Website Basics - Increasing Website Performance

By: Scott Lindsay

A website is a very important and powerful sales tool. It's this very tool that opens your business to the world. A website can substantially increase your corporate presence on the market while functioning as a very effective PR tool. To achieve public awareness it is not enough to just set up a website. You need to define the website goals that will transform your web presence from a simple announcement that you are in business into the very sales tool we were talking about.

For this purpose, your website needs to be developed and work as a sales and marketing tool: it needs to stimulate visitors to take action or purchase a product, it needs to determine people to remember your company and come back, and it needs to provide valuable information that will convince your customers and business partners that you are an expert in your field.

To learn whether your website is functioning at peak efficiency or not, you have to monitor its performance and act where you see performance lacks. It doesn't really matter how many visitors you have, what matters is how many visitors make a purchase.

Compare your website to a normal store. People walk in to look, to ask questions, to seek advice and eventually to buy. The same principles apply online: visitors browse the web casually, they ask questions about items of interest, read your articles to gain knowledge about your products and industry, and buy if and when they are convinced your products are worth. To convince visitors to become customers you need to know them (not personally, but to know their needs and expectations) and to know how to pull them in and keep them.

You have plenty of advertising possibilities online: some free, some paid. Choose whatever works for you. Experiment different advertising possibilities and compare the price paid to the actual financial win they bring. Don't pay a fortune on PPC campaigns or Google AdWords if the site conversion rate is low. The website conversion rate represents the number of visitors that actually made a purchase out of the number of monthly visitors.

Don't start an advertising campaign if your website is not set up as a marketing tool. For example, clients don't really want to see logos and awards. Nor do they want to read an endless praise about how long your company has been in business and what great achievements it had in the past. While these are important, it's more important for a client to see what benefits your product or service brings, how reliable and up-to-date this is, whether your product is popular or not. When you have a new product, for instance software, show people why they need it, provide a demo or a free trial and don't forget about customer support - no matter how silly a question is, don't ignore it. Any visitor has potential.

All in all, for a website to work at its peak efficiency, visitors need to find their information presented in a professional manner. You'll lose possible clients if your website appears as if an amateur developed it. Also, make sure that the navigation is not confusing and that visitors can easily find what they are looking for. If your website is written in poor English and has spelling mistakes and typos everywhere, you will lose customers. It is also important that your website does not have dead links and images. Above all, if you ask for too much information from a client but don't give any reassurance for your services, they will leave and never come back.

In conclusion, it is critical for your online success to understand your visitors and monitor website performance. Simple statistics are not enough. You need to know that the number of visitors is not as important as the time they spend on your site. Always watch and be prepared to make changes if you don't get the expected results in due course. For best results, have a professional evaluate your website.

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