As of October 2022, over 5 billion people use the Internet—that’s more than half of the global population. In today's digitally-driven world, it's becoming increasingly important to establish one's online presence, especially if you have a business.
Business websites allow you to reach and market your products or services to a broader audience for much lower costs than traditional marketing approaches. Recent studies show that content marketing, which includes publishing content on a website, is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing and generates thrice as many leads.
Setting up your online presence starts with a professional website.
Anyone can create a social media profile for free, but having a business website builds trust and requires work to be credible, authoritative, and bring in leads.
The retail consumer journey often begins online, with 81% of shoppers conducting web research before making a purchase. A website where prospects can get accurate information about what you offer boosts the chance of them buying from you. You'll also increase your credibility and showcase your brand to your target audience.
Furthermore, user experience should be at the heart of website creation. How comfortable are your users in browsing your site? Can they easily and quickly find the information they need, or does it take them a whole minute to locate the page they want? Factors like slow load times and poor navigation can make your visitors impatient.
Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash
Web development is the creation and maintenance of websites.
- Web development focuses on the behind-the-scenes programming that makes websites work. Web developers build the functional aspects of your website within the aesthetic parameters set by web designers. They master more extensive software languages such as Structured Query Language (SQL) and Python to ensure that your site runs smoothly.
Despite these differences, it helps to understand that web development and design go in-hand-hand in creating a positive user experience. A smooth, aesthetically-pleasing, and easy-to-navigate website makes the users feel comfortable browsing, making them less likely to “bounce.”
Determining if your website will make your visitors stay and bring in traffic and leads starts with evaluating these five areas:
Content is the key to ensuring your business' consistent growth. Providing helpful content builds your business’ credibility and authority. This is essential to showing customers that you're safe and trustworthy. It encourages people to learn more about your business and increases their chances of converting.
Follow these best practices to ensure your content boosts your business' growth:
- Create and regularly publish high-quality content that provides value to your potential customers.
- Include all the information your buyers need, no matter where they are in the buyer's journey.
- Add a CTA (call-to-action) to direct your customers to the action you want them to take, such as subscribing to your mailing list or registering for a limited discount.
Aside from regular blog posts and complete business information, you can also provide value by adding customer testimonials. According to BigCommerce, 72% of consumers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more, and 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
B. Convenience & Usability
A user's experience with your website should be smooth and seamless, no matter their device. As of January 2023, 60.9% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, making mobile optimization a must for any website owner.
To ensure a positive user experience, implement responsive web design and evaluate your site's speed and accessibility. Ideally, your website should load within three seconds. Users feel stress-free and in control within this time frame, meaning they're less likely to bounce off your page.
Additionally, users should be able to access and navigate your website with ease despite any impairment that they may have. Accessibility elements include font size, the contrast between text and background colors, image alt texts, and clear navigation cues.
With approximately 16% of the global population living with some form of disability, prioritizing web accessibility is the right thing to do. It reduces legal risks, strengthens brand identity, and improves customer experience.
Your website is a target. On average, hackers can attack your website as often as 172 times daily. To reduce your vulnerability to attacks, ensure you have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, which is the reason for the "s" in "HTTPS" and the padlock in your browser's address bar.
SSL certificates keep user data secure, verify website ownership, and prevent attackers from creating a fake version of your site. Note that Google automatically flags HTTP sites as unsecure, discouraging users from visiting your website.
D. Look & Feel
Your website's design should be functional while reflecting your brand for better recognition. Reflecting your brand style on your website sets you apart from competitors, and can increase lead generation by clearly establishing who you are and what you represent.
Here are other best practices to consider when you establish your website’s look and feel:
- A clean design with an appropriate color scheme can elevate user experience. This makes navigation easy as the user browses through each page of your website.
- Use colors to emphasize calls to action and white space to focus attention.
- Choose a legible font to ensure readability and use patterns, graphics, icons, and high-quality photography to help establish a unique look.
- Implement subtle animations to help direct users to the next steps.
E. Unique Selling Point
A unique selling point (USP) sets you apart from your competitors and defines your company’s position in the marketplace. A strong USP articulates a specific benefit that your competitors don’t offer. Take, for example, TOMS Shoes' “One for One®” model. For every pair of TOMS a customer buys, the company donates a new pair to a child in need.
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash
You could take inspiration from TOMS’s creative selling point, or your business could have a USP that is as simple as offering free returns or demos. Whatever selling point you choose, communicate it clearly to your prospects through your website.
To tell if these elements work for your lead generation, keep track of your website's performance and metrics, such as bounce rates, site speed, unique visitors, returning visitors, and low-performing pages.
Knowing these numbers will help you optimize your website, create and update your content, and make changes for better navigation.
Creating and maintaining a website takes work—especially when you’re also managing a business.
Establishing your website may open you up to challenges that will be tricky to address unless you have extensive web development knowledge. Hiring in-house talent can get expensive, so one avenue to consider is outsourcing. This gives you the option to find the right team to help you set up your website and move your project forward.
Outsourcing teams are capable of delivering outputs in various time frames, given their experience working with different kinds of clients. Having experts deal with your projects will allow you and your employees to focus on scaling your business.
However, outsourcing isn’t a one-and-done, hands-off process. As a business owner, you still play a big part when outsourcing your website’s development. Maximize your outsourced team by getting involved and aligning on clear goals to give them a clear direction to work towards.
With that in mind, here are more reasons why you should outsource web development:
Website builders are affordable, but you risk your website looking like just any other site. On the other hand, a web designer will provide you with a unique platform showcasing your brand. However, hiring new talent increases your company's burn rate due to the hiring process, onboarding costs, and equipment lease.
Creating a website from scratch can cost up to $10,000 upfront, with recurring maintenance costs if you hire an in-house web developer and designer. Outsourcing is a great option if you’re not ready to hire and train in-house but need to quickly ramp up a team.
Determining the best place to outsource your web development services according to your business goals means understanding how to pick a great outsourcing partner that fits your needs.
Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash
Right People, Right Seat
In outsourcing, you can hire a shared, project-based, or dedicated support team, depending on your business needs.
Shared services are part-time arrangements geared toward performing specific tasks. It allows clients to allocate resources in increments and redirect them more quickly when necessary. Project-based outsourcing falls under shared services, with the main difference being that it involves delegating the completion of a whole project to your outsourced team instead of only specific tasks.
On the other hand, a dedicated support team is a full-time arrangement where your outsourced agent or team will work exclusively on your business’s needs. The dedicated team has a deeper involvement, allowing you to exercise more managerial control over how work is executed.
Finding the right people will ensure you check all the boxes of a good website while addressing your business needs.
Continuous Support Beyond Development
Having a website means continuous maintenance, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
An outsourced team can provide you with support beyond web development during and after website creation. This includes website maintenance tasks and tracking key performance metrics such as website traffic, where traffic is coming from, unique visitors, top-performing pages, and low-performing pages.
Your outsourced team can help you know how your website is performing in line with your marketing goals and activities. They can help you optimize and update web pages accordingly, and regularly conduct routine fixes to address broken links, redirection errors, and also maintain your website security. This provides you with a reliable partner invested in your website's success to maximize your business’ potential.
Outsourcing is a great option to ramp up your website efforts and save time and money while leveraging a team of experts.
Hiring in-house talent is a long and arduous process that can impact your timelines. With web development outsourcing, you can access a large talent pool of seasoned developers who are already experienced in agile practices and can quickly deliver project outputs.
Additionally, instead of viewing outsourcing as a project handed off to a vendor and forgotten about, treat it as a partnership wherein you and your team work together to elevate your business and provide value to potential customers.
If you’re looking for the right web development partner to establish your business's online presence or have a website in need of improvement, we're here to help! Check out our web development service packages and get a functional and accessible website that converts.
Leave a Comment