The Importance of Web Development for Your Small Business
Did you know that there are around 1.7 billion websites across the internet?
What’s more, internet usage increased by 1,266% in the past two decades.
Staggering numbers, right?
In other words, the world wide web is becoming an increasingly larger part of our lives. This is where people can stay in touch with friends, learn, shop, etc. Importance of web development is increasing in this digital era as it keep your customers tuned on latest business updates and helps in making business profitable.
That said, if you’re a small business, you could hardly do without a website.
That’s not all, though. You can’t have a site just for the sake of it.
That’s because your online presence can be a significant influence on your company’s growth, meaning that you’ll have to take web development seriously and hire one of the best website development agencies in the digital marketing niche.
Let’s see exactly why.
- First Impressions
94% of first impressions are design-related.
And here’s the kicker: it only takes around 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about a website.
In other words, first impressions are everything. After that, your website’s design is what makes or breaks the deal.
That said, your site has to look appealing, modern, and sleek. If it looks like it’s straight out of the 90s, the chances are that most users will click away.
Don’t forget about white space, either. The last thing you want is to give visitors the feeling that there’s too much information to take in by overloading them with graphics and content.
Other crucial factors are mobile-friendliness and loading speed. Mobile devices generate 55% of all web traffic, while 53% of mobile visitors will abandon a website is takes longer than three seconds to load.
To put it differently, a website that’s not optimized for mobile devices will lose most of its visitors right off the bat.
To prevent this from happening, you’ve got three options: responsive, adaptive, or mobile-first design.
We’ve talked to a few experts from a web development company in Chicago, and they suggest opting for the responsive approach. That’s because it’s cost-effective, and it ensures a consistent user experience across all types of devices.
Furthermore, consider adding an introductory video to your website.
Videos are often attention-grabbing and highly engaging. They are also a great way to inform visitors on what your company is all about, without writing paragraphs upon paragraphs of text.
With so many scams running around the web, users will often judge a website’s legitimacy by its design. In fact, 75% of website believability comes from design.
Again, if your website looks outdated, you probably wouldn’t inspire trust in your visitors. Your website’s design also needs to ooze professionalism.
That said, your website should include the following:
- An “About Us” page
- A contact page
- A portfolio
The “About Us” page should be written in detail. It should present information about the founder, why and how was the business was started, and the mission statement.
Furthermore, the page should be written using a more casual tone. This will make you appear friendly and accessible.
A properly written “About Us” page will allow you to humanize your brand. Consequently, visitors will get to trust you more and establish a stronger connection with your business.
Also, make sure to link to your social media accounts and avoid using stock photos.
- Brand Identity
If you want to create a brand, overlooking the importance of web development might cost you more. Brand identity represents the visual elements of a brand, like its logo, colors, fonts, imagery, and overall design, that allow consumers to identify and set the brand apart from others.
In other words, brand identity revolves around how consumers perceive your business.
Although you can establish brand identity on other marketing channels, like your social media accounts, a website gives a lot more freedom to portray your brand the way you want to.
For example, consumers can get a general idea of the brand’s mission, vision, and values by displaying it on the homepage or “About Us” page. Furthermore, you could use colors to show off its personality.
Speaking of colors, you can use colors to your advantage by evoking specific emotions within your visitors.
Have you ever noticed that banks typically use blue in their websites’ designs?
That’s because this color is often associated with trust and security, something which people look for when their money’s at stake.
Black is related to elegance, power, and sophistication, making it a suitable choice for up-scale brands.
Red might work well for restaurants, as this color evokes passion and excitement. You can also use this color to add a little sense of urgency whenever you run limited-time offers or holiday sales.
- Brand Recognition
On the other hand, brand recognition refers to how well can consumers recognize and recall your brand.
So what does this have to do with your website?
Think of your site and the hub of all of your marketing efforts.
Whether you reach out to potential customers through social media, emails, guest posts, and so on, you’ll need to encourage them to visit your site to increase its traffic, get the audience to learn more about you, and generate sales.
But, that’s not all. As we mentioned, the advantage of web design and development is that it allows you to establish a strong brand identity. That said, your audience will quickly get a general idea of what your brand is about and connect with it.
Consequently, when you interact with previous visitors on other marketing channels, they’ll be able to recognize you easier.
Not only that, but the more often potential customers interact with your website, the more they’ll recall your brand. Consequently, you’ll begin to earn their trust and increase the chances of turning them into buying customers.
- Search Engine Optimization
Who can understand the importance of web development better than marketers? Sure, you can rely on various marketing channels to drive traffic to your website, but your website can also generate traffic on its own. This is done through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This is the process of getting your web pages to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to increase their visibility and ultimately bring more visitors.
So how can you do SEO?
Remember when we talked about mobile-friendliness and website speed? That’s a great start.
Website speed is classified as a direct ranking factor. Furthermore, a slow website will experience a high bounce rate, which will also negatively impact its position in the SERP.
In terms of mobile-friendliness, Google plans to set mobile-first indexing as the default for all websites. In other words, search engine crawlers will rank mobile-friendly websites, whereas desktop versions will be left aside.
But there’s much more to it than that. After all, Google ranks websites based on over 200 ranking factors.
Another crucial aspect of SEO is your keyword strategy.
It needs to be on-point!
That said, try to find a balance between difficulty and search volumes.
Trying to rank for the same keywords as other giants within your industry will likely give you a hard time reaching the top spots in the SERPs.
Meanwhile, targeting search terms that your audience doesn’t use will not yield any positive results.
Other effective SEO strategies include link building and writing high-quality content.
- Customer Service
There’s no denying that customers will have questions for you from time to time. It could be anything, like asking for information regarding operation hours, product details, shipping costs, etc.
Now, in order to deliver better customer experience, entrepreneurs should realize the importance of web development. Without a website, answering calls all day long just to answer these types of questions can be cumbersome and time-wasting. Not to mention that if you fail to pick up a call, you might lose a potential customer.
A website makes handling customer service that much easier. You could set up a FAQs page to provide visitors with quick answers to commonly asked questions.
This way, you’ll avoid wasting any time while resolving any unclarities your visitors may have.
Furthermore, your website is a great place to keep your customers informed on upcoming company changes, events, new products, and discounts.
Most importantly, a website gives you access to valuable data regarding its traffic.
With tools like Google Analytics, you’ll get an insight on where the traffic comes from, what pages users visit, what users do and how long they stay on these pages, how they interact with specific elements on a web page, etc.
Many heat mapping tools reveal how users behave on your website. More specifically, you can see what visitors click on, where they move the mouse on your page, and how far they scroll.
You can use all this information to understand your target audience, create an accurate buyer persona, adjust your marketing efforts, and enhance your website’s design.
- Final Words
Irrespective of business size and type, the importance of web development is increasing as it establishes trust and faith among customers. All in all, you could hardly do without a website. It not only helps your business stay afloat, but it also offers much more room for growth.
A website gives you the ability to reach a much wider audience and ultimately generate more sales. If done right, that is.
Keep in mind that first impressions are everything. Your website needs to steal the show from the beginning with stunning visuals and attention-grabbing elements that persuade users into interacting with it.
Also, its design needs to reflect on your brand. This way, you’ll manage to establish a strong brand identity and increase recognition.
Last, don’t forget about user experience. Your website needs to be fast and mobile-friendly to prevent visitors from leaving right away and improve your SEO.