Changes in browsing behaviour mean it’s no longer acceptable to focus design on how websites look on computer screens. Today, more than 60% of all browsing is done on smart phones and more and more of us are using phones to make online purchases.
A website that isn’t designed from the bottom up to cater for mobile users potentially loses 60% of its traffic and any resulting sales. The only solution is to make sure your site has a fully functioning mobile-friendly design that your visitors can access wherever they are. Doing so could rocket your visitor numbers. It still has to work on PC and tablets too, though.
SEO done well can have a business changing impact on the number of organic visitors your website gets. However, comprehensive optimisation is a continual task that needs to take in all three areas of SEO: on-page optimisation (e.g. keywords and content quality), on-site optimisation (e.g. site speed, XML sitemaps and metadata) and off-site optimisation (high-quality backlinks, domain authority and page rank). At the same time, you need to make sure you don’t over optimise and that everything is aimed at your visitors and not simply created for search engines.
The main purpose of any business website is to generate new business whether this is to attract new customers or retain existing ones. To maximise your earning potential, you should set up specific landing pages and create sales funnels that will have the most impact.
With so many cyberattacks on websites, you need robust protection. A key part of doing this is choosing a web host that provides the essential security tools you need: strong firewalls, intrusion and malware protection, SSL certificates, spam filtering and remote backups. At the same time, ensure that the site itself is configured for security and that passwords are secured using two-factor authentication.
People spend more time on apps than they do surfing the web. One way to make your website more user-friendly would be to make it look and work just like an app and have a range of app-like features. This can be done using progressive web app software.
Why not just have an app instead of a website? One of the best features of a progressive web app is that, unlike normal Android or iOS apps, their content is indexed by search engines and appears in research results. Progressive web apps, therefore, give you the best of both formats.
Slow loading times have a hugely negative effect on the performance of a website. Not only will search engines rank your pages lower, but there is statistical evidence that users will abandon your site if they have to wait. It is estimated that even a one-second delay in loading time can reduce online conversion rates by around 7%. In retail environments, where profit margins are small, improving loading times by a second could be the difference between success and failure.
There are numerous things that can slow your site down and the best way to discover what these are and how you can speed your site up is with the Google Pagespeed Insights tool. We will host your site with a provider which uses high performance, web optimised servers.
You’ll never be able to make informed improvement decisions about your website unless you can measure how well it is performing. The only way to do this is to set up analytics tracking. Using free tools, like Google Analytics, you can track a wide range of metrics, such as traffic volumes and visitor behaviour, as well as setting goals and measuring conversions.
With all this freely available information, you’ll easily be able to understand which parts of your website are functioning well and which parts need more development.
Visitors and search engines both have a preference for websites with fresh and engaging content. It is essential, therefore, that your website design makes it easy for you to manage your content. CMS platforms, such as WordPress, are ideal for this.
A CMS will enable you to publish new content on a regular basis and you can use this to create long-term content marketing campaigns.
It’s no surprise that more than half of all businesses use email marketing. It’s forty times more effective at generating new business than social media and has higher conversion rates than PPC, direct mail or broadcast advertising.
To undertake email marketing, websites need to contain email subscription forms and take advantage of email and newsletter plugins or third-party software to deliver marketing materials to their subscribers.
Social media can do wonders for extending the reach of a brand to new customers. For this reason, every website needs to have social sharing buttons on their pages so that readers can spread the word. At the same time, we will set up social media accounts which can send traffic back to their website.
Your domain name should represent your business or be related to your service. Additionally, a local business should have a country specific domain (ccTLD). For an Australian website, for instance, a .com.au domain is the best choice.
A ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain) is one of the strongest ways to show users and search engines where your business originates. It will help your website rank higher in search engine result pages.
Mentioning a Contact details is very important for local business websites. We would also recommend adding a live chat functionality. The more communication options a customer has, the better.
A logo is a crucial part of your online branding. An elegant, clearly designed logo helps to build trust. Consider having it placed in the upper left corner of your website where it is highly visible.
Your main navigation works as a map of your site. For a local business, the main navigation should contain all the important pages of your website including home, about, services/products, blog and the contact page.
Depending on your business, a slightly different menu design may be appropriate. But don’t try to get overly cute with it without a good reason; the aim of the main navigation is to let the visitor easily navigate through the site. A clear, simple and easy-to-use navigation bar is one of the key features of a good website.
The heading of your site should contain some of the important keywords that sum up what your business is about. It is very important for getting a good ranking in search engines.
The tagline represents your business by using a few words in a creative way. Its aim is to catch the visitor’s attention. Crafting a perfect tagline is difficult as it needs to be clever and also easy to understand.
Your home page should feature a short blurb piece that describes your business and service. When people visit a website they tend to simply skim through the page, so the content should be succinct and to the point.
A banner image is a visual way to communicate with visitors to the website. The image should give the viewers a sense of what your business is about.
For any business site, it is mandatory to have a few call to action buttons, which encourage visitors to act to get in touch or contact you. Some example call to action phrases might be “Request a Free Quote”, “Buy Now” or “Call Now”.
Your homepage should feature the best or highest selling products and services that you offer. This will create a good first impression and encourage potential customers to browse for more information.
A quote form gives your customers an easy way to make service related inquiries. Instead of having a form only on the contact page, include a quote form at the same location on every page of your site.
For websites of any kind – “Content is the king.” Without relevant content, your business site will neither be able to attract the customers nor have a good ranking in search results. While content may not come to your mind when you think about the features of a website, it’s crucial for your site’s success.
User friendliness is ultimately the most important asset of any site, even more so for a business site where you are trying to sell products or services. A clumsy choice of fonts degrades the overall appearance and usability. Always use clear, easy to read fonts and make sure it’s consistent on every page.
Before making any purchase, a customer wants to be sure that you can deliver what you promise. Testimonials from past customers are a great way to help convince a potential buyer; just make sure they’re genuine!
Newsletters are a great way to build relationships with customers. Encourage your customers to subscribe to your newsletter. Send your latest blog articles and the best updates from your social media to your subscribers. You can also let your customers know about special discounts or new products via newsletters.
A strong presence in social media is highly recommended for any online business. It is a great way to interact with the customers. Links to social media accounts make it very easy for them to follow you.
The footer menu generally contains links to the main pages, like – Home, Services etc (similar to the Main menu) and is positioned at the bottom of the page, allowing the customer to navigate the website after strolling through the content on the page from top to bottom.
Every page of your business website should have a readable and relevant URL. For example, The URL of the services page should be something like domain.com.au/services instead of something like domain.com.au?p=64723
Child service pages focus on specific products or services that your business offers. Focus on categorising your service into a number of smaller services that are contained within it, and create pages for this under the main service page.
A gallery is something like a portfolio that presents your previous projects. Successful past projects will encourage customers to do business with you.
A map that shows the location of your office or store is very helpful for potential customers. It’s easier to get a sense of where something is when looking at a map rather than just an address. Google Maps can be easily added to your website.
Though a map is helpful, you must also mention your address anyway. In many cases, people visit your site just to know your business address.
Customers can easily send you messages using the contact form. It is more convenient than emailing you. The contact form has become an essential website feature for all types of business.
Your site must mention your business hours. Be careful and update the time and let your customers know if you are open or closed on a certain public holiday.
Captcha or spam filters are now standard practice for websites. These make sure that only genuine visitors can reach you and complete the contact form – without it, you’re bound to get a lot of unsolicited emails and spam..
This is a place to tell your business story. You can be a bit creative here but be sure to include important information; your company history, awards and recognitions, future plans, etc.
As a business, you will find out there are some common questions that every customer asks. The FAQ page contains the answers to these questions and acts as a timesaver for both you and your customer.
The sidebar of a blog page shows the most popular or recent posts for easy navigation for the visitor.
The search box is one of the basic elements of a good blog page. Your blog readers may often use the search function to find a relevant page/blog post..
Comments are a great way to engage in conversations with your readers. This helps to build a closer relationship with them.
Title tags and meta descriptions are used on the search engine result pages and how well they are written can determine which page your website shows up on and how many clicks it gets. The title tag is considered to be one of the strongest onsite ranking factors and the meta description helps a searcher understand what the page is about. You or your SEO agency should be able to easily update the page titles on your website.
It goes without saying – if a website is not mobile responsive it won’t survive. More and more people are accessing the net through their mobile devices. A business site that doesn’t show up properly on screens of all sizes is fighting an uphill battle. Mobile responsiveness is now an essential part of website functionality.
In a mobile device, it is not possible to show the full main menu because the screen size is so small. A hamburger menu function hides the main menu content as a sidebar, allowing users to bring up the main menu by clicking on the three small horizontal bars at the top left corner of the page.
A website should be compatible with all modern web browsers, especially the most popular ones including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera..
Google Analytics is the best tool for collecting and analysing web traffic and how people are interacting with your website. The reports generated by Analytics help you plan your market strategy. It is an invaluable tool for a business website, so make sure you have it set up.
Google search console is a tool to supervise a site’s overall performance in search results. If your site has any malware or SEO based issue, Google search console will help you to identify and resolve that too.
Users won’t visit a website if it takes more than 4-5 seconds to load. Properly optimised code and an efficient content management system is the key here.
Your site should be cache enabled. When a browser loads a page, it brings data from the web server. However, if a user visits a page multiple times, some site data can be stored in the browser cache of the user’s device. This will increase the page loading speed.
Schema.org is a collaborative standard for structured data on the internet. It helps search engines understand your website content.
The hosting service used for your business site should be fast and reliable. Poor hosting can be more harmful than you can imagine.
Any flaw in security can destroy the reputation of your business. Your site must be well-protected from hacking attempts, data leak or viruses. Using a distributed domain, secure protocols and proper virus protection is mandatory. There are many other aspects of security that you should be aware of, depending on the size and type of website
If your site is hosted on a physical system, make sure the site data gets backed up regularly.
A business site should use a content management system (CMS) to keep the site easily maintainable. A CMS makes it very easy to manage and update your website..