How is your website performing?
If you are a small to medium sized business, a sole trader or self-employed, the chances are you have a website in the form of what is called an entry-level website (by using Go Daddy; Wix; Square Space to name but a few).
These provide templated websites that can be of use to a business requiring a website.
However, these types of website seem to struggle to perform as well as many of us would like and they can take many hours to set up, maintain and update.
There are so many steps involved with using these platforms and the process can be a fragmented, time-consuming process.
So, what is the alternative?
Working alongside a Scarborough website developer cuts down the stress and produces a stunning website. This can help customers find your business and the products/services you offer.
There are many interweaving and important factors that make a website work for a business or organisation.
In Scarborough, professional website development on the Yorkshire Coast will tick the long list of factors that are required for a website to work.
Content is king!
Content … a word that is used in many ways and in many forms. For websites it can be photos, videos, testimonials, ‘how to’ articles, blogs and webpage content.
There is a saying, content is king, and for a website that works well, good content is a key element.
Relevant, concise wording (or copy) using precise keywords is crucial and while it sounds easy enough, it is a skill set that your local website developer on the Yorkshire Coast will have access to.
Fresh content is also key, and blogs are a great way of obtaining this.
Search engines such as Google will ‘search’ blogs over a certain word length, helping a website climb the search rankings.
Content should also be compelling to read and should include relevant keywords that the website visitor will recognise and probably use themselves.
Accurate spelling and grammar are also crucial, and sentences should be kept as short as possible.
Unique and accurate page titles are also helpful along with a small selection of appropriate headings within the content.
A website needs to be relevant to its target audience and for this, a business needs to know their customer or customers inside out. Knowing who the right customer is will aid relevancy in those searches and a search engine will find a business more easily.
A good example is a dog grooming business … the audience will be searching for a local, professional dog groomer who has extensive knowledge of various breeds. Whether it’s a Schnauzer requiring that distinctive trim or an Old English Sheepdog needing a puppy cut, a
search engine needs to find the relevant terms easily and quickly when customer hits the search bar option.
Most of us now possess a mobile phone that has the power of a minicomputer. Most of us probably use our mobile phones more than we do a desktop these days for searching the web. Using our phones is both convenient and quick.
Therefore, a website should be very responsive and easy to read and navigate around on a smaller device. This helps web users experience a website at its best, and this will help customers find your website too.
What you see is …
When you see a website page or a social media platform, the layout of that page is called the interface. A good user interface is clean, easy to move around and appealing.
The important material should be close to the top of each page with clear navigation to the rest of the site.
Website design has changed beyond recognition in the last few years and website designers will have the latest developments at their fingertips, offering a great experience for web users.
(A recent project of ours, Elise Designs, which we created to have a wonderfully magical and soft feel, to suit the target audience and product)
Good navigation is crucial, as it helps customers find what they are looking for easily and quickly.
A web designer can create a fantastic navigational ‘journey’ during which a customer can ‘travel’ from a general page to a page with more specific content.
Great graphic design is also an element that requires great skill and creativity.
Graphic design uses images, colours, icons, typography and illustration to create a story that communicated visually to the viewer.
With access to graphic designers, website designers can this important element off to a tee.
Below standard graphic design can have detrimental effects on the look of your website.
Speed it up
These days we’re all wanting speedy service. As technology has developed, the need for speed has increased.
For website development in Scarborough and along the Yorkshire Coast, one of the key elements is a having access to a good server speed. When someone searches the web, the search process involves a number of lightning fast actions and a slow server, which is where your website is ‘sitting’, is the last thing you need!
Slow-loading websites are also a no-no as visitors have very little patience and won’t wait more than a second or two.
(Here’s a recent project of ours – Hypo Financial where we used vector illustrations rather than stock photos to have a more personal feel)
A picture says …
A thousand words, or so the famous saying goes!
Good quality images are crucial for a great user experience. These images can be taken by a professional or sourced from a professional image library. Either way, the larger the image,
the longer it takes to load, so a web developer knows how to minimise the image size without compromising on the quality.
Images are crucial for many industries to help promote their product or service, while in other cases, generic yet relevant images sourced by a local web developer will enable your site to look amazing and help promote your business.
Today, more than ever, security is key.
Your local web developer is aware of this and can provide what’s called an SSL Certificate. This indicates your site is secure and the padlock icon appears next to your URL or web address.
This encourages customers to trust a business and therefore use their products and services. Search engines such as Google also encourage website safety as this gives the user a beter experience.
Website development in Scarborough and along the Yorkshire Coast means developer professionals can advise, design and implement the above so your website works for you.
COVID-19 is quickly becoming the fastest growing threat to our economy as we know it, and is certainly causing masses of uncertainty and stress, especially on our small businesses. This is causing mass panic among many businesses and we’ve decided to put together a few small things you can do differently, to help protect your business in these uncertain times.
“I’ll just wait for it to all blow over”
Don’t just do nothing! Burying your head in the sand and allowing yourself to panic is not productive and is definitely not going to help business. Instead, we advise that you take this time to put together a marketing strategy for the next 3-6 months. Are you currently using haphazard marketing that has no end goal or purpose? Offering out spontaneous offers that get you one-off customers who will never return? Make a decision on what you want your marketing to achieve, who is your target audience, and what is a creative way to reach that audience. Did you know that it takes 7 points of contact to make a sale? DON’T just do the one piece of marketing – whether it be flyers, social media, email, and wait for the thousands of sales to come in. Because you’ll be waiting a good ‘ole while. Make a succession of interlinked posts that help share your story with your potential client – you want your business to be the forefront of their mind – but you also want them to be interested and resonate with what you do.
“We’ve never had to offer delivery before, so why should we now?”
If you have a business where you are able to offer delivery, please, please do! Times are changing quickly, and with new government enforcement of self isolation and working from home where possible, people will be looking to businesses that offer delivery for convenience/safety. Also offering online ordering via a website, Facebook or Email also helps for convenience, and may entice customers who would otherwise give you a miss. We would also advise for these orders that you definitely take a payment up front and over estimate delivery times in order to ensure your customer is satisfied.
3. “Just send us payment whenever you’re ready”
Things are uncertain. And for businesses with tight margins and cash flow already, we can’t stress enough how important it is to take payment up front if you aren’t already, especially when dealing with business to business. It makes things easier for both you and your client, and keeps things a lot less stressful on both parts, as you’re not chasing them for the money, and they’re not stuck with unwanted debts. We’re all stuck in the same boat after all, your clients will understand, and likely sympathise with your situation.
4. “Let’s just focus on getting through this month”
In situations like this now more than ever, we need to be focusing on long term goals, and not quick wins for our businesses. It’s easy to get stuck on the short sighted ideas and hike up prices, offer unrealistic, overzealous offers that leave you with next to no margin, and other marketing exploits done on a last minute whim. There’s no problem with offering something to your customers, or having to up prices due to the current climate, but doing these with the wrong timing, or in a haphazard way with no planning or implementation can seriously harm your business. After all, who’s going to take advantage of an offer for the next 24hours only, that they didn’t hear about until the day after you were hosting a sale? It just doesn’t work!
5. “That funding won’t apply to me and my business”
There’s an age old saying – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I can’t think of anything more fitting for this one – I implore you definitely look into the funding that’s out there, because it’s there specifically to help you and your business, so why would you not take advantage of this? Our partner Nettl did an informative and helpful article on this, which you can read here >> https://www.nettl.com/uk/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme/
The show must go on.
Us small businesses need to stick together and work through these hard times, so we will be available for any advise you may seek and will try to help in any way we can. But we urge you not to give up! We need to keep on fighting and focus on the positives – taking advantage of the opportunities created by the Coronovirus outbreak and modernise and adapt our businesses best we can in the face of this pandemic.