Why your small business in Vancouver needs a website

Whether you are selling a physical product or providing a service, having a strong web presence is a vital component to your overall business strategy. Your small business needs a good website to be competitive.

How are consumers searching for businesses?

According to Recent Data, over 80% of customers rely on the Internet to find a business near them. To put this in context, your first impression with 8 out of 10 potential customers is made through the Internet. If you are not present in the sphere where majority of consumers are, you are missing 8 out of 10 potential customers for your business.

Is having a website enough?

With the widespread availability of high-speed Internet and mobile data, it has become ever more important for any business – small or big – to have a website. However, according to a 2018 data, only 64% of small businesses have their own website.

When you think about the mismatch between the number of consumers using the Internet to find a business (8 out of 10) and the fact that only 6 out of 10 small businesses are out there on the Internet to be found, it paints a picture full of opportunity! According to a report by GoDaddy, 79% of entrepreneurs with a business website expect to grow at least 25% in the next three to five years, compared to 64% of those without a site.

That being said, just having a website, any website, is not going to give you the results you are expecting. If this was 2005, it might have been a different story but today’s competitive landscape is quite different. There are more and more businesses on the Internet competing for customer attention and it takes more than a simple web page to capture them.

Is any web presence good presence?

While some argue that having a bad looking website is better than having no web presence at all, others claim that an outdated website might do more damage than good when it comes to your brand image and credibility in the consumers’ eyes.

Having worked in marketing and web development for quite some time, I tend to side with the latter argument. I have worked with small businesses in Vancouver that had old, outdated websites that didn’t work on mobile devices and just overall reflected badly on the company.

A colleague of mine used the analogy of showing up for an interview in your shorts and flip flops and expecting to get the job. In a lot of ways your first interaction with a potential customer is a job interview of sorts. When a potential customer lands on your website the interview starts. First impressions are crucial and customers make snap judgements about your business based on what they see on the website. Especially with the short attention span of today’s culture, you have a mere 7-8 second window to convince them to stay and browse some more.

What is a good website?

It comes down to providing quality content with compelling visuals and a nice, clean design. You know your business better than anyone and it is important that you craft your website copy with your customers in mind. What are they looking for? What problem(s) are you trying to solve? What might they be searching on the Internet to find your business? These are not easy questions to answer but they serve as guidelines to keep you focused and provide quality content.

The other piece of the puzzle is where I come in: designing and developing your website with best practices in mind. Some things that are important for a modern website are:

  • Mobile responsiveness
  • SEO friendliness
  • Flexible backend content management
  • Scalability

This list can go on but the above points provide a good starting point for any small business that is looking for a website. Mobile devices account for over 50% of web traffic worldwide, which means your website needs to be responsive to all kinds of device screens out there. Furthermore, your website needs to be built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. This is how search engines like Google and Bing find and index your website so that it shows up on search results.

If you are looking to get a website for your small business in Vancouver or you are looking to update your old website, contact me to discuss your project!

Why website speed matters for your business

Whether you are selling a product/service through e-commerce on your website or you are trying to drive traffic to your site to get potential customers to contact you, website speed is a crucial piece of the online presence puzzle.

Website speed has always been a critical measure for user experience. But often times it is overlooked to accommodate better aesthetic design, new nifty functionality or to add more content to web pages.

According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.That means if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, you could lose half of your prospective customers before you even get a chance to tell them your story.

 

Why does speed matter so much?

1. First Impression

Your website is the first impression you make on potential customers and as we all know, first impressions matter. Generally speaking, we associate speed with professionalism and efficiency. It is no different on the Internet – a fast loading website conveys reliability and promotes confidence. 79% of online shoppers say they won’t go back to a website if they’ve had trouble with load speed the first time.

2. SEO

We know Google’s obsession with speed. They are “striving to make the whole web fast”. In their quest to achieve this, they are promoting faster websites on their search rankings. They announced in 2010 that they in fact do take website load speed into account when ranking websites.

Here is the real kicker:

“Google will reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if your server is slower than two seconds.”

This means if your website is slow, Google is a lot less likely to pick up your latest content update and index it on its search rankings.

It is important to mention that speed alone will not get you to the top of search rankings, however SEO is the coming together of many different moving pieces and speed is one of these pieces.

3. Conversions

Converting a visitor to a customer is essentially the reason why we have websites. We want users to visit our websites so that they can buy our product/service or contact us.

According to the same statistics published by Kissmetrics, 40% of people will abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. To put that in perspective, if you have 1000 visitors per month, you could lose 400 of them due to slow loading time. That is a lot of business lost…

What to do

So then what is the magic solution to website loading speed?

Much like with everything else in web presence, there is not a silver bullet that will resolve everything in one swift motion. A fast loading speed is the combination of several factors including hosting server, image sizes, number of HTTP requests, caching and other technical aspects. When using a platform like WordPress, hosting server becomes an even more important element for website speed due to the way WordPress works. Most hosting companies out there offer managed WordPress servers that are optimized for speed.

If you have any questions about website speed and how to make your website more fast contact me today.