Great! You’ve got yourself a brand new business website. These days it’s just expected and it’s only going to become more of a necessity. Once it was a luxury (and the prices a lot of agencies charged for even a simple website – and some still do sadly – made it an expensive luxury) but now if you don’t have a website, then there’s a whole new generation of customers that may have no idea you even exist.
So you’re off to a good start – but it is just a start. You need to view it as something you work with as part of your everyday business, it’s not set and forget if you want to get the most from your website. Here are ten tips that can help you get on the right track and get maximum value from your new website.
1 – Test your contact form
Contact forms are great – clients can message you directly without having to start up their email software. But they’re not perfect. Maybe you’ve had the experience where you’ve filled one in and you never heard back. You could imagine the business just really doesn’t like customers and is quite happily ignoring you OR it’s possible the contact form didn’t work. So, if your website has a contact form, make sure you test it. Get friends to test it. If form submissions aren’t coming through, first check your spam folder. If they’re not there then contact us for assistance.
2 – Get familiar with your CMS
CMS is just a fancy acronym for your website editor. It stands for Content Management System and if you got a website from PogoStick then it’s most likely WordPress. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS – in fact it is estimated that over 25% of all websites in the world are powered by WordPress.
In our experience it is one of the most user-friendly CMS’s around although if you’ve never used one before give yourself some time to get the hang of it.
To get started you’ll need a login – this will include a login link (always your website name plus /wp-admin on the end e.g. www.example.co.nz/wp-admin), a username and a password. If you haven’t received one from us for your website just get in touch and we can resend it or check your spam folder as it may have ended up there.
If you ever forget your password there’s a handy option to reset it that you’ll find on the login page.
Of course, we’re always here to give you a helping hand whenever you need it.
3 – Learn how to use your website as a sales tool
For many businesses their website is a very basic, yet lifeless, online brochure. While that’s better than nothing, your website has such potential that it would be a crying shame to just let it sit idle.
Your website has the power to really help you understand your sales process, as well analyse anything that might not be performing up to standard. By using tools such as Google Analytics (available free with every PogoStick website) you can measure and monitor visitors to your website, analyse the sales funnel and figure out the bottlenecks or sales hurdles.
You can also determine where your strengths lie, what’s popular and what isn’t.
Review and refine your website as you would a salesperson – it can be just as, if not more, persuasive.
4 – Do some AdWords Google advertising
With millions of websites on the internet it is difficult to stand out or be seen by people who don’t know you. While attempting to improve your rankings in the search results is a worthy (long term) goal, if you want immediate results then you should seriously consider Google advertising.
We are certified Google consultants and ready to provide you with free advice on a good strategy. Our connection with Google also means we can often provide you with advertising credits to get you off to a good start.
The great thing about Google advertising is that it can be very targeted, it’s very measurable and you are always in control of how much you spend. You can have daily budgets for as little as a few dollars.
5 – Schedule quarterly reviews
Just like you might with an employee – actually a website is probably your cheapest employee that works the most hours – schedule regular reviews to think about what changes could be worth making.
Approach your website like a customer would. Use a smartphone or a tablet. Try to complete a simple task like buy a product or complete a contact form. Was it easy? Is there anything frustrating or confusing about your website? If you’re having problems, then it’s more than likely your customers are too, and they’ll be far less forgiving.
As part of your regular reviews review your visitor stats. All PogoStick websites include Site Stats, which can be accessed from the Jetpack menu after you log in. There is an absolute wealth of information here that can be browsed – just click on whatever interests you. Let us know if you also need Google Analytics and we’ll add it free of charge.
Get any issues fixed quickly and keep your website visitors happy!
6 – Add your business to Google My Business
This is particularly effective for businesses with a physical presence but really all businesses should add themselves to Google My Business.
It’s free, is a great way for customers to add reviews and means you won’t be losing out to competitors who are already on there.
7 – Have an SEO plan
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is really about helping your website put its best foot forward, helping Google to understand clearly what you’re about and why customers need you, so Google can achieve its primary objective of matching searchers with the result that best suits their needs.
First of all, a word of warning – you will most likely be contacted or cold called by agencies who use a shotgun approach to track down any business website owner and make grand promises of guaranteed rankings in the search results. It’s in your best interests to hang up on these guys – we’ve heard too many horror stories of people getting sucked in, money taken and nothing to see for it.
The reality is that SEO is a time-consuming strategy that should always be viewed as a long term business plan. SEO is never an overnight thing – if you want overnight results use Google AdWords (see #4 above).
We’re not saying don’t do SEO but keep your expectations in check and be prepared to stick at it for the long haul. Drip feed your website and constantly review and update your site content to match the search terms you’d like to show up for.
If you endure, and you stay away from suspect black hat strategies, you will see positive, lasting results.
8 – Get your customers using your website
Stop and think about how you’ll encourage your customers to use your website. Maybe you can offer weekly deals to anyone who visits your website and signs up for your newsletter. Or maybe you post photos of recent events. Or maybe you share exciting new developments and ideas in your industry via your blog.
The key is to find effective ways to share your website link with customers – put it on receipts, use it liberally in advertising and always include it in emails.
You’ll find your website very effective in keeping customers up-to-date with recent news and a good way to help them advocate your business to their friends.
9 – Keep your information up-to-date
Your customers expect that your website provides them with the very latest and up-to-date information about your business. If your contact details or store hours change then it’s imperative you update your website as soon as possible.
If an event, promotion or special occasion is coming up, make sure it’s fully detailed on the website. Don’t force people to have to contact you to get all the details – there’s every chance they won’t and you’ll miss out.
Have all the latest information about your business available online and easily found.
As part of your PogoStick website you have free access to both a Search option and a Blog section – if you’d like either to be added to your site just let us know and we’ll include it at no extra cost.
10 – Plan to refresh your style periodically
What might have been current when you first got your website built may not always be the modern look.
Fortunately, WordPress makes it relatively easy to update your look with a new theme. Whether it’s keeping up with new styles or making your website responsive for smaller screens like mobile phones and tablets, it may not be as difficult as you think to give your website a whole new look.
Plan for a new look generally every 12-18 months to keep your website looking fresh and modern. If you’d like any help, or want an estimate, just get in touch with us.