Monday, 18 January 2016

5 Important Reasons to Redesign Your Website

Technology and design styles change quickly and so too can the focus of your business. It is important that your website remains current with these changes and that your business is getting the most out of the new online opportunities that are available. Sometimes there can be a reluctance to outlay the expense of a new website design; however, if done well, redesigning your website can be a high return on investment. Here are five excellent reasons to consider a website redesign: 1. Your Content Management System or Website Technology Is Out of Date It has been said that one human year equals at least four Internet years. That's how fast technology is progressing, however some website platforms and content management systems haven't kept up. They may have been great a few years ago, but if your website has been built on older technology you may find your editing choices will become limited as new features become desirable, and you may also be more vulnerable to security breaches and unwanted hacks. By having your website redesigned on a more contemporary, flexible and progressive platform your website will be able to adapt with technology and maintain greater security. 2. Your Website Design Looks Old and Outdated First impressions count. Plenty of research shows that you only have a few brief seconds to get the user's attention and to convey enough value to engage them. Also the quality of your website design is a direct reflection on your business image, so it is important that your website looks professional, fresh and contemporary. Additionally, if the aesthetics of your website design is old the chances are that the user experience is also going to be lacking. To give you an interesting reference point of how web design trends have changed over the years check out the visual history of Apple's website designs. 3. Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly Consumers have different needs when accessing information and services on their mobile devices. They are in a different mindset. Mobile users expect to get what they want very quickly and easily, and want to have "mobile intelligent" features, like one click dialing for example. So it is important that your website is optimized for mobile devices to ensure the best user experience. With approximately 30 percent of website visits coming from mobile devices, if you are simply delivering your users to the desktop version of your website you will be losing business due to accessibility frustrations. 4. You Aren't Getting the Results You Want No matter how much you like your website, you would probably like it more if got the results you wanted. Getting results is a direct result of how you attract, engage, convert, measure and optimize your website towards your business goals. Before committing to a redesign, you need to define exactly what you want your website to accomplish. You have had an experience with your current website, so its a great time to reassess and use your best thinking, along with new technology to really improve your online opportunities. Once you know what you need your website to do you can investigate how to build a more functional and effective website. 5. Your Business Focus Changes Business goals change over time and you want your website to support these changes. The great thing about new technology is that it gives your business the ability to shift focus easily and quickly. It also gives your business more opportunities to expand into different areas. Social media, online review sites, cloud applications, lead management systems, and mobile websites barely existed five years ago. Businesses that want to survive and thrive learn to capitalize on the technology that's available to help them deliver a better product or service. If you don't redesign your website to integrate new technology into your business you may find it hard to keep up in your industry. Your website is a living part of your business, and it should evolve and change as your business grows and as technology progresses. Even when you do get your website redesigned it doesn't end there, your website should be in a state of constant measurement, improvement, and enhancement. For more information on the key elements of a great website check out this industry report: The 11 Essentials of a Successful Web Design.

Why You Need a Website

Q: My business is very small, just me and two employees, and our product really can't be sold online. Do I really need a website? A: That's a good question. In fact, it's one of the most important and most frequently asked questions of the digital business age. Before I answer, however, let's flash back to the very first time I was asked this question. It was circa 1998, during the toddler years of the internet. I was giving a speech on the impact of the internet on small business at an association luncheon in Montgomery, Alabama. Back in 1998, which was decades ago in internet years, the future of e-commerce was anybody's guess, but even the most negative futurists agreed that all the signs indicated that a large portion of future business revenues would be derived from online transactions or from offline transactions that were the result of online marketing efforts. So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don't think can be sold online? My answer in 1998 is the same as my answer today: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt. Also, don't be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can't be sold online. Nowadays, there's very little that can't be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online. Let me clarify one point: I'm not saying you should put all your efforts into selling your wares over the internet, though if your product lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer. That said, it's not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost. One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The inverse is also true. I've seen many big company websites that were so badly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. Good for you, too bad for them. You also mention that yours is a small operation, but when it comes to benefiting from a website, size does not matter. I don't care if you're a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don't have a website, you're losing business to other companies that do. Here's the exception to my rule: It's actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, "Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!" or it screams, "Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!" Your website is an important part of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.

Your business NEEDS a professional website!

1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY

Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is "home-made", having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.

2. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU MONEY

As a small business owner you probably think you can't afford a professional website, but you can't afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it's up and running, a website for a small business generally costs under $100 a month and, in some cases, as little as $20. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.

3. IT WILL ENABLE YOU TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS INFORMED

Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalogue. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.

4. IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE

A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.

5. A WEBSITE MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO TARGET A WIDER MARKET

Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally. Don't think you'll be able to sell your products or services online? Don't forget, even cars and houses sell online!

6. IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM ON WHICH TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK

No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.

7. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME

Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money!

8. IT IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE

Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and would like to share tips on how to recycle, or perhaps you’re an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their bookkeeping practices. By including a FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers' questions you can keep them up-to-date. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.

6 Reasons Why a Website is Important for your Business

A simple question, What is a website? In its bare form a website is a single domain that consists of different web pages. We should all know that by now, but surprisingly what we don’t all know, is the benefits a website can provide for your business and its shocking to witness how many business don’t actually have a website or online presence! If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. As a business owner, you need to know where your consumers are. But what if consumers know your business and what you can offer, but they can’t reach you? That is one of the risks you take by not having a website for your business. What are some other benefits of having a business website? Cost Effective You know exactly how much your website is going to cost you and its on goings – a brick and mortar store on the other hand is susceptible to many out of the ordinary occurrences which could blow out the costs such as leaving the lights on, theft, damage, extra staff etc. A strategically developed website and online presence solution provides tremendous benefits and costing outlines. Accessible around the clock Your website and social media accounts are accessible 24/7/365. Imagine that you want to buy from a store. You put in all the effort required to go to the store, but when you get there, it’s closed. We all know how irate we feel in that situation. You’ll think twice about going back given the bad taste its left (ok might have been your fault for not checking but hey, this is proving the point here!). You will just find another store that is more easily accessible. Since your website is operational around the clock, from the convenience of the local coffee shop, their couch or their bed, your customers and clients can easily access your website and services. Convenient What is more convenient: driving outside to look for different stores that are available to shop in, or sitting in the comfort of your own home and shopping for the products you’re looking for? Pretty obvious answer, unless you like aimlessly driving around. Smart businesses realise this and thus have their own website housing their products and services so that potential customers can browse online for the products they want to purchase. Credibility By building a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities. Believe it or not, most people will search the internet for a product or service before the purchase to check the credibility first. When you provide good service or product, positive word-of-mouth about your business is likely to spread. Which in turn, delivers more repeat and new business. People tend to trust a business after they have done business with it. Using your website, you can continuously serve consumers online and increase your credibility as a business owner. Sales Without sales, or selling more than you spend, your business is doomed. By having an online presence you allow for the sale of your products or services around the clock to whoever whenever with no or hardly any limitations; Unless you run out of stock or overworked, but thats a good problem to have right! Giving your business the online presence it deserves is crucial to your brand and accountants smile. In short, being visible worldwide means you are very likely to gain more customers. The more customers and visitors you have, the more sales you will generate. The more sales you generate the happier you and your shareholders will be! Marketing Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online. There are lots of marketing strategies you can use to advertise and market your business. All online marketing strategies have been proven to be effective. Which ones you choose depends on the type of business you are in. Speak to us to see which are best for your business. Bottom Line It is imperative for every business to have a website. The more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain. Feel free to let us know your thoughts by commenting on our Facebook Page. You might also want to check out our services page. Let us help you develop an effective website solution for your business, tailored to honing in on your prospective clients.