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Six steps to improve your website

August 11, 2010
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Just like detailing a car, the same philosophy can apply to your company’s website. Proper maintenance along with a strategic plan that entails a clean look and engaging content can help drive more visitors to your site and customers to your business.

With more than a billion people around the world using the Internet and social networking becoming more popular than ever, websites have become a vital part of any business’s success. So, here are a few tips on how to keep your website clean, maintained and looking shiny and new.

1 Avoid information overload
Who is your audience? Does the content on your site speak to those people? In writing copy for your site, make sure to think first and foremost about the readers. Use language that they can understand and include information that they would want to know. Essentials include the services you provide and costs you charge.

Also, think about what sets you apart from your competition. Do you have a unique product or special deal available? Consumers want to know how you can save them money.

2 Add a personal touch
It’s important to shape a positive image of your brand through other people’s words. For instance, layering customer reviews and testimonials can help paint a better picture of your company’s strengths.

Other examples include creating a blog (and add a link to it on your website) or record interesting things happening within your business. This will engage readers and let them feel involved in your business, as well as give them an opportunity to comment and provide feedback on the things you’re doing.

3 Show, don’t tell
Your ultimate goal is to engage your online visitor. Instead of telling them how efficiently you can wash or detail a car, show them. Upload images or create multi-media components, such as a video with dialogue and music. This will get potential customers excited about using your services. They’ll also have less questions and more trust in your company. By adding these elements to you website, you’ll not only save your customers time, but your business too. These elements can be easily created with a digital camera and help from an employee.

4 Less is definitely more
Your website is a reflection of your business. If it’s not aesthetically pleasing, then your client will assume you can’t make their vehicle good as new. Consider not only design but also colors.

And keep it simple. Internet users can be lazy, and they want their information to be easily accessible. Use the one-click rule. With no more than one click of the mouse, your potential customer should be able to venture off your homepage and find exactly what they’re looking for.

5 Create a stir
Just like you network in person, you must network on the web. It takes work to bring traffic to your website, so link it to as many search engines and social networking sites as possible. Examples include Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Make your business its own Facebook and Twitter profile where you can display company specifics and your business’s link. You can also visit relevant blogs and post a comment with a link to your site below other postings. And make sure your website is compatible with mobile phones.

6 Keep up to speed
The technology and content on your site should both be up-to-date. You want to make sure you have the proper technical support so readers aren’t waiting forever for pages to load and pictures to pop up. Frequently check external links and make sure they are actually linking the reader to another site. Additionally, you must update your site’s content regarding industry buzz. Stay in the know by reading trade magazines and attending the International Carwash Association’s events and educational programs.

Bottom line — if you decide to hire outside help for your website, it’s important to find a company that has the industry knowledge and marketing background to not only drive traffic to your site but convert visitors to customers. And once you’ve found the right fit, listen closely to that outside source. Make sure they know the end result you seek, but be adaptable and roll with the changes they might recommend.


Ron McArthur is the president of WSI, a provider of Internet marketing solutions to small- and medium-size businesses. Prior to joining WSI in 2004, McArthur served as a president of the office coffee division of Canadian-based Van Houtte — one of North America’s leading gourmet coffee companies. He can be reached at (888) 678-7588 or via e-mail at rmcarthur@wsicorporate.com.

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