It’s a cornerstone of any business – the website. It can attract prospects, generate leads, build credibility, and even make sales on your behalf! Yet there are still those businesses out there that consider their website a waste of money and not worthy of an effort. This is a huge mistake.

Even if you’re not actively promoting your website, even if you don’t think anyone visits your website, your website helps share information about your business and furthers the trust with prospects. It validates who you are and what you do. And if you think prospects don’t research who you are before they jump into business with you, you are sorely mistaken.

TIP #1: It’s important to maintain your website and budget for a ‘refresh’ every three to four years.

Your website also promotes your brand.  Branding is more than your logo. It encompasses the voice, feel, and promises of your business. Keeping your website in a state that matches what you promote and sell is important. It supports the feeling of truth and promotes consistency of messaging.

TIP #2: Make sure your website is up-to-date with imagery and wording and matches all other promotional items e.g. social media, brochures, etc.

Messaging should be clear and focus on the benefits to the prospects. Many websites endlessly spout their features but this can fall flat and not translate into identifiable solutions for prospects. Understanding your target market’s needs and wants can help translate your benefit statements into solutions that resonate with your prospects. And by using key terms and themes that your prospects understand and use you can increase your ability to come up in organic searches.

TIP #3: Make sure your website lists your value proposition statement with clear benefit statements

You should have a clear purpose to your website. Is it designed to educate prospects (useful in complex industries)? Promote your business as an industry leader (common in service-based organizations)? Generate leads? Provide proof of ability? Many websites are a combination of these and more. But having a clear plan for what your website is to accomplish makes it easier to measure its effectiveness. And it makes the above tips easier to implement!

TIP #4: Build your website around a strategy. Every page should have a purpose.

Websites are key sales and marketing tools – even for those that don’t actively use them. For those that keep them up-to-date and follow the above tips, a website can be effective and work in your favour. For those that ignore their website and don’t see the value in it’s upkeep or use, it can detract form their message and even work against them.

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder or WindWater Marketing, a B2B small business marketing firm in Toronto, Canada. WindWater Marketing has helped many small businesses build competitive websites that support business goals and create measurable impact. Visit or email for more information.