Websites these days are in abundance, let’s face it most business owners are at least aware of the importance of an online presence. It is estimated that there are over a billion websites that are active on the world wide web today. Statistically, there will be several thousands of websites that offer similar products or services that are in your area of expertise. They all share the same objective, doing their best to capture the target audience. It is safe to assume that there will be necessary steps that are vital to take in order to ensure your website stands out from the rest.

This article attempts to highlight some crucial factors that are difficult to ignore when trying to make your website stand out from the competition.

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Ensuring your Website is Mobile-Friendly

It is no secret that optimising your website for mobile phones is a must when optimising your website. It is safe to say that most people these days have a mobile phone that has access to the internet. The overwhelming percentage of people turn to search engines in particular Google to conduct their searches for products or services on their handheld devices. Mobile shopping has revolutionised the way we interact with brands and companies , the technology allows people to have access to helpful information on the go at any time. With this in mind it is imperative that businesses large and small optimise their website for mobile devices, ignoring this trend will inevitably lead to a frustrated user experience, putting the very people off your trying to attract.

It may be time to be honest with the state of your website, is your current site only optimised for desktops ? If this is the case, you should definitely look into optimising your website for the mobile user. Think of the technology you have witnessed change in your lifetime, the cassette video recorder was phased out with the emergence of new technology – the CD. Which then emerged to the DVD, which is now being waved entirely with memory storage systems and data points allowing you to have access to quality material in the form of an iCloud or files stored on your computer. Case and point with the successful 90’s company Blockbuster video, who failed to compete with the transition to the world wide web, to such a degree it made the once loved company redundant with its services.

Many business owners often fear change, and the idea of developing a whole new website from scratch sounds daunting, time consuming and expensive. The good news is that these days you simply don’t have to. Today making your website mobile-friendly is possible by taking effective steps to employ responsive web design practices that cater for mobile browsing. Making your website responsive allows for the best possible techniques that helps deliver the best possible experience for the user viewing your site. A happy customer is likely to be a returning customer and adhering to some simple rules will do wonders for your customer retention.

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Creating High Quality Content

Simply put, Content is King. High-quality content is paramount these days to ensure you have a solid ranking in the search results. Content can be a combination of graphics/imagery, written content in the form of words and instructions throughout the pages of your website. Blogs can be used to boost your keywords which in turn helps get you recognised and will enable you to build a following. Content can also mean video and audio material presented on your site, the more technology develops the more it should be utilised in your website. This not only helps build the presence and impression to those visiting your site, but this is exactly what the search engines algorithms like Google are looking for. Sites optimised with additional features stand the best chance of success online, and with most of the markets interest coming from this source it is of vital importance to the longevity of your business. For example, location services are a tool that people use a lot today, and by accommodating your business to its potential online will inevitably draw in customers near you who are looking for your products or services.

Should businesses fail to utilise areas like Google My Business, Location mapping/ services to their potential, then any potential customer unfamiliar with the local area simply won’t find you. Regardless of what form the content is in, it must provide information that can help the user make informed decisions.

All content must have the relevant keywords which are targeted towards your goal and be based on the very words which people use to find you in your industry. Spelling mistakes are a big no, as this makes your website and organisation look unprofessional, sloppy and inconsistent with your work. Brainstorming ideas is a useful way to develop your thoughts and highlight strengths and weaknesses with your online presence.

Optimise your Website for the Search Engines

Searches conducted these days range in their thousands every second, Google is the place to go should you want anything anytime anywhere. Search intent varies greatly, many look for all sorts of different information including all the products and services your website has to offer. Competition online is at an all-time high, making the ability to get seen very difficult and challenging for businesses of all sizes. This is just one of the challenges facing businesses today, as everybody wants to be seen on the first pages of the Google search engine however, this isn’t so easy to achieve. By optimising your website, you’ll be able to attract significantly more traffic whilst reducing the number of people bouncing off your website. Once your website begins to retain users attention, this will inevitably lead to higher conversions meaning more sales.

The very first step in the optimisation of your website should be the keywords you choose, so people typing in these words will be able to stumble across your website. For example, should you be a personal trainer, your potential clients maybe searching for the best supplements to use, rather than just a personal trainer. In this example, the training expert could be found via information/ content on his/her website where keywords are matched. Or they may have been drawn in organically to an article in their websites blog. By doing your due diligence you will find that if you match your content with the needs of your potential customers, then you will be visible for the search engine crawlers to see. It is paramount that your website creates as higher quality content as possible, considering the needs of your potential customers as this will meet the needs and wants for a good user experience, whilst offering many engagement opportunities with your website as possible.

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Website Speed

The internet has never been so fast, and with 5G looming it is likely to become much faster and more efficient. This has encouraged users today to become very impatient, two out of every three people are shown to leave your website should the pages lag or take longer 5 seconds to load. The future trends particularly that of Google shows that they will reward websites that are optimised as this brings the best results for their users. A website that is quick and efficient enhances user experience and improves your search engine ranking. This ultimately leads to higher traffic numbers and an increase in sales.

When improving the speed and performance of your website it is important to think with minimalism whilst maintaining functionality. When reducing HTTP requests files, you drastically increase the speed of your website, as most of the time is affected by this when downloading images, scripts and flash. Reducing your server response time is an effective way to increase performance to your website, this is achieved by using a web app monitoring tool or monitoring the site for poor performances.

The Site Should Have Great Navigation

It is imperative that people can access all areas of your website hassle free. By supplying a user-friendly navigation tool to your website you’ll be supplying the ideal engagement needed for conversions and assistance. Ensuring your website caters for all formats is imperative, as your business gets seen on mobile phones predominantly so make sure its catered for mobile friendliness as well as desktops. Icons help users where to go, be sure to include as many navigation elements as needed ensuring they are correctly placed and implemented so they guide the user to the end goal.

Engagement with potential Customers

Interacting with your potential customers is vital in today’s world, especially with all the social media outlets out there. Building emotional connections with your customers goes a long way as this assures the you are a real person firstly, and that you are engaging and helpful. Ways to reach out can be through and introductory email, or direct message, or even a phone call. Including an about me section on your website helps build this sense of engagement, including a short description of yourself and your employees as well as what you do as a company.

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Implement a Marketing Strategy

Marketing your website should be thought of as an ongoing project, even if you have optimised it for the higher rankings in the search engines. Emphasise on publicising your website on your social media outlets, assuming you are already activly involved with social media, if not, you should be. Social media proves a tremendous avenue to generate interest and enthusiasm for your business, building engagement opportunities with your potential customers should start with your social media presence. Should further assistance be required to help boost your online presence other options such as PPC, Google AdWords, or Google my Business are also areas to focus on to help bring in more traffic to your website.

Final Thoughts

Websites that are fully optimised with an engaging online presence will draw in several opportunities to convert potential customers and increase your sales quickly. Should you find that your website isn’t working for you, it is likely that people simply can’t find you online. As mentioned above there are several steps that can drastically change the state of your website, optimising your site correctly will seriously alter the amount of interest and conversions to your business. Remaining vigilant is a fundamental skill that is required in the world of business today and staying ahead of the curve will always ensure you are optimising everything possible to maximise the return on your investment, your website.

Should you have any questions or need help with any of the information discussed in this article then please get in touch via our telephone number or email contact information. Alternatively fill in our online query form and we will get back to you.

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