Women In Business

5 Things your website absolutely needs

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In this age, it’s essential that nearly all businesses have a website. The internet is the go-to spot for doing virtually everything from socialising to shopping to finding business services. The thing with websites, is that they come in all shapes and sizes, and have a wide spectrum of capabilities. They’re not all built the same, however there are some key attributes that great / awesome / well-loved websites have.

A great website, is one that lots of people (who are genuinely interested in that topic) visit and who hopefully convert – whether that’s a sale, a lead or interacting with an element on the page like a video. With the digital world moving so rapidly, the question is, how can your website become a great website? Let me tell you what I am emphasising to my clients this year:

1. Speed

Aim to be the Usain Bolt site on the web. That means your website on any device, be that on desktop, on a mobile device or tablet, should load as quickly as possible. 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load – Google

To check your website speed, Google provides a free tool which is very easy for anyone to use. PageSpeed Insights (which has recently been updated to use real data from Chrome browser users) will give your website a rating and tell you what needs to be done to fix it.

If you’re not a tech wizard when it comes to web development, you can forward the link on to your web developer and/or hosting company who should be able to help you. With speed being such an important factor for websites these days, you will also find developers who specialise in speed optimisation.

2. Be mobile-friendly

It shouldn’t be news that more and more people turn to their smart phones to browse the internet rather than going to their desktop. We live in a mobile world and the mobile vs desktop battle is going to continue to sway in mobile’s favour.

Google also recognises this, which is why in 2018 Google is rolling out mobile 1st indexing. Basically, it will now rank your website in the SERP’s (search engine result pages) based on your mobile website first (and secondly your desktop if your mobile site is unfriendly) rather than on your desktop website, which is currently what happens.

My best tip here is to keep a close eye on your mobile site. If you have a responsive website then you’re already on a good track. Just like your desktop website, you should continually be looking at and using your mobile website to ensure everything works well.

In Google Search Console, you can uncover issues with your website on mobile devices alongside using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

3. HTTPS

If your website isn’t HTTPS and is still HTTP, you need to migrate the site to HTTPS as soon as possible. HTTPS stands for a more secure website and Google is slowly pushing for all websites to be HTTPS to make the web a safer place. Plus, it is a small ranking factor. If Google loves something, like HTTPS, then it’s best to implement it.

A word of warning though – the process of migrating does need to be managed carefully to ensure you don’t lose any organic traffic to your website. When the process is done right you shouldn’t see too much fluctuation in the organic traffic coming to your website.   When I deal with web developers, I always flick them across this Google Support link which helps explain what needs to be done and the common pitfalls to watch out for.

4. Useful quality content

It’s true, Google loves content and so do people. But it can’t be any old words on a screen. Those words need to solve problems, entertain and be the best possible answer to what the user is looking for.

Think about what people ask about your business and make sure those questions are answered on your website. Not only that, but think out-side the box and provide visitors to your website something educational or entertaining, without the sales pitch. This is where a blog section on your website can be handy – show off your skills as the industry leader who wants to educate and not always sell, sell, sell.

When writing said content, do it naturally! Think about your readers first and search engines like Google second. With the rise in popularity of voice search (think virtual assistants like iPhone’s Siri and Google Home), online content needs to be in a natural, conversational language – people speak differently when using voice search than how they type a query into Google’s search box.

5. Your website needs to be found

Last, but definitely not least is that your website needs to be found by potential clients. Ensure your website address is on your business cards, is in your email signature and on your personal and professional social media accounts.

Once all those bases are covered you then need to consider marketing. Whether you have a mix of traditional and online marketing methods – thought does need to go into how people are going to find your awesome website.

Organic search, aka people finding your website through Google, Bing and other smaller search engines should always be part of your marketing plan. Search marketing experts can help potential customers find your website, alongside ensuring your website is up to scratch so to speak, for both Google and people.

Once your website can be found, the strategy shouldn’t stop there as moving forward you want to continue to drive more and more people to your website to ultimately bring in more leads, sales, etc.

To conclude

In a nutshell, these are my 5 website tips for 2018 to help you on the road to business success. It’s going to be another big year for the digital world, so ensure you stay up to date with the latest info and work alongside experts who will help you achieve your business goals.

About Casey Bryan

By day Casey Bryan is the owner and search marketing specialist at Grand Cru Digital. She specialises in SEO, website content and Google AdWords management to help small businesses be found online and turn more website visitors into customers. By night she writes the wine blog, Travelling Corkscrew, which has helped her hone her skills and develop her passion for the online marketing world since 2010.

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