In an era where people are online for most of the day, a standard website is not enough. Depending on the product or service offered, almost 83% of consumers visit a company’s website before making a purchase. As more and more consumers make decisions based on their online experience, as well as the usability, appearance and accessibility of your website, it is now more important than ever that you have a good, competitive website, especially if you are in a competitive market.
Having the correct understanding of your website’s role can be a huge benefit for your business. Think of your website as an extension of your sales staff – just as you wouldn’t send out a disheveled and untidy salesman to represent your company, you just can’t have an unremarkable website for your customers who are specifically searching for your product or service.
Additionally, working on your website development is also the perfect time to consider the rest of your company’s branding too – things like the message, logo and the color palette. You don’t want to invest in a well-built, mobile and user-friendly website and not have the proper design elements to make your website stand out visually from the crowd.
Evaluate your website
As mentioned above that your website is an extension of your staff and just like you officially evaluate your staff on a yearly basis, you should be doing the same to your website too. Though recommendations vary, most experts agree that you should consider updating of your website design every two or three years. Importantly, you should be making tweaks to your website throughout the year – such as updating pictures, adding new information, adding new products and services you offer, etc.
Listed below are a few things to consider when evaluating your website:
Has your target market changed, tightened or expanded?
Have you introduced any new products or services?
Is your website mobile and device-friendly?
Have your competitors created a new website or branding that is stronger than yours?
How do you rank on search engines for the products and services you provide?
Is it easy for you to make changes to your website?
Is the overall website design and content fresh, original and up-to-date?
If you answered yes to a few of the above points, then it’s probably time for you to consider a new, updated website.
Embrace new technology
In recent times, there was a major shift in website design with Responsive Website Design or RWD. RWD allows a website to automatically reconfigure and resize its layout based the device it’s being viewed on. So, whether your customer is viewing your website from their desktop or on their mobile phones, they are seeing the correct version. This is good news because now there is no need to maintain two websites- one for desktop viewers and one for mobile viewers. It reduces costs and saves your time because you only have to update one website.
If your current website is not responsive, then it leads to a potential downside. Over the past few years, the percentage of traffic to website via mobile devices has increased quite drastically. Nearly all of web traffic is derived from mobile devices nowadays so if your website is not compatible with mobile devices then you are possibly losing out on one out of every four of your customers.
Another feature, though one that is not as new, is Content Management System Websites or CMS. These websites utilize a platform that allows the owner to easily make changes to the website without the use of any software and with only an internet browser. The days of relying on a web development team for every little change to your website are gone, which is also good news. This means that keeping your website fresh, unique and updated with current information is easier and more straightforward than ever.
If you are considering a new website, the first two questions you should ask your web development agency is if the website will be responsive and if it will be built with a Content Management System.
Search Engine Optimization is vital
With over 650 million websites and over 51 million more added every year, there is always going to be lots of competition for the services and products you offer. As important as it is to make your website stand out aesthetically, it’s of vital importance to make it stand out on search engines too. Being on the first page of a Google search for your service or products offered is crucial for the online success and conversions of your business.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is what helps your website rank higher on search engines. There are a number of Search Engine Optimization methods that can be performed on your website, both one-time and ongoing. This is another important factor that you should consider when building a website. Much of the Search Engine Optimization work is done in the early stages of building a website so make sure you ask early.
Your website is like your online business card
Having a business card has always been necessary for years. Now, websites have become just as necessary and important for your business, and it is now one of the major components to a consumer’s decision process. Even if customers learn about your business from a trusted referral, an event or even through meeting you, before they make the final decision, they will visit your website. So make sure your website looks good, functions perfectly and clearly communicates your business goals.