1. Live Chat
In the same way that instant messaging revolutionised social interaction, it’s also revolutionising business. The ability to communicate with customers and clients in real time is something that 2020 will be embracing with open arms. As more and more businesses increase their presence on social media, the ability to work this immediate form of contact into your website has become a must-have for your digital platform. Either linking in with your company’s Facebook page or communicating through a third-party system – you’re able to resolve issues, get feedback, answer queries or even put deals in motion, instantly from the comfort of your desk through a live chat feature. There are many options out there for live chat and some are very cost-effective to set up with little or no ongoing costs.
2. SSL Certificate
As we move into the new decade, digital security becomes as important as ever. With an increase in fraudulent sites, providing site visitors with a sense of safety is a must-do. Whenever you fill out a form or buy something on the internet that information is transmitted from your computer to the server where the website is hosted. If someone intercepts that message while it is being sent then they can read that information…..unless you have an SSL certificate installed on your website. An SSL certificate encrypts the data so it is intercepted your data should be safe.
When you visit a website, look at the text or icon just to the left of where you typed in the website domain name at the top of the window/screen. It will either have a closed padlock/the word Secure or an open padlock/Not Secure. If you click on the icon it will give you more details. Always check for there icon, especially when doing online banking. Not just once but on every page you go to…especially if you are overseas and using a wifi connection that others may be also using.
Google prefers you do have an SSL Certificate when it considers your website’s ranking.
Note: Just because a website has a secure connection doesn’t mean that the website isn’t fraudulent. Any website can get an SSL certificate. It just means that the information you send to it is encrypted.
3. Benefit Statement
The new age of websites is all about interaction with visitors. How can you put the idea in someones mind that they should work with you, with only a few seconds of them looking at your site? It’s about the story you tell, and the information you put forward. If you’re wanting to buy a phone, seeing ‘For all your phone needs contact…’ would get the point across as easily as possible. It reaffirms that the site visitor is in the right place for what they need.
4. Contact Details
It should never be hard for someone to find you, contact you, or know what you do. The point of your website is to offer information to visitors at the moment they need it. Phone numbers or emails should be ‘above the fold’ to give first time visitors the ability to contact you. You’re an expert at what you do – so give people the opportunity to chat with you and understand the value you offer them. People make an immediate decision when they arrive at your website. If they have to search for contact details you are making it too hard for them.
5. Contact Forms
While contact details need to be front of house – not everyone wants to get in touch with you right away, or they don’t want to call. Having a contact form on your site gives you the ability to catch every possible type of visitor, from the casual query through to the direct contact. Imagine someone is browsing late at night and it’s too late to call, a ‘How can we help?’ form is an excellent way to capture their information and then it leaves it up to you to respond.
6. Trust Elements
Why should people work with you? Who have you worked with? What do you offer over your competitors? These are the burning questions that site visitors want to know. IF they don’t find it, they’ll head back to their Google search an ego to the next site on the list. 2020 is the year of the casual web surfer, with so many websites offering similar services, you need to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward wherever possible.
7. Google My Business
Your digital presence is not just your website. Making sure you’re putting yourself out on all platforms is a vital part of your digital marketing. Google My Business is a great tool to grab visitors who are already looking for you, and means you’re out in front of any competitors who may be targeting your client base. Having your website, logo and imagery set up with Google My Business gives a professional and tidy look to both existing and potential clients, maximising the opportunities that can come from organic traffic through Google searches.
8. Physical Address
It may not seem that important if clients don’t normally come to you but having your address is important to search engines, particularly Google. It uses your address to match your business with people searching for your services in your area plus many site visitors like to know that they are dealing with a real local company rather than someone in another area wanting to pretend they are local.
Another tip is to ensure that the address in your website footer is identical to the address format that it is in your Google My Business entry.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is designing your website, web page and content to increase the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. The action could be to sign up to a newsletter, fill out a form, click on a buy now button, send an email, request a quote or make a phone call. You would be amazed at what difference changing the colour of a button or font type can do. In one case, the changing colour of a buy now button increased the number of people buying by 22%.
10. Lose Weight
Get Quicker – It seems everyone wants everything as fast as possible and Google is no exception. Search engines, particularly Google, want to provide users with a great experience and if your website doesn’t offer as good an experience as others then Google will rank it lower on search results. Page load speed is one of the criteria that Google judges your website on. If it is too slow people will often ‘bounce’ back out of the website back to their search results. There are several factors that can affect how fast your website loads but the largest is imagery. Photos are much, much larger than straight text and while a whole page of text would give a horrible impression it would be fast to load. Have a look at how long it takes your website to load and maybe consider if all the content on your home page is essential or could your story be told in a slightly more economical way.
11. You Can’t Sell A Secret
Having an awesome looking website that tells a great story about you doesn’t mean a lot if no one knows it is there. As the saying goes ‘you can’t sell a secret’. The role of digital marketing in getting people, who may have never heard of your company and are searching for the services that you provide. Whether it is getting up to the first page of Google through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or paid advertising like Google Adwords or Facebook advertising the idea is to bring potential clients to your website.
A lot of providers offer digital marketing services and, to be honest, there is a huge variation in the standard of service that people get and an even wider range in costs. You don’t always get what you pay for in the digital world and sometimes you do. Digital marketing is a real science and not the add-on service that many we developers offer. For that reason we don’t offer digital marketing as a service but we are happy to connect you with people who develop effective digital marketing strategies for you, just cast our eyes over your current campaign to see if it is fit-for-purpose or answer any questions you have if you feel a little lost amongst all the jargon and pages of reports you may get.
Remember, we’re here to help.