Three Reasons Why you should Update your Business Website

By | Website updates

Your business website represents the face of your business online. Even the smallest of businesses must have a strong web presence to raise their awareness and allow potential new customers to discover them.

But what a lot of small business owners fail to do is to keep their website updated. To be successful it isn’t just about having a business website, it’s about delivering the right message with your website.

Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized business owners cannot afford the time to dedicate to keeping their business website updated and current. This is a shame because they will be missing out on so much potential business by neglecting their website.

Let’s take a look at why you should consider updating your website and have it properly maintained to keep your site current, delivering the right message to your users and rank high in search engine results for your particular industry.

1: Visual branding appeal

Creating the right look and presenting a consistent brand image is important as this makes your website look professional. The information you offer on your site should also be useful, interesting and relative to your particular industry or sector.

If your site is poorly designed with a weak structure and contains old and out of date information, your visitors will not see you as an authority figure or expert in your field that they should trust.

The key to a successful website is to have a consistent and recognisable visual brand and offer engaging graphics, valuable information, and a sound structure that makes it easy for your visitors to navigate your site and quickly find what they are looking for.

2: Mobile-friendly design

The UK is now a nation of smartphone users. We carry the internet around with us in our pocket or handbag and expect to find the information we need in seconds.

Your website needs to use a responsive mobile-first design that functions across all platforms. If your site was built a few years ago, it will be missing out on a whole new mobile generation.

When you consider that Google’s 2015 mobile-friendly update was catering for the growing audience of smartphone users, your site would have been downgraded in the rankings due to not being a mobile-friendly site.

3: Fresh and valuable content

Once you have hooked in your audience with the engaging look and feel of your business website, you need to hold their attention and keep them on your website by providing them with the useful information that they are searching for.

Having a site makeover or update will allow you to re-connect with your customers and attract new web visitors to your site by providing them with fresh, new and engaging content. The content you hold on your website should be considered as your most valuable asset.

Remember that you only have about five seconds to engage and connect with your web visitors so if you haven’t added any fresh information for a long time, your visitors won’t hang around to read the information they have seen before.

Adding fresh content regularly also helps to boost your search engine rankings as sites with fresh information get indexed more often and appear higher in rankings for your chosen keywords or key phrases.

If your business website needs updating, do not hesitate to contact Exclusive Web for a web audit. We can analyse your current website and recommend actions to take to bring it up to date to perform better for your business.

Top Tips for Updating Your Business Website During the Pandemic

By | Website tips

The COVID-19 virus is still dominating the news headlines and impacting heavily on our lifestyles. This is a scary time for everyone, but especially for business owners that are worried about keeping their staff and customers safe while still operating.

No matter what business you operate, this pandemic is affecting your customers and audience, so it is important to keep them updated with what measures you have taken to protect your business and your customers.

When it comes to updating your website, here are a few solid tips about what changes you need to put in place to get your message across, reassure your existing customers and also inform prospective new customers how they can get your products or services delivered safely.

Updating your website with your Covid-19 message

Because your homepage may not be the first page that your visitors land on, it would make more sense to change your site header to get over your COVID-19 information. This means that everyone going to your website, regardless of which page they visit, will find your latest information and updates about how you are operating at this current time.

There are two options to take to update your header:

  • Add a link in your main navigation (good for content management system sites)
  • Add an alert bar that sits above the navigation (good for drawing attention)

You need to ensure that your alert bar:

  • Can easily be dismissed by users
  • Can be customised easily
  • Can be toggled on or off
  • Is in a contrasting colour to draw your visitor’s attention

If you are not sure how to do either of these options, then you can get help from Exclusive Web. We can do this for you as well as advise you about other changes you can make to your business website while we are living through this pandemic.

Update your homepage masthead

Updating your homepage masthead is a good idea because even when you have updated your header with your Covid-19 message, your homepage will be an important place for your visitors to find out how the pandemic is impacting your service and your customers.

Updating your homepage is also good for signalling Google and the other major search engines that your site has been updated and can be ranked for new content.

You should keep your language short to help prevent text-wrapping on narrow browser sizes.

Use action language for your message, such as:

  • Follow our updates
  • Explore the latest alerts
  • Keep up to date

Also, by setting up a dedicated Covid-19 content page, you will be able to easily post all of your latest updates on your site and won’t need to change the URL. This means you won’t need to change the information on your alert bar each time you post a new update and your customers can bookmark your information page to quickly check on your latest updates.

It also makes it clear to Google and other search engines that you have a key page for your website with information about the pandemic, which is great for SEO purposes.

Don’t forget that if you need any assistance with updating your business website, Exclusive Web is here to help! Contact us to discuss how we can help your business website give out the right information to your customers.

Adapting Your Website for the Pandemic Lockdown

By | Website changes

The past few months have seen an amazing shift in buying habits with the Covid-19 virus and the subsequent UK lockdown.

With so many businesses needing to close their doors and adapt to contact-less services, many business owners have had to adapt to a new way of working.

While many businesses have adopted hands-off practices or putting in measures for safe social distancing for staff and customers, a lot of small business owners have turned their attention to online marketing and sales to fill the gap.

Therefore your business website must be sending a clear message to confused or worried customers that you are still open for business, and they can still purchase from you.

Add a Covid-19 message

A well-worded, short and friendly message clearly displayed on your website can help to reassure your customers and explain what measures you have in place. You can place this message on your home page, but it should also go on your blog and any other important pages as people may not always land on your homepage.

You could place a banner on each page with a short message and a link to your main message. That way you will be covered no matter what page a user may land on. It is better to keep your message short and friendly using neutral colours so as not to alarm or panic your web visitors.

Adapting your services

If you have been able to adapt your business to continue trading, then it will help to clearly explain this to your existing customers and to help encourage new customers to buy from you.

For example, if you run a local restaurant that has had to close its doors, but you have switched to a takeaway or delivery service, then you can tell your customers this and it will show that you are doing something positive for your local community.

Make sure you are reachable

During this time a lot of business are having to operate from home, so if this is the case make sure that your incoming communications are properly diverted. Also, make sure that your business information is correct with updated business hours and contact numbers wherever your business is listed.

Your website should show amended contact details, even though they may be temporary. You don’t want to confuse your customers that are trying to reach you through an unanswered business phone or an email request that never gets a reply.

Send out regular newsletters

If you have built up a sizeable customer list that has opted to receive newsletters and alerts, now is the time to take advantage of this direct contact opportunity with your customers.

You can send out your Covid-19 message and information about your new working practices as well as your updated contact information. It is a good idea to send out dedicated updates about your situation and any changes you are implementing as the lockdown is being lifted.

If you need help updating your business website at this time to help keep your customers informed and engaged, then do not hesitate to contact Exclusive Web for our help. We can update your business website for you to put your mind at ease that you are doing everything you can to reassure your customers and prepare them for your return to normal trading.

Why Small Businesses Need a Company Website

By | Web design

Many small business owners and sole traders start out asking themselves if their business really needs a website. The simple answer to this question is yes, it makes a lot of sense for you to have a business website to help back up your products and services.

It is hard to believe that in this digital age there is still an estimated 30 to 40 per cent of small businesses that still don’t have a website! The importance of having a business website has been highlighted during the recent pandemic where the lockdown saw consumers switching to buying online by their millions.

Those small businesses without a website are the ones that are now suffering. Having a company website is also a great communication tool to let your customers and your local community know that your business is still operating, or will be resuming normal services once the lockdown has been completely lifted.

The fact that online sales were rapidly increasing even before the Covid-19 pandemic is another good reason why you don’t want to miss out on your slice of the action.

If you are still scratching your head over the need for a company website, then let’s take a look at some very good reasons why a website will add great value to your business.

You don’t need fantastic IT skills to have a website

Many business owners believe they don’t have enough skills or knowledge to build a business website or even the time to dedicate towards its upkeep. However, with more people shopping online for products and to book services, many business owners are now stepping up their service by providing an online presence with their website.

The thing is your business website doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if you prefer to do businesses in person or over the telephone, having a simple business website that shows your contact details and some background information about you will be enough to raise your awareness and encourage customers to contact you.

In fact, you don’t need to worry about setting up your website or it’s ongoing maintenance because there is help available from professionals, such as Exclusive Web, that will take care of this for you.

Customers expect businesses to have websites

These days customers now expect businesses to have websites. People are savvier now and will go online to find out information about your company from your business website. If you don’t have one, then they are much less likely to trust you or want to buy from you.

It is a known fact that consumers will always do some research online before they decide to buy something. This can also include checking out the business websites for shops and services that are right on their own doorstep in their local community.

Customers will want to browse your products and services, take a look at your goods, check prices and availability, check delivery times and costs, and look for positive customer feedback.

You can decide what sort of website you want

No matter what type of small business you operate, you can be in control of how your business website looks and feels. You can decide what information you want to be included and streamline it by cutting out any unnecessary elements that don’t apply to your business.

Your website really is the face of your business so you will want to make sure it tells your customers who you are and what you can do for them. Your website will provide an instant official presence for your company that makes your business look much more respectable and trustworthy.

If you are a small business owner or sole trader that needs help creating your business website, do not hesitate to contact Exclusive Web.

We specialise in helping small business owners to create and maintain their company website to ensure your business will always be presenting the best face for your business online.