A website is often one of the most important sources of new business for a company. However, there are a few elements which are necessary to make a site successful. If any of these are not quite right, the flow, image, and future of your business can be affected.
Websites, for the most part, fall into two categories: â€˜brochure sites,â€™ exactly as it sounds, are an online brochure of your products and services, and â€˜e-commerce sites,â€™ where you wish to directly sell a product or service over the internet.
Despite several technical and security differences between the two, both still rely on the same three basic internet rules to get customers.
1. Design â€“ This single element can decide whether a prospective client stays or clicks away. An attractive design is essential, and it must work on whatever device the visitor is using, including tablets and phones.
In your local area, there may be many other businesses offering the same products or services as you. Your website has to look at least as professional as your competitors on the first page of the searches.
2. Functionality â€“ This goes hand in hand with the design, yet is its own discipline. When a site is being designed, it has to be created with the majority of the viewing public in mind.
There are literally dozens of things a professional developer has to take into consideration at this stage. If the site's navigation is confusing, or worse, does not function correctly on their mobile device, the user will leave.
If things take a long time to load, items or information are missing, or videos don't play, you have lost a potential client.
One caution regarding videos: if your videos are set to start automatically, this can be frustrating for mobile viewers. If your automatic video eats at their data plan, they may leave.
3. Search Visibility â€“ The dreaded search engines. The most amazing site on the planet is worthless if nobody can find it. Search engines are laws unto themselves, and each has its own ways of judging websites.
Google rates sites in a different way than Bing and Yahoo, and so it is the web developer's job to find the 'sweet spot' to get the best results on both. The searches also regularly change their algorithms and rules, keeping us web developers on our toes.
If you have concerns with your web presence reaching your widest customer base, now is the time to look into our WebUpdate system sites. Not open-source, they take advantage of advanced SEO, social, and responsive features to give your business the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.