Websites – The Storefront of the 21st Century
Is it time to upgrade your website to fit your company’s brand image?
Most companies and business owners understand that the appearance of the storefront or office are essential to making a great first impression with prospective customers and retaining the valued ones that keep coming back. Chances are they’ve sunk some investment dollars into the look and feel of the organization’s space; but can the same be said for their website?
Wondering if it’s time to update your website? Here’s a quick list of questions to consider:
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Does your website look modern, stylish, or express the image of your brand/store?
- How easy is it to update your content? Can you do it yourself?
- Do you have an e-commerce portion to your site? Does your competitor?
- Does your website work like a brochure or do your visitors interact with your site?
- Are you easily found on Google (or other search engines)?
Web Traffic & E-Commerce Continue to Skyrocket on Mobile Devices
Not only are more Americans (and people worldwide) switching to mobile devices for their internet access, they are also becoming more comfortable with online purchases on the go. In 2015, smartphone e-commerce jumped 95% ($39.4 billion) from 2014 (20.12 billion).
Has your company captured any of this market share?
Even if you have a website that looks great on a desktop, you could still be losing a large percentage of potential customers if it doesn’t look as great on a mobile device. The amount of hours spent searching the web on desktop computers have not only stalled, they actually decreased in 2015 compared to 2014. Yet simultaneously, smartphone and tablet usage have shown significant increases in usage, jumping by double digit percentages in the same time period.
If a visitor finds your site from a mobile device, will they have a good experience or are they jumping off your site and stumbling upon a competitor’s?
Responsive Websites – The gateway to reach every device
Luckily, even if you are realizing that your site isn’t as mobile friendly as you thought before you took a closer look, there is an easy solution to bring you up to speed; responsive websites. For those unfamiliar, a responsive website is an approach to web design aimed at creating sites to provide the best possible viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of device, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
With a responsive web design your site will be able to determine the size of the screen it is being displayed on and will adjust the layout and functionality to work seamlessly on any device. Before responsive design, webpages did not adjust their layouts to the display, rather they were fixed in size. The problem becomes that scrolling, zooming, and clicking links from a mobile device becomes more work than it’s worth to view whatever site you were just on.
Do you Show Up in Search Engines?
Have you ever searched for your site on Google without using your name or brand? How fast can you find the site when searching for services or products that you offer? According to various sources, 91 Million searches are performed on Google each day! Showing up in search engines can be the most effective way to drive new business in the door regardless of your industry. A new web design coupled with optimizing your site for mobile users and search engines can offer a huge return on investment.
Google Raises the Ante on Penalties for Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
While a majority of sites today are optimized for mobile users one way or another, there are still a large number of sites that are essentially unusable from smartphones or tablets. To push business owners and website owners into adapting to the rapidly increasing shift in the way people are interacting with the web, Google has now begun to penalize sites that are not mobile friendly even further. Now if a user is searching from a mobile device your webpage will be pushed down the page, even if you would rank higher for the same search on a desktop.
As more and more people continue to switch their internet usage to their mobile devices your website is missing out on a larger portion of your target market. Yet, even if you are found from a mobile device after being penalized from Google, it may be even worse. Imagine a customer were to visit your office and when they got there the place was in disarray; it leaves them with a poor experience or a bad impression.
Easily Update Your Site’s Content & Offerings
If you wanted to change the content on your home page, could you? It’s no longer necessary to understand programming to keep your site up to date. There are great platforms such as WordPress that allow the everyday user the ability to change verbiage, update product offerings, or publish blog articles almost as easily as updating your social media accounts.
Facing off with the Competition
While adding e-commerce, increasing web traffic, or matching your site with your image may seem like good motivation to make some changes, ultimately there is one driving factor that will help you decide if your web presence is putting you at risk; your competition.
Go visit a few top competitors; if you can – put your site side by side and ask yourself critically which is easier to navigate, captivating, and is more likely to generate new business.
Just like you spend on advertising and networking in person, chances are someone in your market is not only doing this but applying the same practices to their online space. Re-designing your website is not only more affordable than you think, it’s also exciting!