We were recently approached by a business owner, who had “lost” his website. When we checked, sure enough, the website no longer existed. His URL came up with the logo of his hosting company. When we called the hosting company, they confirmed that the site had been deleted. Where it went is a tale for another day – it may have been mischief, or the business owner may have accidentally deleted the site from the server. But the site no longer existed online or on the server. The business owner had no backup copies of the website.
Category: Website Design
A study published in 2011 found that 70% of people would not buy from a company with a poorly designed website. And that was before the mobile revolution. Today, most people are accessing the Internet from mobile devices, and 57% of them would not recommend a business after a disappointing mobile experience; 52% said that they would likely make their purchase from another company.
So what makes an experience “poor?”
Have you ever walked into a room that made you feel on edge? Even if we can’t immediately put our finger on the problem, most of us have felt uneasy or uncomfortable when walking into certain rooms. Maybe it was the clutter on every flat surface … or the color scheme that clashed … or too much furniture that felt claustrophobic instead of cozy … or the “cold” stark feeling of a sparsely furnished room.
Most businesses want a website that can be found by potential customers and that will convince them that what the company is offering will solve their problems or fulfill their wants and needs.
We have been designing and writing websites for over 20 years. We have seen a lot of changes in technology and in consumer expectations over the years. Today, both Google and website viewers seem to be interested in how a website looks and what it says. Here are the things we have discovered that make websites attractive and useful to both viewers and Google in 2015:
Google has left no doubt about how important it is to have a mobile-friendly site:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” (Google Webmaster Blog)
What this means is that Google’s algorithm can not only tell if your website is easily seen on mobile devices, but may ignore those that are not. In fact, they are now displaying a “Mobile Friendly” icon when they display your website or blog in their search results.
Dave Zinman, writing in Business2Community offers “5 Tips for Building a DIY Website.” If you read his post carefully, you might understand why a DIY website might not be your best option. His tips for business owners who want to develop their own websites are to:
- Think like a designer
- Think like a copy editor
- Think like your user
- Think like an SEO expert
- Think like an advertiser
The simple fact is that anyone can design, write and publish a website. My friend recently called me to brag that her 11-year-old granddaughter had published her first website. The goal of the website was to get a good grade and impress her teachers, friends and grandmother. Her website met those goals. Business websites, however, have other goals.