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This week we will be discussing some essential tips for your business website to ensure that it can bring in more business with more engaging content and features; additionally, we will be going over certain tasks you must perform for your website to meet certain web standards. A business website is designed much differently than a personal website; they have to really catch your reader’s attention and also, to a certain extent act as an additional person on your staff. A business website can perform many tasks to help you get more leads, such as allowing appointment booking and customer service chats to name a few examples. If you currently have a business website, take this blog post as a checklist for tasks that you must perform as a means to make your site better.
We wrote a post back in February discussing the Google Chrome update that is set to be released any day now during the time of this posting (July 2018); we recommend that you go and check it out if you have not done so already. Simply put, after the update is released any website that does not have SSL (or https:// like in the photo above) it will display a message like the one pictured below:
Even if your website does not have anything harmful in it, Google Chrome will display this message on your site to anyone who tries to access it if it does not have an SSL certificate. On a business website, this can be very dangerous and can cost you a lot of business; people will think that your business is not genuine and that your website is trying to steal information. Additionally, websites that do not have an SSL certificate rank lower on Google searches as Google wants to push safe sites to people using their search engine. People who have to fill out forms or make purchases through your website will have more confidence knowing their information is safe when they see that green padlock next to your site’s URL in their browser bar. If your business website is an eCommerce website where people purchase products through your site, then there is no excuse for not using an SSL certificate; if anything happens to their information due to a security hole then you are 100% responsible for their sensitive information being stolen.
Every business website should follow this rule. When people are checking out your business website to see what services and pricing you have to offer, this should be very easy to find and the visitor should not have to dig for it. Whatever your most important message is (services, specials, etc.) you should try to present this on the homepage; if you are using sliders then you can easily present this information in a slider at the top of your homepage. Look at the example above from Whataburger: they are using the slider to advertise their Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich as it is only available for a limited time only. By placing this ad in the homepage slider, they are trying to ensure that people visiting their website do not miss it. Remember the “above the fold” rule that is used in newspapers and on resumes; people are going to check out the very top of half of something and if they like it, they will keep reading. On your website, make sure the most important information is displayed almost immediately when the homepage loads; if people do not like what they see the moment they pull up your homepage, they will leave and never come back causing an increase in bounce rate (we discussed what bounce rate is and how to reduce it in this April 2018 blog post. We recommend that you check it out and follow the steps to ensure your business website is effective).
One of the best ways to get more customers from your website is to allow some sort of engagement within the website. Business websites that only have pictures and text that serve strictly as reading material will not convert visitors to leads. But what if your website has the ability to allow interested visitors to make appointments with you for a consultation? What about allowing some sort of live chat with you or a customer service agent? That can be done easily with WordPress; Athemes.com has compiled a list of 7 of the best appointment booking plugins that can be implemented in your site. Save possible customers time by allowing them to simply book an appointment with you in a few clicks; you will be notified by email when someone books an appointment with you through your business website. If you would like someone to be able to chat with you live; then you should try integrating Facebook chats into your website using the Live Chat with Facebook plugin. Implementing a Facebook chat allows people to chat with you through your website; you can then answer them by signing in to your Facebook account on a desktop or by the Messenger app on mobile (eliminates the need for you to be at your computer to respond). Additionally, if desktop users need to contact you this eliminates their need to switch to their phone to make a call. But you should also keep your users who prefer to call in mind, too. Users who prefer to call versus chat should have an easy way to call you without having to copy your business phone number from your website into their dialer. That hassle can be eliminated completely if you have a Call Now button that appears on the mobile version of your site; it simply floats at the bottom of the page and all the user has to do is tap on it to call you (if you are reading this on mobile, you will see that we are using a call now button). Implementing all of these methods make it much easier to allow people to contact you with their preferred method of communication, whether it be calling or messaging.
This is also extremely important; before reading on take a look at the infographic below:
There are no excuses for a business website to be incompatible and unresponsive with mobile devices. According to the infographic, 57% of users will not even recommend a business if their website looks bad on a phone and 8 in 10 customers will stop engaging with a website that is not mobile responsive. If you are a business owner and have a website, take out your phone, pull up your website and see how it looks.
Take a look at this example; do you see how the graphics and text are easier to read on the picture on the left while the one on the right is hard to read? This illustrates the difference between a mobile-responsive site and one that looks awful on mobile, but would probably load fine on a desktop computer. If people cannot read your website on mobile, they will leave and go somewhere else for business; it is not easy to zoom in on a website and start scrolling around. Mobile sites should be easy to scroll and the images and text should be easy to read without the need to zoom in; it is also important to know that websites that are not mobile-responsive do not rank well on Google. Some websites are still written in Adobe Flash, which is 100% incompatible with any mobile device; if your website has any Adobe Flash in it (or worse, your website is entirely made with Flash) the time to fix that is right now.
These are the first five tasks that you should take. If you are a business owner, you should check your website to ensure that these five tips are followed. If you need assistance in performing these tasks, Creativity Design Group would love to assist you. Click the button below if you need assistance in updating your business website.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and stay tuned for Business Website Essentials: Part II where we will go over even more tips to help you improve your website. Remember, your business website is one of your most important marketing tools.
Disclaimer: The information in the post is for educational purposes only and is not meant to be used as legal advice. CDG has no connections or affiliations to any of the companies mentioned in this post.
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