The Keys to a Great Website
Websites are far from dead.
In fact, they are alive and well—and can be a major contributor for driving business.
From a digital standpoint, your company’s website may be the single most important tool in your business arsenal.
When it comes to building and maintaining a website, we at Vivial understand the challenges.
Many business owners avoid a website altogether because they 1) think there isn’t enough content readily available to create a complete site; 2) assume developing a website is a huge time commitment; 3) don’t have the staff or resources to keep it updated, or 4) perhaps all of the nuances associated with optimization are overwhelming and intimidating.
Websites run the gamut when it comes to complexity, but having a simple website with just a few pages is better than having nothing at all.
It’s important to note that nearly 50 percent of small businesses don’t have a website, let alone one optimized for mobile devices.
And with Google saying that more than half of searches are performed on mobile devices, not having a website—especially one that is mobile-friendly—can mean the difference between a customer finding your business or going to the competition.
By following some key strategies to build and maintain an effective local business website, you can make meaningful connections with pet parents:
1. Include Essential Content
First and foremost, arm your website with basic but important information about your company, including product details, services provided, location, hours of operation and contact information.
2. Keep it Simple
Beyond that, ensure your website is easy to navigate and only requires a few clicks to get to the subpages.
3. Staying Current is Key
Continue to regularly update your site with relevant content, photos, videos and tips to keep it fresh, up-to-date and engaging for customers.
4. Be Crystal Clear
Clearly articulate your company’s value proposition. For example, share how your products or services help pets. And because pets are members of the family, don’t forget to demonstrate your company values, such as safety, trust and reliability.
Think Past the Public Pages
The inner workings of your company’s website can also provide a competitive edge. This behind-the-scenes strategy will ultimately help attract and retain customers.
• Design—Specifically responsive design is when a website is built to respond to the type of device being used, whether it’s mobile, tablet or desktop. The website adapts to the available viewing space so the interaction is seamless to the consumer. This is critical, as more than 80 percent of internet users prefer to access websites via mobile devices, and 40 percent of people will go to another site—most likely your competitors—if they can’t view it properly on their mobile device.
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—Many consumers will begin their research or buying process with a simple search on Google or other search engines. If your company doesn’t rank well, it’s likely they won’t even find you. Let your website work for your business by optimizing specific keywords in website content to rank higher in search results.
• Website Speed—Time is a commodity, and if your website is slow to load, you may lose potential customers. It’s estimated that 40 percent of website visitors will switch to another site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Not only do you risk losing customers, Google takes loading speeds into account, so slow load times can lower your ranking on local and mobile search results. The solution is to choose a good web host, one that can help you determine the speed of your website.
You’re Not Alone
There are countless vendors and tools available to help purchase a domain, set up some simple pages and publish the site. Together, you can help raise your visibility with current and potential customers.
At Vivial, we’ve made it a point to keep the complex simple—and the same can be said for our website support. We remove the intimidation factor and confusion by providing tools and support to help businesses of all sizes create, launch and maintain a website so our customers can get back to running their business.
Laura Cole is Vice President of Marketing at Vivial, a leading marketing technology company.