Premier Website Development Services, Powered by ReachLocal
Date: May 22, 2017
Websites are a critical and central component of any digital strategy: they are how current and prospective customers find and connect with products and services. With more than 70% of local customers checking out local businesses online prior to purchasing or visiting brick and mortar stores, having a website is important to activating and controlling the conversation. Websites provide an opportunity to communicate multiple levels of information, and they act as a “home base” for content efforts and digital initiatives. Websites are also a cornerstone of brand-building.
But simply having a website isn’t enough.
Websites fuel digital efforts, such as search, which is built (largely) on and for websites. And search engines like Google are not only optimizing content that is designed to be mobile-friendly, they are penalizing content that isn’t.
There are a couple of ways you can build a site for mobile, either as one designed specifically for mobile screens or as a responsive site. Responsive sites automatically adjust to different screen sizes – from desktop to laptop to tablet and smartphones – and can help alleviate some of the headache of always having to update for new formats. It might seem like having a mobile-friendly website is a novelty, but nearly half of consumers looking for local products or services search on mobile first, and if your page is hard to navigate, odds are they’ll leave quickly. In fact, Google has stated 85% of visitors will leave – or bounce – from a site that is poorly designed.
A mobile-friendly design makes sense, but what else does your website need in order to be successful? First of all, along with having a mobile website, you’ll want to be sure to have a simple, clean and professional design to your site. Visitors should be able to navigate it easily and find all of the pertinent information they are seeking, such as contact information and / or a contact form. You may want to consider adding live chat functionality to your site, to connect with visitors immediately. Don’t forget to highlight your other communication channels, such as social media and email newsletters, if you have those channels activated.
It might seem silly to mention this, but you’ll want to make sure you have your logo included on the site in a prominent and recognizable way (usually in the header area). Simply having your business’s name in text might make it blend in and get lost.
Finally, you’ll want to be sure you have up-to-date and current content on your website. Outdated hours or menus or services can cause headaches for both your customers and employees. Going beyond text and adding images, graphics, blogs and video to bring your business to life will benefit you both in search and by creating different opportunities for engagement with website visitors. This is arguably the most challenging part of building and maintaining a website: the never-ending need for content. But don’t let that overwhelm you! There are ways in which you can create a compelling content plan that aren’t as time- and labor-intensive, and we’d love to partner with you to identify ways in which you can create a robust website content plan.
Once you have your website built, you can start to think about layering other strategies, such as search. We can help. We offer products and services to build, maintain, optimize and grow websites, however big or small the need may be. Connect with us here. We’re ready to put our team of marketing experts to work for you.