What are you trying to achieve with your site?

We’ll assume for now that you don’t have an e-commerce website (we’ll deal with these in a later blog) and that you view your site as an ‘electronic brochure’.  Just like a brochure, you want your prospects to understand at a glance what your company does, and how your services or products will benefit them. Nothing fancy. No corporate-speak. No mission statement on the welcome page.

Ultimately, we assume you want more enquiries, more sales and more customers.

Here’s a salutary lesson on how to make it difficult for prospective customers to buy from you.

We did a research project recently for a client, which involved building a database of around 300 American companies.  This involved trawling through trade directories and lists of exhibitors, and then visiting each company website.  At the start of the project we assumed that our American cousins would be really good at websites: “20 years ahead of us” and all that popular mythology.

Boy were we wrong … the majority of the sites looked like they had been developed at home by amateurs, about 20 years ago, in the age of dial-up internet and Netscape (And who remembers them)..

Surprisingly, several had no contact details whatsoever! We had to Google the company to find out their phone number.

This exercise led us to re-evaluate our own website as objectively as we could, and these are the headings we looked at, summarised as clearly as we can. We hope you find at least some of these ideas useful.

Our first suggestion is:

Consider having reviews, and/or a service like Trustpilot on your site

There is nothing like having prospects read other customers’ reviews of your business. Far more powerful than having you banging on about how wonderful you are (even if you are wonderful).

You can also go onto your competitors’ sites and read what their customers say. You can then use the reviews (positive and negative) to strengthen – or even completely rewrite – what’s on your site.

However the Free version of Trustpilot is extremely limited and the lowest paid for version is £149.00 a month so make sure you work out your potential ROI before committing.

We are currently investigating other methodologies for showing reviews and star ratings.