No matter what your business is about, your target audience is online. People are constantly browsing the search engines and social media to find exciting brands and local businesses.
In fact, according to last year’s Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers look at businesses’ websites when deciding on a business. So, the short answer to whether you need to invest in a business website is a resounding yes.
A business website will help you stay competitive, establish credibility, and take your marketing to the next level. But as you go about developing your new business website, there are some things you must ensure on your website, the four most important ones being:
First off, think of your website user’s perspective and answer these questions:
- Does it load fast enough?
- Do you find it intuitive to navigate?
- Do you like the look-and-feel of the site?
- Is the copy engaging enough?
- Does it look trustworthy?
- Is it mobile-friendly?
You must focus on creating a website that allows you to say “yes!” to all the questions above. That is, your website shouldn’t take more than three-to-five seconds to load.
Make sure your site’s design is easy to navigate and responsive (adapts automatically to the screen size on which it is loaded) while being aesthetically appealing. Also, ensure the content on your website is engaging and exciting.
What’s more, your website should also be accessible. Simply put, an accessible website is one that accommodates all visitors on all devices irrespective of the physical or mental ability of the visitor.
As website accessibility is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), failing to make your website accessible makes your business vulnerable to costly lawsuits by advocacy groups. Indeed, discussions about website accessibility have increased and 2018 saw a 181% rise in Federal ADA lawsuits over 2017.
So, test your website with web accessibility evaluation tools and consider using a web accessibility software so that everyone has a great user experience on your website.
Ranking on the first page of Google is crucial to bringing in more business and achieving a better ROI for your website.
Search Engine Friendliness
As such, usability and search engine friendliness go hand-in-hand. Search engines like Google are quite smart. If your site delivers a great user experience, then it is already well on its way to becoming a high-ranking website.
For example, site speed, which is essential for usability, is officially a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop searches. Likewise, a poor site structure will hamper your site’s indexability by Google crawlers.
While SEO is a vast topic that needs special attention, ensure that your website is in line with these basic best practices:
- Content, page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs should be keyword-optimized.
- All external links must be pointing to high-quality websites, internal linking must be done properly, and there are no broken links.
- All images should be compressed and have appropriate alt text.
In fact, search engine friendliness is also influenced by your website’s security…
Needless to say, your website’s security is critical for both your business and your website visitors. A secure website serves as a safe environment for potential clients which in turn, helps boost sales.
So, don’t wait for cyberpunks to remind you of the significance of having a secure website. Make sure to have the following in mind when developing your new website:
- Strong login credentials for better immunity against brute force attacks.
- Up-to-date content management system (CMS) and plugins.
- Frequent site backups, malware scans, and vulnerability tests.
Also, get an SSL certificate to secure the connection between your hosting server and your visitor’s web browser. Once an SSL certificate is in place, browsers will show a padlock sign next to your website address which indicates that all the information exchanged by the visitor on your site is safe.
In other words, an SSL certificate guards your customer’s sensitive data and is considered so important that Google uses it as a ranking factor.
So many small businesses, including SaaS startups, agency websites, blogs, and eCommerce stores fall prey to hackers every day. The last thing you want is to lose your business to a hacker, or worse, compromise your customers’ data due to a cybersecurity lapse on your part. So, prioritize security when developing a new business website.
Yes, you read that right. If you wish to create a website that people would find credible, you can’t afford to have grammatical inaccuracies plaguing your website copy.
Sure, as a business owner, grammar may seem like a trifling matter. But make no mistake, something as simple as a spelling mistake has a big influence on your business’s credibility.
Poor grammar and frequent typos can become a major distraction for visitors, making it impossible for them to focus on the meat of the matter. It indicates a lack of professionalism and sloppiness in business practices, which would be off-putting for your site visitors and potential clients.
Therefore, see to it that every piece of content and copy on your website is grammatically flawless.
Over to You
Right off the bat, paying heed to just these four aspects of your website will most certainly result in quicker, more sustainable, and scalable business growth. And so, make sure to get them right.
About The Author
Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few. He can be reached at Twitter @DholakiyaPratik