Have you ever visited a website and thought, wow! Nice website…..but where do I go from here?

The problem faced by most small owners is that we may choose to build our own websites in an effort to save some money. Self-build sites are quite commonplace now, but if site building is not really our strong point, we will probably just pick the prettiest template we can because we want our site to look nice, right?

On the other hand, we may recognise that building a website is something best left to others, so we scrape together every last penny we have to hire someone to create a site for us.

Again, the problem with this is that whoever you hire will want to go out of their way to deliver a pretty site that looks good, but may not be the easiest thing to navigate.

Credit: Sage infographics

Credit: Sage infographics

What Do You Want Your Website To Do?

If your main goal is to use your website to encourage visitors to sign up to your email newsletter, or to get them to follow you on , is it easy for your web visitors to do this?

What if you are trying to drive traffic from your social media pages over to your website. Once your visitor arrives on your site, is it obvious to them what they have to do next?

What is your ‘most wanted action’, what is the one thing that you want your web visitors to do above all else?

It has to be completely clear and obvious what you want visitors to do once they land on your page. If you want your followers to visit your site and sign up for your email newsletter, then will that happen if you point your link to your home page that has no sign-up form, or even a mention about joining your newsletter?

Make Each Page On Your Website Specific

Each of your web pages must have a purpose. You want people to join your email list? Then send them to a page on your site that has the opt-in form, and that explains about what they can expect from signing up, frequency of contact, expected content etc.

Be clear to yourself about what your ‘most wanted action’ is. If you are not sure what you want people to do once they arrive at your site, then how are they supposed to know either? Confused visitors will quickly click away from your site.

If you are sending people from to buy something from your website, send them to your sales page and make it obvious what they need to do to buy from you. Keep them focussed on your page by not including anything else on the page that could be distracting.

Try not to put your social media buttons or email list sign-up links on a direct sales page. This gives your visitors the temptation to move away from your page before buying anything.

Yes, you want to give your customers a choice, but you don’t want to give them too much choice if it means them becoming confused or overwhelmed. When this happens, nothing happens!

Outsourcing your web development

If the thought of building your own website strikes fear into your heart, then of course the next logical step is to hire someone to built one for you.

Most small businesses don’t have a lot of money to splash around, so you have to make every penny count. A new website is an investment that can pay you back in droves, so you will need to get it right from the word go.

When looking for a web developer or web development company to take on the task, be sure to choose wisely.

You may be impressed by all the blurb and sales hype they send you to read, but the best way to pick a good web developer is to listen to what they ask you, rather than what they shout at you.

Here are the key words to listen out for: What do you need your site to do? If a web developer ask you that question, then you can be sure you are on to a good one.

However, if they spend twenty minutes telling you how wonderful they are, and how many industry awards they have won, then run. Run away fast!

Ultimately, what you need is a web developer who actually understands sales and . Surprisingly there are not many that do. Don’t let them blind-side you into letting them create a site that they want, rather than a site that you need.

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