have more credibility in the world of business.
Check out other company websites, and you will notice testimonial pages. They use quotes from the feedback of their customers to promote their service. You should do the same. Once you have built up a client base, ask your customers to provide a quote for you. For example, you could ask for a short review of the product they have bought or a recommendation as to why others should buy from you.
Go to each page of your website, and double check your spelling and grammar. You won’t inspire confidence if there are a lot of mistakes. If writing isn’t your strongest suit, copy and paste your text into a service such as Grammarly, and it will highlight mistakes and help you correct any errors.
Maintain your website
It’s important that you look after your website, and keep it maintained regularly. On the surface, there are several things you should check. For example, make sure no dead links are pointing to defunct websites or internal pages on your site.
Click on every link, and also check any buttons you have embedded, such as those used for social media. If you find anything that isn’t working, you need to correct it as soon as possible to avoid your customers getting frustrated.
If you have designed your own website, you will have some technical know-how in keeping it up and running. Before your site has gone live, you will need to know how to monitor IIS performance to alleviate any problems and CPU issues. You need your site running at its optimum, especially if you rely on it for business, so any sudden crashes will cause problems for you and your customers.
You should make sure you backup all your files, in the event that you have major issues with your site. For example, despite any installed firewall, your website may still be vulnerable to hackers.
This is particularly distressing if your bank account details, or that of your customers, are stored on your website. You are also susceptible to viruses and malware, from third party plugins and software.
You should regularly back your files up by using a cloud service, or you could also email them to yourself if the file size isn’t too big for your email provider. You don’t want to delay on this, so be sensible and back your files up as soon as possible.
Boost your website
Just because you have a website, it doesn’t mean people are going to find it easily. Once your site has gone live, you need to shout it from the rooftops to let people know you exist. There are several ways to do this.
Firstly, use social media and point your followers to your website’s direction. Considering the billions of people who use networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you are able to reach a higher number of people than ever before.
When sending out promotional material, such as flyers, business cards, and newsletters, make sure your website is printed on them. It is also worth taking out ad space in the local media, be it printed or radio, to attract new customers.
People won’t necessarily find your website on Google, so you want to improve your search engine rankings through SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is a tool that every website owner should get to grips with.
By using the effective placement of keywords on your site, you can emulate the possible search terms that internet users might enter into a search engine. The process is quite complicated for beginners, so you may want to hire a specialist company to help you.
Finally, your website needs updating on a regular basis to keep customers coming back. Highlight new products, offer discounts and update your blog to keep your website relevant and interesting.
Putting the work into your site might take some time, but you should reap the financial rewards eventually.