The iNorthumberland Business Support Initiative is penning a monthly column to pass on tips for businesses. Here, it looks at the importance of websites.
A website is often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business so it is essential that its design makes a good first impression and encourages visitors to interact with you online.
As part of iNorthumberland Business Support’s fully funded programme of digital training, James Lane, Director of Training at North East-based RAW Digital Training, has put together an in-depth module that teaches all you need to know about using your website to generate sales and other leads.
Here, Mr Lane shares his top tips from the course.
Firstly, you need to ensure that your website has good exposure.
Mr Lane said: “It is important to understand that website traffic can come from multiple channels, including paid advertisements, search engines, social media, online articles, links from other websites and email campaigns, to name but a few, as well as direct traffic generated when a user types your URL directly into their browser.
“With all these different routes available, it is important to ensure your website is visible at every opportunity to increase the click-through rate.
“Try to utilise different traffic sources in conjunction with the customer life cycle. This is the cycle that a customer moves through when considering making a purchase or taking some other action online.
“The cycle moves from awareness to conducting research, consideration, making a purchase and eventually becoming a repeat customer.
“Search engine optimisation is essential for reaching customers at the awareness stage, whereas email marketing is more useful for encouraging repeat visits from previous customers.”
Mr Lane added: “One of my most important tips is to remember the purpose of your website.
“You should be aiming for visitors to make a measurable action, otherwise known as a conversion. This might include asking a visitor to purchase a product, sign up to a newsletter or contact you for more information.”
Mr Lane advises that to achieve a high conversion rate (the number of visitors to your website who take a desired action) you must have a clear call to action.
He said: “These might include action buttons asking visitors to ‘buy now’, ‘share’ a page on social media or ‘contact us’. Make sure action buttons stand out on your website so visitors can easily find them.”
For more advice, register at www.inorthumberlandbusiness.co.uk to take the online training course.
Businesses that complete the online tendering course will be eligible to attend a masterclass with Mr Lane on Thursday, June 11, at Hexham Enterprise Hub.
It will offer the chance to further your knowledge and network with other businesses.
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free place.