Nowadays, more people are using their smartphones and tablet computers to browse the internet. It is therefore important that websites are ready for this change, and that means developing a responsive website. Responsive sites are able to detect what device is viewing their site, and make adjustments accordingly to ensure the optimal viewing. On smaller screens, it is important that text and images are the correct sizes so everything is readable, and things like contact forms and tick boxes are useable.
Responsive sites automatically resize images, graphics and videos to allow them to fit onto smaller screens at the right size, and to allow any text to be viewed properly, rather than being squashed.
Most web design companies will be able to help you to make your site responsive and mobile optimised, if it is not already. It is important that your site is quickly brought into the modern style so your readers and customers will continue to use you, and not reach out to your competitiors!
You might have heard the phrase “content is king” over your time online – and it couldn’t be more true! Search engines place a great emphasis on the quality and quantity of website content. Here are our tips for getting the best from your website content.
Quality over quantity – search engines look for relevancy and natural writing quality in content posts. This ranges from good spelling and grammar to the actual topic you’re talking about. It is important that the content is highly relevant and interesting, as if it is neither, your customers will not be inclined to click on it to read it and are less likely to view your website as a useful or valuable resource.
Visual appeal – it is important that any content you write is attractive for the viewer. This includes spacing out paragraphs nicely so they aren’t too blocky. Text is more difficult to read online rather than in print, so it’s important that you do not put too much into one block. Break up text with images, videos and empty space.
Headings and Titles – make your headings stand out using colour and size of font to ensure it is clear what your writing is about. Try to keep to shorter phrases rather than long titles.
Once your website is visible online and you are getting a steady stream of customers through the site, it is important to understand what makes customers more likely to come back.
With websites, there are number of things you can do to keep people coming back. Here are our ideas to help you maintain great customer relationships:
Content – keep your website updated with the latest content. This could be through blog posts about your procuts and industry on the whole, as people are likely to be interested in hearing about innovations or updates to stock. You could also continually add more products or services.
Navigation – make sure menus are easy to find, that it is easy to add products to the basket and that your checkout process is not too onerous. If you can offer the chance for customers to save their login details, this might encourage them to shop with you again! The key is to make everything easy for the customer.
If you are looking to develop a really good website, we highly recommend using WordPress. There are lots of different content management systems around online, such as Magento and WordPress, but we think that WordPress is the best for businesses (especially small businesses or sole traders). The reasons behind this are:
It’s free! Great news for any small business who doesn’t have a huge budget; WordPress is free to setup.
Unlimited design ideas – the use of themes on WordPress mean that your website can be entirely unique. No need to worry about your site looking too similar to your competitor!
Community of experts – if you are new to it all, there’s a thriving community of web developers, designers and other general clever people on the WordPress forums ready to help solve any of your issues.
Shopping functions – you can sell products using one of the shopping tool plugins
Functionality – the use of plugins means you can add ready made functionality to your site without the need to understand programming languages
The loading speed of a website is one important aspect which must be correct – most customers are not willing to wait longer than 3 seconds at the most for a site to load. Ideally, you want your site to be within 2 seconds to load, as this is seen to be the most that people are happy to wait in order for a site to load.
Slow loading sites can affect sales, as people often become impatient when loading a site – if it is not quick enough, they are likely to go elsewhere for their information or to buy products. This can have an impact on your visitor numbers as well as conversions!
Things which can slow down a site include large or high definition photos and video clips, background music files or an over elaborate menu format which takes resources to load.
Customers are important to our businesses, as it is through sales that we can keep generating the business which keeps us all going. Often, people first come across your business through searching for your website. It is therefore important that your site looks great in order to have the best chance of generating sales and leads from your readers.
The first thing to do is make sure everything is completely readable on your site – check fonts are large enough, that the colours are clear and that it looks good on all screen sizes. If you haven’t got a responsive web site, get one. It is vital that people can easily use your site on mobiles and tablets as well as through desktops, and a responsive site allows them to do just that.
Next up, clean up the pages – try to reduce the amount of excess distraction. This means clean backgrounds without patterns or busy images, a light neutral background works well most of the time. Try to avoid using too many fancy animations and sounds too, these can be annoying and are likely to turn customers off.
Having a new website made for your business is a fun and exciting time! It gives you a chance to completely do over your site and create a great looking one, which functions well and has customers flocking at your door!
Getting ideas for your site is easier for some, but not everyone find it a piece of cake. The best thing to start off with is a list of things you like and dislike about websites – try looking at your competitors in your industry and see what they have on their websites. It may be that you like part of one, and a different part of another. Getting these ideas down on paper will help you to formulate your design.
Once you have some ideas, speak to a web designer who will be able to let you know how easy your ideas will be to reproduce, and if there are any reasons to change or add to your ideas. They will know more about what works well, is in fashion and what customers tend to like!