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Website Essentials for Small Businesses in 2014

05-Aug-2014

Our focus is to provide the tools necessary for our customers to succeed online. Nevertheless, we do not offer just any collection of randomly compiled tools. We offer those things that are essential for small business success; such as a CRM so all your customer enquiries and details are stored securely in your admin panel. You'll expect a good quality CMS (Content Management System) which enables you to easily and quickly edit web pages and other content. An SEO-friendly web platform will help your site rise in the search engines. Most business owners will want to drill down and see how they're getting traffic, which search phrases are driving visitors; that's why Siteglide includes business grade reporting and analytics. A business dashboard with all this data at your fingertips? No problem - that's standard with Siteglide.

That's all great for the business owner; now let's look at how the visitor's experience can be improved.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is perhaps the most important and least utilised small business essential for 2014. Also known as RWD, responsive design is a collection of development tools and strategies that a web design company will use to ensure a customer's website exhibits consistent functionality and visual appeal across multiple platforms. Those platforms include traditional computers and mobile devices.

A site built without responsive web design will not compete to its full potential because it is not providing the optimal experience for mobile web users. Given that more and more people access the web via smartphones and tablets, RWD is essential to small business success. Above all it make it more likely that your mobile visitor will like your website because it is a pleasure to browse on any device.

User Experience

Years of research have shown that users not impressed with the experience offered by a given website are not likely to return to that site in the future; they are certainly unlikely to spend much time on it either. It is essential that your small business website is designed in a way that provides a positive user experience. This begins with a design concept that is clean and simple, and one that allows for good navigation that is both intuitive and easy. A website must meet its customer’s needs without wasting his or her time or presenting them with elements they perceive as being gratuitous, annoying or simply not helpful.

One of the ways web developers are accomplishing this in 2014 is by adopting the 'flat design' concept. This concept is one that focuses on being aesthetically pleasing without extemporaneous elements that only get in the way and slow down a site. Minimalism is in.

Quality Content

Now, more than ever, the idea that 'content is king' should be at the forefront of every small business website. Google and the other search engines are now placing a premium on quality content that is focused and relevant. And of course, fresh content shows the search engines that a website owner is actually interested in keeping the site up to date. If your web design strategy does not consider the quality of your content, ultimately your website is unlikely to perform at its best. Adding fresh, interesting and valuable content is probably the single most beneficial element of online promotion in 2014. Content needs to be engaging, informative and likely to be shared (through Social Media) for example.

User Interaction

Our last website essential for small business is "user interaction". Engaging your users creates interest in your products and services, builds loyalty among current customers, and provides a platform for those customers to share your company with others. To that end, social media is indispensable. Your website needs to be connected with the big names in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ as a minimum.

Modern web design is about more than a few pretty pictures and a description of what your company does. If you are going to compete online in 2014 and beyond, you need a responsive website that offers quality information combined with an excellent customer experience. A website is an amazing opportunity for every business to really sell themselves; its not just a shop window, it can do your talking for you too! 

At Siteglide we want to help you get started with your small business website today. Our three main packaged website options are BusinessLite, BusinessPlus and BusinessPro: there's a solution for everyone. If you need to get a professional presence online without breaking the bank, we invite you to take advantage of our 10% off BusinessLite Promotion. Simply contact us for more details; we will get you up and running in no time.

Robert Wakefield

Robert Wakefield

Robert Wakefield founded Siteglide in 2012 after having worked in the web design, SEO and IT sector since the mid-90's. Robert's main interests include website usability, visitor experience, SEO and website marketing in general.

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