Website 2013: Maximizing Performance

    By Miriam Hara | Small Business

    Gone are the days when having a static website was good enough essential showcasing an online brochure of your business. The introduction of flash animations, and all the bells and whistles have also run their course… thankfully going by the wayside… and no longer the trendy “in” thing to do! The evolution of websites and their role in business arena has changed substantially, initial playing a superficial role to a role that is much more substantial and key in the success of any business. Business websites need to work harder to achieve differentiation and assist Marketing and PR initiatives not to mention customer care.

    The importance of a website in today’s business environment has become increasingly necessity. It is no longer a nice to have to but a need to have. Here are a few elements that websites should have.

    Social Media Icons: The integration of social media is key. It says a lot when you go to a site and there are no social media buttons… at the same time that the site speaks of the business as being innovative and cutting edge! I am not saying that businesses should include social media icons if they aren’t really doing anything on social media. But then is this a company you want to start a relationship with?

    Fresh Information: Minimally a website home page should have fresh content on a continuous basis. That’s the only way Google will come over and visit your site.. helping the website ranking within the world wide web. A feed from the business blog would be ideal… or a feed from a recognized industry newsletter or publication. The rotation information is also a good way go keep a site fresh, but that too needs to be updated and refreshed.

    Page Naming: Website design, website navigation and website user experience are all important. However, how a site identifies and names each one of their pages is key in order to maximize the impact of SEO. Each page url on a business website should be unique and should be formulated with relevant keywords.

    Build Relationships: The business website is the first step in developing some very important relationships. Websites should create value by requesting visitors’ information through special offering such as ebooks, surveys or giveaway offers. Events can also be promoted, such a business milestones and contests, integrating the total digital experience for that business.

    Websites are indeed the first impression businesses make and they speak volumes about the business culture and persona. As we enter the final quarter of 2013… (Bob Dylan stated so eloquently) “Times they are a-changing”. It’s time to take a good look at your business website to assess if it measures up.

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