We met Marcel McCarthy, Creative Director at ONETOO, a design and marketing agency based on the Mornington Peninsula. Better known by his colleagues as ‘lead thinker and website tinkerer’, Marcel is part of a team passionate about helping local businesses grow online. We asked him to share his top tips on ways to improve business websites; real estate that COVID has taught us couldn’t be more important for small business owners.
Marcel shared with us:
This simple question can yield powerful insights. If you don’t know why you have a website, asking that question might be a really good place to start. Once you know for yourself why you need a website, how it can help your business and what it can achieve, it creates clarity for everything else.
We’re in the age of speed. We’re not on dial-up anymore, people have to expect things fast. When it’s not, we lose attention, get frustrated and move onto the next thing. Unfortunately, we treat websites the same way. If it’s too slow, we’ll ditch it and move on. Use the Page Speed Insights test from Google to see how your website is performing, or get a professional to help you.
While there are lots of things that contribute to the speed of your site, making sure your images are the right size is key. Too big and your page will be slow and clunky, too small and your images will look pixelated and blurry.
It’s easy to write something but it’s another thing for someone else to understand it. Often in business we can write lots of about the history of the business, or we can use technical industry-specific words. While it might be accurate or interesting, it can also be confusing. Keep your website copy simple, readable, and easy to skim through. Put words in language that your customers understand.
Remember, people are coming to you to solve a problem, whether that’s as simple as a place to go for coffee, or more complex like accounting services. Make sure you focus on words that help them solve their problem and not on creating confusing or unimportant information.
Does your site use stock images that you have got from the internet? While it’s quick to use stock images to get something up, ultimately, they leave an impression that doesn’t truly connect the customer to your business. The images you use will reflect on your business brand; good subject matter, well lit and well photographed will help customers understand what you are about.
Using real imagery of your team, your products and your space is a great way to introduce potential customers to your business. It gives users a sense of who you are and what to expect from your business.
When was the last time you reviewed your website? When did you sit down and read each and every page, top to bottom, checking every link and button? Have you reviewed your website from both your desktop and from a mobile phone? They each look quite different. Does it reflect your business now? Is the information accurate? Do all your links still work? Are there 404 error messages that need fixing?
As sites change and develop, occasionally things can get lost in the process. Things change in business but it’s important to make sure you’re giving your users the best and most up to date experience.
Content reviewed and updated November 2023
The Mornington Peninsula has an abundance of talented, local people in business. As part of the Support Local campaign, we are connecting our local business community to these local experts. Through sharing their expertise and insider knowledge, these experts hope to play a part in re-energising the economy with new ideas to Support Local.