Creating the perfect website that best reflects you and your business can be a challenge for many Small Business Owners. You want to stand out from your competition, but you don’t want to come across as desperate. You want to emphasise your uniqueness and point of difference, but also stick to current digital trends that appeal to your market…
With so many, often conflicting, considerations it can indeed be a daunting prospect. But never fear, in this blog we’ve put together some pointers on the best ways for you to test if your website is best representing your business in the digital world.
1. Perform an Audit
You’ll need to take stock of your website, or do an ‘audit’. Essentially, this just means taking the time to look at your website objectively and see if it captures the character and voice of your business. It’s important to maintain things throughout your entire website, not just on the Home Page.
Things to consider when doing your audit is the content, layout images, graphics, headings and colours used throughout the site. Do they help tell your business story? Do they reflect your product and, perhaps most importantly, will they appeal to your audience?
It is important to take a step back and look at your website regularly, as the online world is constantly changing. This means you need to ensure your site is up-to-date and representing itself to your market’s current state of mind, while still staying true to your individual character.
2. Be Objective
One of the key things to remember when auditing your website, is to be completely objective and look at it through the eyes of your customer. This could be difficult, as you’ve no doubt spent years investing time and energy into your business, so it might help to get someone else’s opinion on it.
Try to consider things that the customer would notice straight away when they land on your site. What’s the first element that would grab their attention and does this element, whether it be an image, graphic or headline, reflect your business well?
3. Does it Capture your Voice?
Your content plays an important role in communicating your businesses voice and character to your audience, so consider whether it does this effectively. Think about how long ago the information was written and if it’s still relevant. Are there any questions that come to mind that a customer might want the answers to? Think about these content gaps and how they can best be filled.
Do you sound authoritative and informative, or fun and playful on your website? Either way, make sure the tone of the content captures who you are.
4. Does it Look Like You?
Next, look at the images on your website and consider whether they are the best possible way to represent you and your product. If you’ve taken the images yourself, it’s important to make sure they are of a high quality. If they’re not, you run the risk of looking unprofessional – and no business wants to be represented like that! Quality images creates trust between you and your customer. In fact, you might be surprised just how many customers base their purchase decisions on visuals on your website. So, if your pictures look like they were taken from a disposable camera from 10 years ago, it might be time to look into updating.
If your website contains stock images, make sure they’re believable. No one wants to look at the same old stock images over and over again, and they can create a sense of mistrust or disbelief around your brand.
5. Are You Custom?
The digital world is so heavily saturated that it can be a challenge to stand out and project your personality. One of the best ways to do this as a small business is through utilising custom design, instead of reverting to stock-standard, boring templates.
At Sites n Stores, we understand that every business has a different purpose, voice and character, and your website should reflect this. Templates, on the other hand, capture none of the individuality of your brand, instead letting you fade into the background of the digital world.
If your website isn’t custom designed, then maybe now’s the time to consider upgrading. As a Small Business Owner, you’ll want to leverage your individual personality as much as possible, which is best accomplished through custom design.
6. Do You Know Your Own Business?
One of the best ways to see if your website best represents your business is to consider your businesses purpose, goals and values. Think back to when you first started your business and consider what it was exactly that you wanted your business to be.
Dig deep here and try to remember the kind of customer experience you wanted to create. How did you want people to feel when engaging with your product or services? Now consider your website and think about whether it achieves what it was you set out to accomplish.
If you can keep these values and goals in mind while conducting your audit, you should have a better grasp on whether or not you’re reflecting these values throughout your site.