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Your website is your online salesperson, showcasing your products, and inviting customers to engage with your brand. Leaving your website idle is like letting dust and spiderwebs gather in your shop window. Customers will notice that you’ve neglected your site because it runs slowly, products aren’t listed correctly, and links are broken. It’s not an enticing look.

Your website’s a vital part of your business you cannot afford to neglect. Below are five website maintenance mistakes you can’t afford to make, and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Doing nothing

We’ve said it above, but it bears repeating: a stale website will not convert leads to sales. Maybe you like your website the way it is and see no reason to change it. Or perhaps you don’t believe investing in website maintenance offers a strong return on investment. The problem is that allowing your website to sit idle will see it sink to the bottom of the search engine results.

Search algorithms love a regularly-updated site. They find and promote websites that contain up-to-date information. So when you add new pages to your site, you give search algorithms more pages to index, which gives you a better shot at a top search ranking.

To keep pages fresh, you have to add high-quality content to your site, fix broken links, and remove redundant pages. Experts recommend updating your site with new pages at least once a month

Mistake 2: Relying on hosting companies for backup

Remember all those hours you spent building your website? Not to mention the sales information stored there? Without regular backups, that content and information could be lost to the ether.

Even if your hosting company will back up your website, their services might not work for you. Hosting companies may not backup as often as you’d like, and they may not store your data for as long as you need. Let’s say they backup daily but erase the previous day’s data: that means you only ever have one day’s worth of site data available, so if you need to roll back your website to four days ago, you won’t have the data to do it.

If your website goes down, you’ll want to know that someone is working on restoring it immediately. But if you’re relying on your hosting company to backup your site, you could be waiting days before you receive a response from them. You’re never really sure who, if anyone, is working on fixing your site, and you’ll be left in the dark on how long it will take.

You should also consider where your backup data is stored. You need a solution that stores your data on a different server than the one that hosts your website, so if a disaster takes down your website’s server, the backup data doesn’t go down with it.

To back up your website information, download it regularly and store it in at least two, but preferably three, external storage solutions. This could be cloud storage or an external hard drive. Backing up routinely may be a pain, but it is essential.

Mistake 3: Not having a disaster recovery plan

Tied closely to failing to back up your website’s data is failing to plan for a site crash. Even if you have backed up your site content, you also need to know how to get it back up and running quickly. 

Disaster recovery plans are highly technical. They require meticulous planning, working through every aspect of the recovery. Your plan should list:

  • The things that could go wrong with the site
  • An inventory of your site’s content
  • Where the backups are stored
  • Who is responsible for reinstating the site
  • Who is responsible for dealing with customers affected by the site outage
  • The steps required to rebuild

If your site is down for days, you are losing customers. Rebuilding a website from scratch could take weeks, if not months, but a professional using a disaster recovery plan can revive your website faster.

Mistake 4: Trying to do everything yourself

As a business owner, you’re probably an avid subscriber to the do-it-yourself mentality. But you’re busy, and chances are you’re not an expert in website maintenance, so the hours you spend trying to keep your site updated may not be incredibly productive ones.

Every task associated with website maintenance eats away at the time you need to run your business. Even simple tasks like managing website updates require user-testing your site afterwards to ensure it’s still functioning. 

Plus, your website probably comes with a slew of analytics tools that could inform your online strategy – if only you knew how to use them. Taking care of a website is a whole other job – most likely one that you don’t have time for.

Mistake 5: Failing to think like a customer

You know your website, and you’re familiar with how it works. But your customers only visit your site periodically. Returning customers want to make a purchase as quickly and painlessly as possible. New customers want to learn about your company quickly and painlessly, too. If you’re not checking your website regularly, it could be riddled with broken links, slow load times, and the dreaded “404 Not Found” message. 

On top of the other maintenance tasks listed above, you’ll need to quality-check your site for the following issues a customer may encounter:

  • Check that newly added products load quickly and correctly
  • Check that the steps for completing a purchase run smoothly
  • Add blog posts on a regular basis to improve search results
  • Read old site content to ensure it still reflects your brand and doesn’t contradict newer material
  • Check meta tags and descriptions to ensure they are consistent with brand messaging
  • Reread all calls-to-action and click their buttons to make sure they are easy to follow

You should ideally run these checks once per month, and more often if you are adding new products or blog posts several times per month. Performing regular checks can feel like a burden, but if customers can’t use your website easily, they won’t stick around for long.

Mistake 6: Lacking website building expertise

Building and maintaining websites requires expertise. There’s a lot going on in the back-end of your website, with plenty of buttons you definitely do not want to click. You could lose entire pages or products as well as precious sales information. You may not have a backup of your site content, and you may not know how to reinstate the data even if you can find it again.

Acknowledging that you may not have the expertise to maintain a website is a wise disaster-avoiding strategy. Letting professionals maintain your site allows you to focus on what you do best: running your business. 

Design Box Media cares for your business and your website

You can view our Website Care Plans at https://designbox.co.uk/website-care-plans/, but we’d love to talk to you about your website maintenance needs. Call us at 01702 416 431 or email info@designbox.co.uk.

Even if your market is full of stiff competition, a unique value proposition (UVP) is an opportunity to get your business above your rivals. A strong UVP (also known as a unique selling proposition) demonstrates that you understand their problems and can offer a uniquely effective solution to your customers. 

Website visitors become customers when they see that your product or service targets their needs better than the competition’s solution. A UVP tells readers quickly and clearly why your product is the best choice for them.

It’s catchy but not a tagline. It shows off your company’s strengths but doesn’t sound like a gimmick. It walks the reader past their problem and straight to the solution you offer.

When you get your UVP right, it works hard for you. It’s worth spending some time crafting an excellent UVP because when it’s done right, it makes both marketing and sales easier.

What are the benefits of writing a unique value proposition?

An easy-to-understand UVP delivers the right customers to you, so your chances of converting a lead to a sale are much higher. Potential customers who read your UVP know what you do and why your product or approach is right for them. They are visiting your website because they want to answer the question: which company/product is the best fit for me? Your UVP should provide a quick and easy answer for them.

A UVP can help filter out the wrong customers, too. A potential customer who is a bad fit for your product or service will know immediately from your UVP that you will not meet their needs. 

By removing the “bad fit” customers from the conversation, you gain higher-quality leads. Eventually, those high-quality leads become successful sales and long-lasting customer relationships. You’ve not wasted time on customers that never needed your product in the first place and can instead focus on growing the leads that will convert to satisfied clients.

When done right, a UVP also becomes the cornerstone of your marketing campaigns. It informs all of your messaging, so your brand voice is consistent. It builds confidence within your sales team because they know the unique benefit of what they’re selling.  

Your UVP creates a baseline for the clear communication of your company’s offering. Like a beacon, your customers, marketing team, and sales team can look to your UVP to define your valuable niche in the market.

Customers will pay higher prices when you can demonstrate why your product is of higher value. A strong UVP supports that by telling customers why your product is distinctly valuable. This “product differentiation” shows them that you can meet their needs better than your competitors, and they are happy to pay more for your services.

Writing a compelling UVP doesn’t happen without a deep understanding of your customer and your niche in the market. These three steps will help you write a UVP that resonates with your customers.

3 examples of effective UVPs used on business websites

These companies have created UVPs that clearly communicate the problems they solve for their customers. Using the three steps above, you can create your own version of these great examples for your website.

Shopify.com

Here Shopify uses a catchy headline, yet also sends a clear message of growing customers. They follow the headline with one sentence that says exactly what the product does for customers, and their image shows how slick even a small business can look on their platform.

MailChimp.com

In this headline, MailChimp immediately addresses why customers would be interested in their product: to grow their business with email marketing. The following sentence expands on their headline’s claim with more information while also addressing further pain points: that MailChimp is advanced yet easy-to-use.

Xero.com

In this headline, Xero explains what it is (accounting software) and the benefit / sales point for a healthy business. The following sentence expands on their headline’s claim with a less salesy explanation and more straight to the point explanation: manage your finances in real time with Xero accounting software. This is a great UVP and makes it very easy for anyone coming to the website to understand who they are and what they offer. 

Are you looking to write an effective UVP? 

Here are 3 steps to writing a unique value proposition

  1. Research your ideal customer

Understanding your customer’s pain points is essential to writing a UVP that converts website visitors to customers. A customer’s pain points have driven them to your website, and it’s the UVP’s job to articulate how your company will solve them better than the competition

If you’re unsure of your customer’s pain points, take yourself through the simple exercise of describing your customer and exploring why they have landed on your website. These are called customer personas, also known as customer avatars, and they help you to get inside the mind of your customer. By listing their goals and their values, you can overcome any potential objections to buying your product. You can download free worksheets from Digital Marketer here to take you through this exercise.

When you understand your target audience, you can write a UVP that addresses their pain points and hesitations. Your offering then becomes more than just a product –  it’s the answer to their problems.

  1. Explore your true value

Writing a compelling UVP is actually an exercise in knowing your own company, too. Take some time to reflect on your company’s offering from all angles – in relation to your customers, the market, and your competition’s positioning – and make a list of the features that make your offering unique. Spend some time examining the competition, understanding their UVPs, and noting where your product fills a market niche. 

Your UVP may include features that set apart your product, or your company, or both. It may even be as simple as offering incentives like  “free shipping” or “no long-term contracts” that are attractive to your customer. Even if your product is very similar to the competition, you can stand out by communicating your product’s benefits more clearly to your customer.

  1. Write a clear, concise UVP

If your UVP isn’t obvious and easy to understand, your customer will lose interest and move on to someone else. While a UVP isn’t a tagline or a slogan, it should be concise and get straight to the point. 

Grab customers’ attention with a simple headline. Avoid hyperbole in your language. Sweeping claims that your product is “the best in the nation” are almost impossible to prove, and they’ll sound like white noise to the customer. Aim for simple language that speaks directly to the individual customer. Promising to “make life easier” is nice, but not very specific. State precisely what your business does to solve their problem.

The one or two sentences following your headline should clearly and concisely elaborate on your headline. Avoid jargon, as it is the death of sales.

Shopify recommends borrowing language from your current customers to attract future customers. Take inspiration from customer testimonials, or ask for survey feedback from some of your loyal buyers. Look for common words they use to describe your business and your product, then integrate those words or phrases into your UVP. The language your customers use will resonate with other customers like them. They’ll see their pain points reflected and their problems solved by your product.

Remember that your language should be clear but also inviting and engaging. Again, avoid jargon. Use language that positions your company as professional yet friendly, reliable and approachable. Complete the pitch with a hero image that mirrors the statements you’ve made in your UVP. Avoid stock images if possible.

Design Box can craft an unforgettable UVP for your business 

We’ve been helping businesses throughout the UK increase profits through online strategies for over a decade, and we’re here for the long-term growth of your company. If your looking to get content writing services for your website or business why not get in touch with us? Our team is always happy to help. 

Give us a call on 01702 416 431 or email us at info@designbox.co.uk to craft a compelling UVP and attract more of the customers you love to work with.

Pantone's famous swatch guide
Pantone’s colour swatches as most commonly featured as a supplement guide.

What is Pantone?

Pantone Colour is a colour-matching system which is known and used in many industries such as Graphic Design, Print, and Illustration on top of many others. Each colour in the Pantone system has a unique number and allows an exact value and match for each colour to be printed precisely and accurately. Pantone quotes more than 10 million designers and producers around the world that are using their products and services to “help define, communicate and control colour from inspiration to realisation.”

Introducing Pantone of the Year 2021

It’s that time of the year where keen-eyed artists, illustrators and everyone in-between come together to await the news of the new Pantone of the Year to be announced. In an exciting twist of events, it has been revealed that not only one colour takes the spotlight, but it shares itself with another swatch, giving itself to ‘Colours of the Year’.

It’s a less traditional approach where this hasn’t been seen since Pantone selected two colours in 2016; Rose Quartz and Serenity. It is well believed that these new two shades are matched together to inspire optimism and bring some clarity to the more anxious era we are growing accustomed to.

Chosen by Pantone for 2021

The bright yellow shade, titled Illuminating, is meant to evoke the “optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day”. Ultimate Grey, is a much quieter, toned-down colour, speaking to people, full of “composure, steadiness and resilience.” Pantone goes on to say “the colour can almost be compared to durable natural elements, like time-weathered pebbles on the beach”. As people all across the world are looking for ways to bring clarity and positivity to what has been the most challenging times in 2020, Pantone is seeking to bring energy and clarity. Something that we all need after the events of 2020. These colours almost feel like the representation of the clean break we all look for sometimes.

Leatrice Eiseman, The Executive Director of Pantone’s Colour Institute, goes on to say… “The unions of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

Yellow and grey everyday objects
– The idea of both colours are seen in every day objects, to give us that subtle reminder.

My personal thoughts on this years colours…

It’s evident that both elements complement one another and this is why I believe as one tone elevates you, the other naturally provides reassurance, steadiness and is a resilient counter partner to the vibrant swatch of Illuminating Yellow. As a trend itself, I have seen this combination of colour present itself in ways that have been visible through packaging, advertising and many more mediums.

I think what stands out more is that it feels like the majority of 2020 was quite grey and dull, so we could all do with a little more colour and radiance, something coloured which beams light and energy as the sun does, and Illuminating does certainly that.

We’d love to hear from you.

What are your thoughts on the new Pantone Colours of the Year? Do you feel like Pantone have got it right? If you could substitute these two colours for something else, what would your selections be? Please leave us a comment below. Happy 2021!

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