Deur Essie Bester
Irrespective of the size of your business or the industry you’re in – it is essential to build and maintain an efficient website, especially considering the fact that almost 80% of potential clients consult the internet before they visit a business or make a purchase.
A website is probably prospective clients’ first point of contact with your business and therefore your website must reflect the service and zeal with which all other aspects of the business is handled.
Buy a good domain name
Most people will instantly focus on their trade name. But does your trade name reflect what you do?
Make sure that your industry (for instance a travel agency) is reflected in the domain name. Using the correct domain name tells potential clients more about what you do and also gives you one keyword that helps the client to reach you when they are looking for a new holiday destination.
Keep your domain name short (which makes it easier to memorise) and avoid the use of numerals, hyphens, double letters and special characters for the sake of spelling mistakes and easy pronunciation.
Focus on the platform
You can develop a business-card style website by using online website builders, but when you need something more it would be wise to consult a professional website design company.
Consider the following:
the platform’s ability to display the website correctly on new and old browsers
mobile responsivity (The latest statistics show that the average adult now spends 5 hours and 40 minutes a day on a smartphone. Your business must be smartphone-friendly’ The platform you choose must be able to integrate with mobile browsers effortlessly.)
the platform’s ability to handle growth at a later stage (Building a website that can be added to as your company grows, enables you to upgrade at a lower cost in the future.)
maintenance (As technology progresses websites will have to be updated to keep pace with the new developments in browsers and web-search technologies.)
Ask questions like these:
What will it cost to update your platform?
Is it easy?
Can somebody in your company be trained to do it?
How easy is it to upload information to the new website?
Do you need a blog? Is the system intuitive? Can you update it yourself regularly or do you have to appoint somebody to do it?
Also look at the insertion apps and themes that can change the appearance of your website. Should you want to update the appearance of your website in a few years’ time, would you have to scrap everything and start all over again? Or is it simply a matter of buying a new theme?
Make it easy to find: SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to practices that help your website to appear on search engines in order of precedence. According to WebFX (a digital-marketing agency) organic searches by search engines now drive more then 50% of all website traffic. In contrast, paid searches drive only 10% of website traffic and social media only 5%.
Your position on Google is affected by a number of factors. The most surprising one is the speed at which your website loads. Websites (regardless of how good they are) full of large images and videos are pushed down on the rankings. See to it that your site is enriched with meta descriptions and that its markers, images and text are a reflection of your business and the industry.
Do keyword research on what words you should use to help Google to better understand what you are doing so that the right people can be sent to your site. Connect your pages correctly and share your sitemap with Google and other search engines to position your website on the right searches.
Security is important
Create strong passwords that include random characters, capital letters and numerals and consist of at least 15 characters. Regular updating of your website will prevent hackers from taking advantage of weaknesses and faults in the code. Regular backup will enable you to repair the site quickly should unlawful access have occurred.
Antivirus software will stop web scanning and DDoS attacks and remove any malware. Install SSL (secure sockets layer) technology, which encrypts the data transferred between you and your users. This prevents hackers from reading and taking advantage of your data.
Keep it easy to use
The ideal website has five or fewer tabs at the top to navigate. Every page must also offer a clear indication of how to return to the home page.
Limit the use of typefaces, colours, etc. and use short paragraphs and bullet points, which makes it easier to read the information.
Position contact information where it is easy to find, even at the top of the home page.
On websites where e-trade is an option, the average rate at which clients leave their trolley without completing their orders, is an astounding 69,57%. This is ascribed to complexity and a lack of information such as unexpected costs and a long paying process. Keep it simple.
Market your website
Social media (with the use of a good social-media management instrument) and paid Google advertisements can be used to market your website, but usually it is the more subtle things that make a website climb the rankings. Inexpensive and free aids include Google My Busines, HubSpot, BuzzSump en MailChimp.