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Before the Web, the brochure reigned as the primary form of sharing information. It told your customers who you were and what you did. Information packed, multi-page, colourful and formally written: these were foisted on sales leads like candy. These static little artifacts all eventually ended up in a recycle bin.

That trusted brochure still has a place in your marketing mix, and by no means is it extinct. But it should no longer be “the” #1 sales and marketing tool in your organization. Today’s communication mediums are online and social. Adapt your style and approach accordingly.

The company website has replaced the corporate hub of communications, marketing and sales efforts. As such, your website needs to set the right tone for your entire organization. Best yet: with a web publishing tool like WordPress, all of your work can be reactive, adaptive and inform you about market trends as they happen.

Some businesses are not getting the message and thus, they let their website languish. One string of websites were stuck with an old install of Drupal. They couldn’t edit. They couldn’t even login. They let their best marketing tool fossilize. Other corporate sites are incomplete, outdated, off message, or communicate a lacklustre brand. Is yours one of them?

To shine some light on this important part of your business, here are the top four web tips that will get you looking at your website through the eyes of your customers:

Tip #1: Look at your website as though you were a customer seeing your company online for the first time. Does your website communicate the image you want? Are you proud, really proud, of your company’s website? Does it tell you everything you want people to know about your company’s services and products? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you really need to spend some time correcting these issues and getting your site into shape.

Hint: Use Google Analytics to check out people’s “Exit Pages” – those are the pages where customers land, but lose interest and browse away without taking any action. Take a look at the messages on those exit pages and read up on how to keep visitors engaged.

Tip #2: Read your web content as though you were having a conversation with a customer. Web readers are browsing sites at record speeds so your content needs to be easy to digest, easy to read, and easy to navigate. The key here is ‘easy’. And remember to stay away from acronyms and complicated words. You don’t need to dumb things down, but you should ensure your customers don’t have to work for the information they’re seeking.

Hint: install the Yoast SEO plugin. It will take a read of your content and report back ways to improve your content.

Tip# 3: Does your site tells a story about your company and your people? It really surprises me how so few companies provide an actual snapshot of their organization and offer a history of ‘why’ they’re in business. Your site provides a great opportunity to show off your organization and your amazing people. What better way to personalize your site and let people know what you’re all about? If you take the time to invite people into your organization, they will appreciate the personal touch.

Tip #4: Really understand the purpose and intent of your site. Are you informing customers? Are you educating leads? Are you turning leads into sales? If you want to drive people to your site again and again, then you really need to have an engagement plan. Understand why they are there. Engage with your audience. A great way to do this is through a corporate blog or knowledge centre that provides timely and relevant content. Remember, your site is not all about you; rather, it should be strategically designed to give customers what they want from you. Don’t waste your chance to make an impression.

Remember that your website is a place that people visit to learn more about you, what they should buy, and what they should know. Don’t waste your chance to make a great first impression.