It’s time for an upgrade!
Consumer behavior is ever-evolving. In order to succeed as a business, start-ups and small scale ventures need to identify and analyze the behavioral patterns of consumers and upgrade their strategies accordingly.
The latest shift in these behavioral patterns is sparked by the advent of digital age and advancements in modern technology. E-commerce is growing at an exponential pace as more and more consumers are now turning to online platforms to find and purchase products and services of their liking.
Let’s review the numbers!
According to studies, an estimated 1.66 billion consumers across the globe used online platforms to buy goods in 2017. The global online retail sales also struck an all-time high, adding up to nearly 2.3 trillion U.S. Dollars during the same year. The number is expected to soar to a staggering 4.88 trillion U.S. Dollars within the coming year or two. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the number of consumers using the internet for shopping purposes.
These figures validate the need of a strong online presence for businesses. Small scale businesses in particular, can reap a multitude of benefits from well-designed websites.
How Small-Scale Ventures Can Benefit from Business Websites
For small businesses, websites are their identity in the digital world and a virtual proof of their online credibility. According to a 2015 survey conducted by VeriSign, more than 84% consumers view businesses with websites as more credible than those without one.
With the help of a professional website, businesses can also improve their visibility in the digital landscape. Allowing customers to have the option of interacting with the company 24/7 through their websites, helps small businesses establish a strong, long-term relationship with their consumer base.
Moreover, business websites enable small business owners to gain valuable insight regarding their target market. Through websites, businesses can have access to valuable data regarding consumer preferences, which can later be used to alter their marketing strategies and develop effective branding plans, which consequently boosts sales.
Crucial Upgrades Your Small Business Website Needs
More often than not, business owners invest in website development, only to learn later that it is unable to generate the sales they initially anticipated.
While there can be a number of factors contributing to these results, one of the major reasons why websites fail to meet performance expectations is because they lack features that business websites need for commercial success.
Fortunately, with the help of following upgrades, small business owners can resolve this issue.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Your efforts to develop a high-performing website will be in vain if you fail to harness the power of search engine optimization (SEO). With the help of some simple tactics, such as link building and incorporating business relevant keywords in your content, you can boost the visibility of your website online and gain a substantial edge against your competitors across the Web. However, when it comes to SEO, there are a number of routes that can be taken.
Practices that can help increase your rankings on the top pages of search engines, while also keeping your website’s integrity intact are referred to as White Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, uses deceitful techniques, such as link purchasing and deceptive cloaking, to improve website’s search engine rankings. This puts the website at a high risk of being permanently banned from search engines, which is why it should be avoided at all costs.
For implementation of effective and safe SEO practices on your business website, always consult experienced professionals with a sound knowledge of modern White Hat SEO strategies.
2. Improve Website Response Time
A business website with an excruciatingly slow response time will do more harm than good for your venture. Research indicates that an estimated 55% of Web surfers spend less than 15 seconds on any website and your visitors are highly likely to leave the site if it fails to load within this limited timeframe. To keep the bounce rate under control, it’s crucial for small businesses to work on improving their website response time.
Minimize the number of redirects on your website and avoid including heavy animations and graphics that can have an impact on your website’s responsiveness. Exclude any unnecessary elements in your pages and compress existing images to optimize the loading time.
3. Make it Mobile-Friendly
In fact, a 2018 study predicted that mobile phones were expected to be used in more than one-third of the total online retail sales in the United States, contributing over 1 trillion U.S. Dollars.
To deliver a positive user experience, make efforts to ensure your business website mobile-friendly. Adjust font and button sizes to fit the smaller screen size of smart phones. You can also increase mobile-friendliness of a website by simplifying navigation.
4. Incorporate High-Quality Web Content
The purpose of a website is to expand your online reach and give an insight to your visitors regarding your available products and services. High-quality Web content can help you fulfill this purpose and ensure that your visitors can find information relevant to your business with ease.
Additionally, having engaging content on your website can help drive more traffic and generate more sales, as visitors are likely to share good quality content within their circle. With the help of appropriate keyword usage, you can also optimize the content for maximum engagement.
Incorporating internal links in your Web copies directs visitors toward appropriate products or services pages. Small businesses can also publish articles and blogs themselves or outsource writers for content marketing.
5. Social Media Integration
The key to building a loyal consumer base is to ensure that they have a multi-channel platform with the help of which they can communicate with the business. For small businesses in particular, the importance of establishing a strong business-customer communication channel cannot be overstated. Small scale ventures can use the feedback provided by their customers to improve the quality of their products and services and work toward delivering a better customer experience.
Integrate your social media platforms on your website by showcasing your homepage feeds on your website. Allow visitors to login to your website using their social media accounts and add ‘social buttons’ with every product displayed on your site, so visitors can share it with ease.
Think your current business website could use a major upgrade? For Web development and design, it’s always better to consult experienced professionals, such as Search Berg, to ensure that you end up with site that exceeds your expectations of performance and sales generation.
Guest article written by: The author is a guest contributor to the TechPatio Blog and an employee at Search Berg offers comprehensive and reliable link building services, PPC marketing, website design, small business SEO services, reputation management services and more.