A strong business website is the cornerstone of an effective digital marketing strategy.
Think about it — in today’s online world, a good business website is your company’s virtual storefront. This is even more important for online-only businesses.
But even for those who have a retail or office location, a website is still vital. It offers a hub for leads and prospects to visit and learn more about your company, your products or services, and decide if they want to do business with you.
Research shows that most consumers look up a company online before ever initiating contact. This is why it’s vital your website make a good impression. Here are five ways you can strengthen your digital presence:
- Optimize It for SEO On-Page and Behind-the-Scenes
SEO (search engine optimization) is how potential clients will find your website organically. You can improve how many people find your website by targeting the right keywords.
Once you have those keywords, you want to make sure that they are actually used in your web content, both on-page (through copy, page headings, URLs, etc.) and behind-the-scenes in the meta content.
Good optimization also comes down to what tool you use to build your website. Unfortunately, certain popular free or deeply discounted resources are that way for a reason: they don’t optimize well. In our opinion, the best website builder for SEO is WordPress — not necessarily because of the tool itself (although it is a great one) but because of the SEO plugins available.
Whatever tool your website is built on, check to make sure it is optimizing well for you.
- Make Sure Your Website is Secured
A 2018 study from Blue Corona found that 84% of people will not make a purchase from an unsecured website. If you have an eCommerce site, make sure your SSL certificate is always up to date.
Even if you don’t have an eCommerce portion to your site, it’s still important to make sure it is secure. You might collect information from leads, say through an Inbound marketing campaign form. You want to be certain this data is protected.
- Design Matters
When we talk about design, there are two components to consider.
The first is the look itself. Hopefully you are aware of the difference between a website that looks polished and one that looks homemade. You want yours to be the former. You also want your most important call-to-action content to be above-the-fold of the page — meaning centred on the part of the site that people see without doing any scrolling.
However, there is another component to design: the user experience. How easy is it to navigate from one page to another? Does the site map make sense? If you have a space for users to fill in content (a “contact us” form, for example) is it simple to use? If you have a newsletter sign up, is it easy to find? Do the pages load quickly?
In addition to making sure your site looks great, you need to make it works great, too. Go through your site with an eye to the user experience and note any issues you find.
You can also ask some staff members or friends to go through the site and let you know their thoughts. Or, contact a neutral third-party, such as DigiForce Marketing, to perform a site audit.
- Make It Easy to Get in Contact — Through Traditional Methods and Social Media
In our business, we visit a lot of websites. And one thing that continually surprises us is how hard some companies make it to get in contact. Many sites have a “Contact Us” page, which is important, but it is also a good idea to make it easy for clients to contact you on every page.
How to do this? It works well in many cases to put a phone number and email address on the menu bar at the top of the page in the header, and again at the bottom of the page, the footer. You may even want to include a “Contact Us” call-to-action button.
But this is 2018, and while phone numbers and emails are still important to have, there’s another type of contact that can’t be forgotten: social media. Admittedly, this is where we struggle the most when visiting websites. It can sometimes be downright impossible to find a company’s social media icons on the page. The placements vary between the header, the footer, the Contact Us page, or sometimes don’t even exist at all despite the business having a social media presence.
If you are on any social media sites, make sure that is reflected on your website. Our preference is for icons to be placed in the header and footer of every page on your site. Make it easy for clients or potential clients to get social with you!
- Mobile First
A good website is responsive — and we’re not just talking about getting back to inquiries in a timely fashion (although that is important).
You want to be certain that your website is designed to work well on different types of browsers, tablets, and mobile devices. If you have ever been browsing the Internet on your phone and had a website not load, or look wrong, this could be why.
In 2018, 51.89% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices. Studies show that 79% of people use their smart phones for reading email (a higher percentage than those who use it to make calls!).
You want to be sure that the user experience is smooth no matter where a user is looking at your site. Mobile-first design means optimizing the smallest screen first and then moving to bigger-sized screens from there. This allows you to focus on what is absolutely necessary for your webpage and eliminate any fluff.
Website design can be a constant evolution, but it’s a key part of advertising your business online. Stay on top of it with a trusted web partner — like DigiForce Marketing. We can help build a website that looks great, works great, and gets you the results you want.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 1-888-701-4441 or visit www.digiforcemarketing.ca.