So you’ve got your business website set up with your products nicely laid out, a beautiful theme, and you are ready to do business. You’ve set up your social media accounts and you have your digital marketing strategy in place. So off you go and you’ll soon be making money…

Sadly for most businesses things are a little bit more complicated than that. Your website is your shop window – it gives people an insight into what you do, but also into your style and how much you care about your business. It can give off an air of professionalism or it can turn people off straight away. Just the same as when you meet new people and they form an impression of you very quickly based o your appearance, your website has a very short time to catch the eye and make an impression on new visitors.

There are several points, both in the website’s aesthetic and behind the scenes, that you need to keep an eye on in order to have the best chance that people will stop and browse when they come to your site and not scroll on past. Here are a couple of things to think about.

Does your Site Have Plenty Of Great Content? 

Adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis is great for Google and SEO and great for your customers and prospects too. Google definitely likes to see that a site is active and updated regularly, which means it is more likely to show your posts to people that are searching in your niche if your content is fresh. Human viewers also like to see fresh advice and ideas whenever they come. A blog is a great way to keep your site fresh as long as you update it regularly.

Does The Website Load Quickly?

If you’re keeping on top of your website metrics, you might have noticed that you have a high bounce rate. A high bounce rate can be a massive cause for concern because it ultimately means that you’re getting the right traffic levels but failing with conversions. One of the reasons for this might be that your site isn’t loading fast enough or responding well. This can be an issue for business websites that do see a high level of traffic each day.

There are several things that you can do to improve load speed, in particular optimising images and videos so they load faster, but a key factor is to choose the right level of web hosting for the traffic that you are likely to get. There are three main levels of hosting from the cheapest to the most expensive as follows: Shared Hosting, a Virtual Private Server or VPS, a Dedicated Server.

When you first start your site shared hosting is probably a good idea until you start getting traffic- but as your site grows you may want to consider upgrading to a VPS or even a dedicated server. If you feel like site speed is an issue for you right now, you can research the cheapest VPS service available on the market that provides the right level of quality for what you need. 

Does It Look Fantastic?

Don’t forget, your website is often going to be the first impression that customers receive of your business. This means that it needs to look fantastic and send the right message. Website design is one area that it is definitely worth paying professionals for, and it is a good idea to revisit your design every couple of years to stay ahead of trends and also to add to the novelty factor mentioned above. You need to think about branding, colour schemes and the basic vibe you are trying to portray. Some people are very well able to do this themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion from a professional every so often.

When you are just starting out with your website, you might be tempted to rely on free templates. The problem with free templates is that everyone can access them. So, ultimately your website ends up looking like all the others, whereas you might be better with a more striking personalised look.

Is It Easy To Use?

Finally, you should consider whether your business website is easy to use. It needs to be, if you want your customers to stick around or return. Pay particular attention to the website structure. Ideally, you should work to ensure that your website follows the 3-click golden rule. This essentially means that customers should never be more than three clicks away from what they were searching for, when they first visit your site. This can be achieved by adding key links in the right areas. However, you might also want to think about exploring a professional marketing solution, that can restructure your site to ensure it is as accessible as possible.

 If your website isn’t converting as well as you would like, these are some areas to look like. Nowadays there are so many websites out there, that it is important to keep your website maintained and refresh it at regular intervals. If you had a physical store you would switch up the window displays to keep attracting the people that walk by, and the website is exactly the same. Make your website striking, beautiful and original, and then make sure that it is efficient and functional too.

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