I often say that networking for business on Facebook and Twitter is like going to a singles bar. Lots of people to talk with, some duds and some great conversations. If you find someone really interesting, sooner or later you want to invite them home. In the age of internet marketing, “home” is your website.
With all the emphasis on social media lately, many small business owners are neglecting their websites, putting all their resources into social media. While we love social media projects, we hesitate to get started if the “house” is not ready for company. Just as you would clean up your house before guests arrive, so should you clean up your website: Are you ready for company? Here are a few things to consider before you answer that question:
- When was the last time you updated your website? If it was more than a few weeks ago, you are probably not ready for company. For both human visitors and search engines, new information is an important part of attracting visitors, getting them to stay, and keeping them coming back.
- Was your website designed by your nephew or next door neighbors daughter as a school project? Do I really need to tell you it is time to update your website?
- Does it contain a flash intro which is now invisible on an iPhones? It is time to update your website if any part of your market contains tech savvy consumers.
- Is it hard to find information? Is your contact information hidden, navigation confusing or your page cluttered with so much information you don’t know where to start? Today’s web trends are simple, clean and clear. Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. They may leave quickly once they do, but they will enjoy the visit.
- Is there something for them to do when they arrive? Can they leave a comment, down load a report, view a video, listen to a testimonial, fill out a survey or look up specific facts? If your website is still simply an online brochure, you are missing a tremendous opportunity to engage visitors. Your website is a home, not a museum. People want to do more when they get there then look at the pictures.
Keeping your house in order is an ongoing process. If you are planning on inviting company home, make sure you have dusted and vacuumed first.