Business websites have changed – Is yours up to date?

Setting up a website is only the first step in establishing a strong digital presence. It needs to be regularly updated to be an effective tool.

In this digital age, everyone knows that they need a web presence in order to compete. However, the biggest mistake that businesses can make is to assume that this is some kind of “set it and forget it” process to be ticked off their list. To stay competitive, your site needs to meet the needs and expectations of your customers, and these are in a state of constant change.

Slick design means better conversions

A website created today looks a lot different to one designed five years ago, and when looking at updates, the first thing to think about is the overall look, feel and user-friendliness of the site. This is known as user experience and one specialist in web design in Essex describes this as the most important area of digital marketing, and the one on which the success of everything else depends.

The reason is simple – today, visitors are spoilt for choice, and if the site looks old-fashioned, fiddly or anything less than best-in-class, they will simply hit the back button and go elsewhere. You could have the best content in the world, but they won’t stay long enough to find out. Improving UX with a homepage that is uncluttered and on-brand, easy navigation and clear calls to action is the first step to better conversions.

Security is top of the agenda

Security needs to be at the top of every business’s agenda. There are plenty of headlines in the media about even the largest companies getting hacked and client data being compromised. It doesn’t just damage the business directly, it is also incredibly harmful in terms of customer trust.

Site security has to start with the framework on which the website is built and SSL security is a must. You know your site is SSL encrypted if the URL begins “https” and not “http.” Without it, many browsers, including Google Chrome, will warn potential visitors that your site is not secure. There is no better way of frightening customers away.

It’s the smartphone age

The days of people sitting at a PC or laptop have not disappeared entirely. However, that is not the way most people browse the internet anymore. Smartphone penetration has now hit 85 percent among the UK adult population, and an estimated 62 percent of internet use is now by mobile.

Google saw the way that the wind was blowing back in 2016 when it first announced its mobile first index, and after extensive testing, this rolled out earlier this year. In short, if your site is not optimised for mobile, you are putting your business at an immense disadvantage. Not only are you failing to provide an acceptable level of UX for the majority of users, you are also adversely affecting your site’s ranking.

Keep it fresh

Your website is the equivalent of your shopfront in the digital age. Make sure you keep it fresh, interesting and looking better than the rest, and visitors will keep on coming in through the doors and becoming valued customers.