Ultimately, a business’ website is the centre of its digital marketing universe.
Currently, there are c.45 million Facebook users in the UK – that is 69% of the total population. 90% of UK households have access to the internet and 71% of us use mobile devices to go online.
How many people do you know who have not got access to the internet? Do you go online to ‘check something out’ before making a buying decision?
Your target customers are no different.
Unless the nature of your company lends itself to traditional marketing (such as print and paper advertising), or you have a very particular business-to-business niche, you absolutely need a polished and professional web presence.
Whilst we all spend lots of time online, the average attention span is still measured in seconds! We do not read websites, we scan them, occasionally delving into a particular section or page if relevant. We seek out what we are interested in, often drawn to sub-headings, links and imagery.
Less really is more in modern day web design. In other words, your website needs to do one thing, and one thing only – maximise the chances of converting a visitor to a buyer.
Less is more. If it is not relevant, get it off your website!
You do not need an online shop unless you are selling products to consumers. You do not need a blog page unless you have a proper content marketing strategy to develop your personal brand as an expert in your field (not to mention, total commitment to generate original content on a monthly/ bi-monthly basis).
Functionality is essential providing it genuinely improves the overall user experience of your website for target customers.
We have already established that less is more. Web copy is no different. In fact, badly written or excessive web text significantly reduces the time a visitor will spend on your website.
Therefore, it is vital you invest serious effort in creating highly succinct and punchy wording that explains things in simple terms.
Most of us are not wordsmiths, so definitely consider a copywriter to support you on this – the cost usually far outweighs the time-investment of doing it yourself (trust me, it takes so much longer than you think!).
Current web design trends are centred on imagery, and have become increasingly focused on video. We like web pages that are visually impressive and engaging because they are elegant and deep, and thus immersive.
For most, video is a nice to have. In reality, it is becoming increasingly more popular (powered by Generation Z), so if you can create a decent video introduction (for example) it will ensure maximum engagement.
Ultimately, nicer pages with maximum engagement will ensure visitors spend more time browsing. This simply optimises the likelihood of them becoming a customer.
A business website is also the centrepiece of its brand.
Therefore, your business website must have a proper colour palette and specific fonts (usually paired – i.e. two different fonts throughout, one for headings, one for body text) designed into it, and which match the logo.
This is brand creation at its most basic, and thus very affordable for small businesses or start ups as most good web designers will do it anyway. Obviously, if you have already had some brand work done with a professional, this must be incorporated in the website fully, not to mention all your other marketing collateral (business cards, social media accounts and so on).
Last, but not least is mobile response.
2017 research shows that 55% of website traffic (research based on 77 billion website visits) came from mobile devices.
Any, and every, website (in existence in my view) must be mobile-friendly and that includes yours. The last thing you want is to turn off a prospective customer because your website looks rubbish on a smartphone.
Being in business in the modern day means being a digital business, at least for most of us. You must have a well thought out and professional website as the centrepiece of your marketing efforts.
All other digital marketing serves to direct traffic to your website – if it looks and reads amateur, or worse still does not exist, you are not maximising your chances of success.
If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For advice on creating your own website contact our expert* Gavin on LinkedIn.
*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.