Why a Website is Your Business’s Most Important Asset
The average person spends a whole day a week online, and with the Coronavirus pandemic, this is ever-increasing.
As a result, the internet is now the biggest and most competitive marketplace in the world, and your website is one of your most valuable sales and marketing tools.
An increasingly digital world
We do everything online now from grocery shopping to ordering takeaways and banking. And in 2020, we’ve even started exercising and socialising virtually.
Today’s consumers are tech-savvy buyers who enjoy a wealth of information and choice online – researching and shopping around, before sitting back and waiting for purchases to magically arrive on the doorstep.
As a traditional high street business, you would invest in signage and window displays to attract the attention of passing customers. In the digital marketplace, your website is your main marketing tool and it can make or break your ability to compete. With 1.8 billion websites online (and counting), you need to make sure yours stands out and helps sell your business.
The importance of good website design
A website isn’t just something that looks good or simply provides basic product information. Your website is effectively your marketing and sales teams all rolled into one – it needs to actively sell your business.
Above all, a good website needs to create a positive user experience. Studies show that up to 79% of people wouldn’t repeat buy following a negative website experience.
A high-performing website should be fast-loading and easy to navigate to ensure your visitors have a frustration-free experience.
This favourable impression together with the quality of your content (both written and visual) solidifies the perception of your brand, projecting your values and sales messages.
What’s more, a strategically-designed website can even guide visitors through the buying process, taking them on a journey and giving them all the information they need to hit ‘buy now’.
The importance of a mobile-friendly site
And it’s not just enough to have an intuitive, compelling, fast-loading desktop site. With an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2020, mobile-friendly (or responsive) websites are hugely important too.
72% of adults say their smartphone is their preferred device for connecting to the internet, and a mobile site that doesn’t load correctly isn’t a great first impression.
Having a mobile-friendly website is about ensuring your content, images and graphics load to the correct scale (and in the right place!) on mobile devices.
But this doesn’t just happen automatically. Websites need to be specifically designed to have easy-to-find, beautifully presented content at your fingertips on mobile too.
What’s more, today’s fast-paced, information-hungry users want a mobile site to load quickly too, and so do search engines.
How SEO can help
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a critical part of competing online. Having a stunning website that’s user and mobile-friendly is only the first step.
To ensure people find your website, you need to implement SEO strategies so that search engines will list your site and display it in front of prospective customers.
Google is by far the largest search engine online, and it processes over 40,000 search queries every second. And with the first 3 listings on the result page getting as much as 75% of all click-throughs, it pays to be on top.
SEO involves optimising not only your content but your entire website design. To maximise your ranking potential, you need to target your content around relevant keyphrases, as well as ensure your website has a strong SEO foundation.
For example, your website needs to be easy to crawl, fast-loading, secure and mobile-friendly as these are all major ranking factors too.
Why even small businesses need a strong website
Having a strong website isn’t just for multinationals and eCommerce businesses either. We consult search to find everything from restaurants to fitness classes and plumbers, so having a website that ranks well and sells your business, even at a small, local level, is critical.
Whether you’re in products or services, you need to ensure your website provides information and sells in a memorable and compelling way.
Even if you’ve got a strong presence on the high street, a well-functioning website allows you to offer even more products online and reach a much wider market.
And it pays to add communication or action-inducing tools to your site, like online booking forms, how-to videos, business blog, virtual tours and chat plugins. These capture attention, build your brand/audience and prompt action – very useful for small, growing businesses.
Does your website work for you?
There’s no denying that a strong website is one of your most powerful business assets.
So, whether you’re small or large, start-up or established, make sure your website does your business justice.