Websites are like our homes; something always needs fixing, and sometimes, the whole mess must be renovated and remodeled. But while kitchen design isn’t outmoded for a decade or more, experts agree that websites should be updated and redesigned every two to three years. If you plan to upgrade your website soon, here are ways to make it a better tool for your business.
Early on, websites were like encyclopedias or phone books — a handy reference. They explained your business, described your services and product and provided contact information. Then, six years ago, social media came along and suddenly, websites got way more interactive. Now, the best websites are two-way streets, with social media as the vehicle that drives much of the interaction between companies and their audiences.
Those that use interactive resources well end up connecting with more people, it appears. According to a Pew Research Center survey done last year, 72 percent of adults use social media, and they are not all hipsters and GenXers. In the last four years, the percentage of those 65 and older using social media has quadrupled.
Surveys show that most business owners believe that social media is core to their business; 86 percent believe it does or will provide return on investment (ROI).
Old technology makes a website clunky and ineffective. Responsive design — websites that work on any type of device — from a desktop to a smartphone — is key in web design. When one website fits all, your audience no longer gets a pared-down version of your website on their smartphones and you don’t have to waste time making the same change to multiple sites. There is no question that mobile devices are the future.
It’s estimated that there are 1.4 mobile devices per capita, and smart businesses design their websites for that reality.
If you aren’t in the technology business or naturally geeky, you probably won’t be up on all the latest software and other advances. But as a website user, you quickly know when you have run into a site that is outmoded. Research shows that half of sales are lost because clunky websites frustrate potential customers.
Good web design prevents those problems. Experts who understand those invisible, but all-important, back-of-the-site aspects can make your website trouble-free and easy for all to use. They make your website look good, make sense and work well.
Page clicks and unique visits are just numbers; neither tells you much about the people who are visiting your website. A website can give you myriad tools to learn more. In a 2014 marketing survey, 29 percent of marketing companies said that collecting, measuring and using behavior-based data was one of their priorities for 2014. More data makes for better, more targeted communication to customers.
Small to mid-size businesses need to be able to quickly and easily make changes and add content to keep their website fresh. New content management
systems eliminate the need for businesses to worry about formatting and design. You no longer have to ponder questions like “How large should this photo be?” Design is set and updating content simply is a matter of typing or cutting and pasting new information into forms. You can change content without calling your web designer to do the work.
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