It goes without saying that any business today needs a good quality website. No matter what you do, your customers will expect a high quality online experience however they choose to interact with it.
Any business that has an outdated site - or worse, lacks one completely - will undoubtedly be viewed as out-of-touch and irrelevant and find it hard to gain and keep customers.
While there are many considerations to be taken into account when building a website to ensure small and medium-sized businesses give a winning impression, here's a few key things you need to keep in mind.
Did you know that more than half of all web traffic now originates from mobile devices rather than laptop or desktop PCs? As more people use their smartphone as a main computing device, this will affect how businesses large and small think about web design. Whether you choose to build a dedicated site that's easy to navigate on mobile, or adopt responsive design features that can change the look depending on how the site is accessed, it's vital to offer a smooth experience on mobile.
There are few things more frustrating when you're trying to navigate a website than needing a specific page, but having to hunt through a maze of links to get to where you want to be. For SMEs, every key page needs to be easily accessible from the homepage, and features like popup menus or videos should not obscure content.
Page load speeds
People these days are impatient, and this carries across to their web browsing habits. One famous stat from Forrester Consulting says almost half of online shoppers (47 per cent) expect pages to load in under two seconds. Even if you're not using your site as an ecommerce platform, poor performance will turn users off - and can negatively affect how high you appear in Google's search rankings.
A growing number of website visits now no longer come from Google or a third-party link, but are generated via social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook. But this also works the other way around, so not only should you be promoting your site on social media, you also need to make it easy for visitors to share any particularly interesting content via their favourite channels. Social buttons to help with this are an easy addition to a site, and can greatly help with getting your name out there.
The right content
There's an old adage in the web industry that 'content is king'. What it basically means is that even if you have the fastest, most technically-impressive website in existence, this doesn't matter if there's nothing interesting to read or do on it. Whether it's detailed product description, some fun facts about your business or a blog where you get to share your thoughts directly with visitors, having a regular stream of high-quality content will help persuade visitors to keep coming back, as well as making your site more appealing to Google's algorithms.
If you find your internet bandwidth doesn’t allow all you’d like to do with your website, it might be time to upgrade to Fibre or a dedicated (Ethernet) line.
If you’re just getting started with building your website, check out the special offer from Web.com available to TalkTalk Business customers by visiting the MyOffers section in MyAccount.