Your website could be your business’s biggest asset in 2022. How?
55 percent of people search for online reviews and recommendations before making a purchase, reports WPForms, with 47 percent visiting the company website (for impressions and information). Essentially, it’s a given that people will scout you out online before doing business with you. By tweaking and optimizing your website, you can put your best foot forward, make a good impression, and generally drum up more business.
Building a good website is easier said than done. Not only do you have to make it stand out, but you have to feature useful content and maybe include relevant functionality – like online purchases. In this mini-guide, N77 Design offers some critical considerations to make to create a website that can ably support present and future growth:
Consider your present and future needs carefully
First and foremost, consider your business needs. Your business model will determine the type of website that would best suit you. A service-based business doesn’t need e-commerce store functionality, for instance. It’s a good idea to consult with an expert when in doubt. Some top considerations:
- Do you want an interactive site or an informational one? If it’s an interactive one (such as an online dating site), you may want to look into making a web application (or include web app functionality).
- What kind of investment are you looking to make? DIY website builders let you make a website in 20 minutes for free, but such sites tend to be simple and don’t come with advanced features businesses need. Hiring professional developers is expensive but can get you a more suitable site.
- How can you monetize your site? You can do this directly or indirectly. For instance, adding an e-store or using Google AdSense to make money from a niche authority blog.
- Who is going to maintain the site? Do you have an internal team who can do it or will you need to outsource the work?
Integrate ERP and CRM systems with your site
If you’re an established business, you likely already utilize an ERP and CRM system of some kind. Integrating these systems with your site can offer multiple benefits. You can make these systems “talk” to each other, and then share that information internally with your organization and externally with your clients, customers, and site visitors. ArganoArbela sums up the benefits of this approach nicely: quoting of inventory (and prices) in real-time, a better understanding of buyer behavior, better budgeting, more sales opportunities, faster invoicing, and a personalized customer experience.
Make sure it’s visually engaging
Beauty can be just as important as functionality. A well-designed website makes your business appear professional, credible, and trustworthy. Furthermore, it heavily influences your visitor’s user experience. A clean design, well-thought-out menus, and clutter-free distribution are some of the hallmarks of a visually-appealing site. You can partner up with N77Design to create a stunning, beautiful site that both you and your customers will love.
A clean design, well-thought-out menus, and clutter-free distribution are some of the hallmarks of a visually-appealing site.
Optimize your site for conversions
Having a beautiful, useful site isn’t enough – it should be optimized for conversions. That means designing your site in a way that encourages people to do business with you. Some ways to do so are adding site search, adding CTAs, user testing, adding FAQs, adding live chat, and featuring reviews and testimonials.
Consider the search engine friendliness
Search engine optimization (SEO) makes your site search-engine friendly. You want to, ideally, rank up at the top of the first page for search queries related to your niche. Getting there is a long-term endeavor and requires a good SEO strategy, backed by quality content. Some suggestions are using appropriate keywords, capturing search intent, having relevant content, and creating an SEO-friendly site structure.
Make sure to speed it up and use a good host
Speed and performance are two other factors to consider. You want your site to load fast – most visitors will abandon slow-loading sites. This means you should use a good platform (and have a team who can make necessary technical decisions). Furthermore, this also involves using an appropriate host with a powerful (and secure) server.
Create a recovery plan to safeguard against cyber threats
Last, but not least, consider the security angle. What is a cyber threat? It’s any malicious person or thing that could cause damage to your site electronically. Sites are commonly attacked and taken down by a hacker. Even if you think it’s not going to happen to you, it’s best to be prepared. A recovery plan allows you to deal with threats decisively and also get back up and running again in the event of an attack. This plan identifies the applications that need to recover first, time objectives, and the individuals involved in the recovery efforts.
You don’t necessarily have to make a perfect site on your first attempt. All good websites are a work in progress. They improve and change, adding new features, optimizations, and design elements over time. Focus on the critical bits now and then optimize slowly. In time, your site will become a worthy representation of your company, not to mention be a big benefit to your bottom line.