Websites – who needs them? Well, YOU DO actually, as a good website is well beyond just being important – it is your businesses window to the world, and the prism through which the world looks back at both you and what your business has to offer. Will potential customers judge you if you neglect to update your website content? You bet they will, just as you no doubt judge other businesses based upon your own experience of their websites….it is only natural.

So, what do you need to do to make sure that your website is effective?

1) The first golden rule is to stop seeing your website as a static object that you renew every ten years (or longer in some cases). Your website needs to remain fresh and relevant in every aspect, and it is your job (whether directly or indirectly) to make sure that blogs and general content are not only kept up to date, but remain suitably relevant to your chosen market.

2) Visual content – is also vital, as ageing photographs and pictures soon date even the best websites, and will send out negative signals to those taking a closer look at what your business has to offer. Make a point of refreshing your visual content at least once a year, as with some prior thought it is both quick and easy to do and should cost you very little.

3) Functionality – Okay, hands up if you are often frustrated by websites that put style before substance, have over complex navigation, or are lacking even the most basic details about the product or the company that you are interested in? Well you are NOT alone in this, so please consider these basic points when reviewing or renewing your own website.

4) Interactivity – Live Chat is not right for all businesses, but it is an open secret that successful retail and customer focused businesses in particular, more often than not have websites that purposely encourage a greater degree of connectivity with their customers. So, if you are not familiar with live chat service provision, take a closer look at companies such as Zoho or Yomdel, and judge whether what they have to offer is right for your business.

5) Analytics – Do you know who your customers are? Or just who is looking at your website? You should. Understanding the origin and profile of your website traffic also allows you to target the rest of your marketing effort more effectively – it really is that simple. Don’t get left in the dark and step into the light by checking out companies like Lead Forensics or Need More Clicks.

6) Accessibility – Did you know that on average most of us now access the websites of our choice more commonly via either a tablet or a mobile device rather than a laptop or desktop PC? Have you thought to check that your website is mobile and tablet friendly? Because if you haven’t, you might as well be metaphorically closing the door in the face of new business.

Of course, you may well have the points that I have highlighted above already covered, and have no need of my advice. But if the content of this article is news to you, it might go some way to explaining why business for your company has been a little slow of late.

The author of this article is Peter Nicholls CEO of Ideology Consulting. For more information go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk and please note that all constructive criticism of our own website is always appreciated!