Why it is more important than ever to invest in your website
The pandemic has unmercifully revealed which businesses are ready to succeed in this increasingly digitally focused world. Digitally savvy companies with a thought-through online presence are prevailing while businesses with clunky websites and un-intuitive online options suffer.
The world’s digital reliance has been propelled to the highest level ever and many businesses have rightfully recognized that investing in technology is the key to success.
Even as brick-and-mortar stores have begun to re-open and some workers are returning to their offices, the new future is here. And with the digital trend to stay, businesses of all sizes should not underestimate the importance of being well-presented online as it may define who survives in this world - and who doesn't.
The ingredients for a good website
According to Google, 79% of users who don’t find what they are looking for on a website, will leave to search elsewhere.
And 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, according to additional research (Source: Gomez Peak Time Internet Usage Study).
On top of that people not only remember bad online experiences, but they talk about them with their friends. Ouch!
"88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience."
So, let's make sure your site doesn't become a statistic and take a look at some basic and easy-to-implement ingredients for a good website:
Up-to-date and relevant content.
Easy and logic navigation.
A great user experience.
Are easy to be found on the web.
How to hit the mark
Ready to start putting the focus on your business’ online presence? Then keep the following in mind:
Be useful and relevant: A good website starts with understanding why your customers and prospects visit your site. What are they looking for? And what can you offer them – information, advice, entertainment, a product or service - or anything else that leads them to visit?
When creating their website companies often focus on themselves instead of taking a customer-centric approach. That will turn visitors away.
"79% of users who don’t find what they are looking for on a website, will leave to search elsewhere"
Instead, businesses should think of what customers and prospects really want and design the site to reflect that.
Simplicity sells: Prospectives and customers want to immediately know what you are offering. That should be obvious within seconds after landing on your site. So, create clarity through straight-to-the-point content and imagery.
Also, check your navigation – is browsing through the site intuitive? Do people know what to do, where to click? Are there calls to action that help visitors easily finish a transaction, such as a purchase, input information or sign-up for a call back?
Be the expert to rely on: Create content that shows you are an expert in your field. This will help visitors trust your expertise and make them want to do business with you. Examples of good content are a blog, how-to articles, case studies and white papers.
Build trust: Prospects want to validate the quality of your offering before they consider doing business with you. Therefore, relevant content, such as customer testimonials, success stories and endorsements from industry leaders will help you build that rapport and trust.
Also don't forget to address following questions: What makes you stand out compared to competition? And why should anyone do business with you?
Keep your site fresh: Unlike a brochure that is done & dusted once printed, your company website will need regular attention and care. While websites are a quick and easy way for businesses to get their message out, they can become dated just as fast. Outdated and missing content, a clunky navigation, dead links and a design from the last decade do not make a good impression!
So before your website or parts of it become obsolete, consider investing in a dedicated resource to manage your online presence on a regular basis. This is essential in keeping your site fresh, accurate and working - and giving prospects and visitors a good reason to come back again.
Be mobile-friendly: According to a recent statistic from 2020, over half of internet traffic is meanwhile done on mobile devices. And if you believe Google, mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a task if the site doesn't offer a pleasant experience. That's a lot of visitors and potential customers that could be lost! So, make sure your website is designed to be give users a great experience on any mobile phone or tablet used.
Be findable: The more visible your pages are in search results, the more likely you will attract prospects and existing customers to your site and business.
Make sure your business appears prominently on search engines, review sites, online directories, and other relevant spots on the web.
While you can e.g., sign up for online listings by subscribing, search-engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. Successful SEO helps your site rank high on Google.
There are many technical components to do so, including optimizing key words and getting reputable third-party sites to link to yours. Additionally, findability can be boosted by taking some easy steps to improve your ranking which include:
Engage with site visitors: Google looks at how visitors are interacting and engaging with your site’s content. Higher engagement will result in better rankings which will result in even more visitors being led to your site.
Keep the new content coming: Regularly produced relevant and valuable content will help raise your Google ranking and therefore your findability. A new blog, anyone?
Don't forget the testing
Key to launching and managing a website is making sure that everything is working properly and keeping regular tabs on up-to-date functionality and overall appearance.
When checking that mobile and desktop sites both look and function like they should, be sure to do this on the most widely used mobile & desktop devices and operating systems, such as Android and iOS, as well as run the tests on different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
This exercise also should cover testing of all aspects of your site, including your links, loading of pages, forms and any purchase and payment system.