Your website is the beating heart of your business; without it, you will have a hard time making sales.
In this age, it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure their online footprint is up to scratch. Aside from harnessing social media and paid search campaigns, businesses should have a personalized website that effectively showcases their products and services, and drives traffic and sales.
There are a lot of aspects that make a successful, user-friendly and seo-friendly website, so if you’re in the process of creating your own, it’s imperative that you consider these things.
- Choose the right web host
Deciding the right web host before you embark creating a new website for your business should not be overlooked. It is something that has a huge impact on the performance of your site, and if don’t wrong may end up costing you more money than your budgeted for.
There are web host types that are more favorable to your business operations, and will be more cost-efficient. However, it’s largely down to the scale of your site, what you use your site for, and the amount you think you will grow.
- Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting is ideal for e-commerce and multi-service businesses with a large budget who can afford to have their own web server. The benefits of having your own web server is that your site will perform better and load faster, and you have unlimited space to grow without having to worry about upgrading to another web host provider.
- VPS Hosting (aka Virtual Private Server Hosting)
VPS hosting is another great option for smaller businesses with a lower budget. It’s cheaper than dedicated server hosting, though still offers a lot of storage space for growth. It may not suit an e-commerce business, though – rather a platform where a lot of content is shared (i.e. news, articles and visuals).
- Cloud Hosting
Another smart web host option for businesses is cloud hosting. It allows you to upgrade or downgrade depending on the performance of your business and site, and this is attractive to businesses that are budget-conscious – for example, startups.
Usability is important
The key to success with business is to deliver a good customer experience. You may be able to provide the product or service that is the solution to the pain points of your audience, but if they land on your website and can’t work their way around it like it’s second nature, the risk that they’ll “bounce” off your page and to a competitor is very high.
Usability covers many factors: an easy-to-use page layout; clear site navigation; a fast page load speed; a deep dive search bar; a slick design that suits the brand; a simple form fill-out; detailed descriptions; and service information. Take this educational page of ‘Diploma of Quality Auditing’ for instance and take inspiration to design a page which provides necessary information regarding the service or product you’re offering.
In short, you must endeavor to make a user’s experience on your site as pain-free as possible – don’t ask too much of them, and gently guide them to purchase.
Make sure your site is mobile-optimized
As most online users are now browsing the internet on their phones instead of their desktops, it’s crucial that your site is mobile-friendly. What’s more, mobile-optimized sites have a ranking factor, meaning that search engines may penalize your website if it does not have a mobile version, so make it your priority.
Don’t forget about navigation and signposting
Navigation isn’t only about offering drop-down menus and clickable categories. Although these things are important, you should think of good on-site navigation as signposting users towards product deals and offers, new products and collections, news updates and blog posts, and pictures. Good navigation should be about raising your brand awareness and generating interest and customer loyalty.
You’ll need a deep-dive search option
You want your website to be as user-friendly as possible. The easier a user can navigate your site and find what they’re looking for, the more likely they will convert. This is the case most-of-all with multi-service businesses.
In order for visitors on your website to easily find what they are looking for, you should offer them a deep dive search option. Then, all they’ll have to do is enter a few keywords and they will be presented information that is as relevant and specific to their search query and possible.
Having a deep dive search option on your website may not be necessary for all businesses. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business that sells t-shirts, and you only have 50 t-shirt styles available, you can rely on menus and categories instead of a search box. However, a deep dive search box is vital if you’re a multi-service organisation that has a vast product base, as users may prefer to search for keywords than scroll through pages and pages on your site.
In order for your deep dive search bar to work, your website needs to be properly indexed so that search engines are able to read the content on each page of your website. A well-indexed site is discoverable – you must use easy-to-read language and keywords, and all of your images and videos must have ALT-tags.
Creating a business website is not a walk in the park, and it shouldn’t be. There are a lot of factors to consider when building a site – from web host, to page design, to layout, to content. But, if you step into the shoes of your customers and take their buyer’s journey, you’ll be able to gauge a valuable insight into what they need. The result: they convert and your business takes off!