It’s hard to overestimate the vital importance of having a quality website for your business. As more and more business is being done online, your website, especially if you are starting out, is the key element to you being noticed.
If you consider that there are over 1.8 billion websites out there, according to the January 2017 Netcraft survey, and probably even more just a year later, you will realize that there is an awful lot of competition. They are not necessarily all businesses, as there are millions of blogs out there too, but any business that wants to grow its market needs to get its website right.
Before the advent of smartphones and tablets, and even laptops, you had to physically sit behind a desktop computer to access the internet. Business took a while to react to the gradual growth of online purchasing, and with new technology providing an explosion of devices to access the web, things have really changed.
Consumers now use these devices on a daily basis to access information and to shop online from anywhere in the world, provided they have a data or wireless connection, so your business needs to move with the times and produce a high–quality shop window for your goods or services.
Developing a responsive website
More and more people are accessing the internet using mobile devices, especially phones. That means your website needs not only to be of high visual quality but also responsive to every device that wants to access it.
Key points to consider when you are setting it up or overhauling your current website are:
Ensuring your site supports all devices, ranging from large plasma TV screens through desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. You don’t want to miss an opportunity if someone is searching for your products or services.
Making sure that links from social media and email will work on all devices.
Checking that your branding is consistent and clear, well designed and makes an impression the first time it’s seen. Remember, many surfers have the attention span of a gnat, so you need to get their attention and hold it.
Being aware of the need for fonts and layouts to be well presented and maintained. Too many clunky paragraphs of text will not be attractive, so use very high quality to draw the eye and encourage people to click on through. You can provide your own images for products but exploring will give you a huge range of options for other quality images.
Ease of maintenance. You can work with a web designer and take over the maintenance of your site if you or an employee have the skills, or you could enter into a contract so the designer can easily update it as new things happen in your business.
Making it user friendly. Here, the layout is most important. Visitors need easy navigation so that important information can be quickly accessed and specific products highlighted, especially if you have special offers you want to direct potential customers to.
Using both side and top navigation so visitors can find what they want as quickly as possible.
Bear in mind at all times that your site needs to be ultra-responsive to all devices, and look visually excellent, with well-designed backgrounds and fonts. Everything should be easy to read, with interesting visuals that will make a real difference as to how your site will be perceived, and, you would hope, be interacted with.
Developing a marketing strategy
You could have the best website in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’re effectively wasting your time. With a great site, you need to get it out there so people will find it.
A tried and tested method is to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so that search engines will pick up on your site when certain words or phrases that relate to your business and that are on your website are entered. Here, it’s worth taking some professional advice, because the major search engines have updated their algorithms to weed out “” operators.
Other options include using analytics to drill down into information, using specific keywords, and ensuring your content is up to date and relevant.
Your intellectual asset
Your website will be as good as you choose to make it. Within your budget, always look to provide the highest quality you can, both visually and in terms of ease of navigation. Get the marketing right, too, and you‘ll have an important intellectual asset that can help your business grow.