Every Business Needs a Website, Right?
Of course, we are going to say that, aren’t we? We’ll tell you that you need funky business cards, glossy brochures, a nice prospectus, cool flyers, wicked posters, eye-catching bumper stickers, a shiny new website and some SEO and PPC services thrown in to boot, right?
Well, yes. We do all that. And more. We are Clever Marketing.
But we are not going to advise your business to do everything, especially if, in our experience, we can see it’s not an essential for you. Not every business will need brochures and flyers, posters and stickers.
However, every business needs a website, right?
Cast your mind back 25 years…
It’s 1992. John Major is the British Prime Minister, the Sierra is still Ford’s family car, Diana is going through that rocky patch with Prince Charles and the “rave scene” is in decline as the country’s moral champions tackle the corruption of our youth (despite Mr Blobby riding high in the UK singles chart). The Black Wednesday stock market crash is real, a pint of bitter costs just £1.31, petrol is around 48p per litre and you can still buy a house for around £40,000.
You need a plumber. Where do find one?
Easy – You’ve got a big fat copy of The Yellow Pages or the blue book called the Thomson Local that sit in the cupboard or shelf under your telephone. You look up “P for Plumber” and you browse the ads, both text-only and graphic, for the purveyors of plumbing principles that somehow attract your attention. You ring around, you get quotes and then you decide upon which one meets your criteria. Job done.
Back in 1992 that was the best option you had of finding a business, almost the only one. That local phone book was quite a large volume, whilst today’s tome is a shadow of its former self and there’s a very good reason for that…
We’ve seen online directories come and go. They were once where the Internet saw the future of business being – hard-coded lists of firms in a flat HTML site. But directories are no more. Even the once-mighty DMOZ is dead now.
Yellow Pages and Thomson both migrated from analogue to digital. But ask yourself this – if you want to find a business, what do you do? You “Google it”, right?! Or are you the sort who likes to “Bing and Decide”?
And so, if anyone is going to Google a product or service, where do you think you need to be?
For your business to have any credibility in today’s world, you need to be on the web and you need your own website.
As a business, you will already have an address and a telephone number but those alone don’t work in 2017. Potential customers will be looking to see who you are and what you do as a business. They will want to take a good look at your “shop window” but, without the constraints of High Street opening times, they will step right in and browse. In addition, potential clients can see reviews and case studies, check out your portfolio, read testimonials and get a really good understanding of how and why you are the right business for them.
A phone number and an address don’t do that. A half page ad doesn’t do that.
A web page, however, does ALL of that and more. A LOT more.
You can show off your products, provide information on everything you do, sell goods and services 24 hours a day and even allow interested clients to register for updates and receive your regular email newsletter.
Web addresses are everywhere these days, showing just how significant websites are to businesses in the 21st century. You’ll see www addresses on the side of vans, posters, bus shelters, TV ads, on business cards, even hear them on the radio.
So, if you want to have a business that can provide information and services 24 hours a day, that can collect information from prospects and save enquiries to a database whilst you’re busy or away, then you’ll need to get your website in order.
When it comes to designing or indeed re-designing your website, it’s easy to focus on the aesthetics. However there are a plethora of things to consider before forging ahead with your web design strategy – there’s the domain name, web hosting and technology to take into account with functionality, user experience and mobile friendliness just as important.
Clever Marketing takes a look at what to consider before undertaking a website design.
A domain name should reflect your brand and if it’s easy to spell your website has a higher chance of being discovered in search results too. Ultimately if prospective clients can find your website online, you’re more likely to generate new business.
On the technical side, think about the type of content management system you require. Also, will your website design be media-rich and require regular updates? Think about expertise and resource too, if this is available internally or whether you require a web design agency (Who can also do all your digital marketing too).
Also consider what you need from your hosting partner in the way of technical support, back ups and website security.
The objectives of your website design must align with your audience.
Think about the kind of visitors you want to attract and what makes you stand out from your competitors. Conduct a website review to understand the navigation and design of your competitors’ sites.
Also, note down any ideas and what these companies are doing that’s particularly interesting or innovative. This will help you understand how you compare and what you need to do to make your business website design really stand out.
When a prospective client lands on your website, it’s crucial the information they require is easy to locate. Consider how visitors will interact with your website and what the user journey might be.
How will they get back from each page, can they get home and are social media channels visible?
Keep the structure of your navigation simple and accessible from the top of the page. Remember to include a search box and call to action with contact details.
With more and more users accessing websites from tablets, smartphones and mobile devices, it’s essential your website design is mobile friendly.
Google now penalises websites with low search rankings that are not mobile-friendly too.
With a responsive website design, the content is automatically resized to fit the dimensions of a device. This also ensures you provide visitors with a consistent experience regardless of how they’re accessing your website.
An eye-catching website design that’s user-friendly is most likely to provide a positive user experience. Visitors need to focus on the content without being distracted by unnecessary graphics. Keep it simple by not using too many colours and keep the typeface consistent so it’s easy to read. Think about how you’re going to draw visitors in so they see the most important information.
While you’re considering the design, take into account the content requirements for each page. Credibility goes a long way so be concise and honest about what you do too. Make sure you think about how you can keep the site fresh with new content.
When it comes down to it, your website design must be created with your end user in mind. Consider the budget and resource required before starting a website design project, creating a timeline with realistic deadlines for each stage.
Websites are continually evolving so don’t forget it’s an ongoing process.
Considering a new website build? Get in touch with Clever Marketing today and see how we can help design your website.
When you own a business, it’s common to have your fingers in many pies, to be part of its every function and process.You do the bookkeeping. You’re in charge of sales. You pioneer the product development. But when your business starts to grow, you might find yourself a little… stretched. It might no longer be possible to take on every single job within your business. When you’ve built it from the ground up, it can be tough to let go.
You do the bookkeeping.You’re in charge of sales. You pioneer the product development. But when your business starts to grow, you might find yourself a little… stretched. It might no longer be possible to take on every single job within your business. When you’ve built it from the ground up, it can be tough to let go.
You’re in charge of sales.You pioneer the product development. But when your business starts to grow, you might find yourself a little… stretched. It might no longer be possible to take on every single job within your business. When you’ve built it from the ground up, it can be tough to let go.
You pioneer the product development.But when your business starts to grow, you might find yourself a little… stretched. It might no longer be possible to take on every single job within your business. When you’ve built it from the ground up, it can be tough to let go.
But when your business starts to grow, you might find yourself a little… stretched. It might no longer be possible to take on every single job within your business. When you’ve built it from the ground up, it can be tough to let go.
But it’s so, so worth it when you do. Not only do you suddenly have more time to dedicate to the growth side of your business rather than the day-to-day management, you suddenly get a better perspective, both in terms of the bigger picture and your competition.
To get to this point, you might consider taking on some more employees to help you out. However, full-time employees can be expensive to pay salaries to, not to mention the time and money-consuming qualities of recruitment, pensions and paid leave. You might not feel your business needs a full-time employee just yet. In any one of these scenarios, a better option might be to outsource.
When you outsource a business function, such as website design, accounting or SEO, you give the job to a freelancer or external company. The work is taken on by someone who is not employed directly by your company. You can either pay that party a monthly retainer or pay them by the work or particular projects they complete for you. The internet has meant that it’s more and more common to outsource things digitally.
Anything. Well, most things. It’s really down to how much you feel comfortable sharing with an external third party. A lot of freelancers or companies may have contracts drawn up, or you can have them sign your NDA (non-disclosure agreement) forbidding them to pass on any confidential information if you do share it. Here are just a few ideas of things you might choose to outsource:
You can bring the best experts out there into your company only when you want them, and pay them only for the time you need them. This can save you a lot of money in yearly salaries and other employee-associated benefits. If you’re not keen on one person’s work, you simply don’t have to work with them again, without the need to dismiss them.
Outsourced parties can also bring a wealth of experience with them, and they are likely to be highly skilled and specialised in one particular field. They can offer fresh perspective and ideas as they’re a little bit further removed from the day to day running of your business.
On the other side of the coin, you might choose to outsource the dull, repetitive tasks that are crucial to successful management of your company but don’t really warrant a full-time job role. Things like one-off data entry projects can easily be picked up by agencies or freelancers.
The main issue with outsourcing lies with choosing your freelancer or partner business carefully. If you’re trusting them with company information or an important project, you need to make sure they’re reliable and can deliver. Read plenty of prior testimonials and speak to them about working together on a trial basis. Most good freelancers will expect this and welcome it.
In addition, it’s easy to tell if an employee isn’t pulling their weight, as you see them in the office every day. You need to have good, open and constant communication with your chosen company or freelancer to make sure there’s no disconnects or misunderstandings which could cause a project to derail. Be clear about deadlines and establish where everyone stands from the start, as it isn’t always so clear without the hierarchical structure of an office.
As a full-service graphics and design agency in Surrey, Clever Marketing are the perfect partner to outsource your print, web design or digital marketing needs. Just call 020 3146 4341 to see what we can do for you.
If you believed everything you read on the internet, you’d think that mobile phones are taking over the world.
In a way, though, they are – last year for the first time mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic, reflecting the momentous shift that’s been happening in consumer browsing habits for some time now. Namely that we now use our mobiles for everything. Checking social media, browsing the news, shopping – our mobiles are never out of our hands.
And this is why brands with mobile optimised or responsive websites have been enjoying the spoils of higher traffic and increased conversion. A lot of companies are trailing behind when it comes to making their website pleasant and easy to use on mobile. Where does your website fall on the spectrum?
To help you make boost your mobile conversion rates, here are five ways to improve your mobile website.
First things first; is your website responsive, or do you have a mobile optimised version? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then don’t read the rest of this blogpost and get yourself a responsive website!
If you need help checking to see if your website is mobile friendly, visit Google’s Mobile-friendly test and enter the URL of the web page you need to test.
If you’re still relying on the desktop version of your site to carry you through, your conversions are likely to be suffering. The standard of mobile websites is so high these days that consumers have little to no patience with pinching, scrolling and squinting in order to just read content or perform an action. If your website acts this way, it’s likely to be slow to load and will also make you appear dated and old-fashioned in comparison to competitors.
We all have pretty high standards when it comes to mobile browsing these days, and will quickly lose interest and move on to something better if any process becomes too difficult or takes too long (our attention span is only getting shorter – we can only spend a few seconds on any one webpage now without giving up). Consider one click ordering and guest checkout options to encourage conversion.
Consumers will also be put off by payment forms which are too long. Keep questions rudimentary and also consider features such as a postcode finder and numerical calendar to make things as user-friendly as possible.
Put simply, you have a lot less space on a mobile screen than you do on a desktop, or even a tablet. There’s less room for distractions, such as pop-up ads or external links. Padding out your content with too many added extras will make your pages look cluttered and visually unappealing to a consumer.
In addition, if they’re too busy being distracted by ads and banners then they’re less likely to be doing that one thing you’ve brought them to your website to do: convert. Keep your mobile webpages as clean and simple as possible and only prioritise the most relevant content in order to see the highest conversion rates.
Are you noticing a theme emerging here? To be successful on mobile, you basically need to serve up a cleaner, more streamlined and simplified version of your website.
For starters, your navigation menu should be collapsed to allow a user to expand it and explore their options with one tap. Secondly, present them with only the most essential layers of navigation to prevent confusion and the possibility that they’ll get lost in your website and leave out of frustration. Bring your product pages to the forefront and reduce the number of clicks it takes them to reach the checkout.
We’ll say it again – mobile screens are (comparatively) small! To make sure a user doesn’t miss anything, (remember, they’re likely to be commuting, watching TV or chatting away to a friend at the same time) make your calls to action as big and as inviting as possible.
Don’t be afraid to use large or colourful buttons to draw attention. There’s a dual reasoning behind making your calls to action even more prominent than on desktop – users also need to be able to click them easily with one tap. Too small, and we’re back to that pinching and scrolling issue which leads to nothing but frustration – and a failed conversion.