In the digital age, a business requires a strong internet presence. They need to be active on social media. They have to create business listings via the right online directories. They need to utilize marketing techniques like PPC and email campaigns.

Most important of all, however, is to produce a professional website.

Ultimately, your website is the foundation for the rest of your digital efforts. Your site should be the intended destination for your audience, where they can learn more about your business, get in touch for additional information, and purchase your products and services.

Due to the essential nature of your website, it’s vital you get the design right. To help in that regard, this guide will spotlight some of the main points to remember when building a professional business site.

Slick design with effortless navigation

It’s 2021. Internet users won’t expect mediocre design when it comes to the websites they visit. In fact, if they arrive on a website that is clunky and difficult to navigate, they will swiftly turn back around and search for an alternative site to visit.

As a result, one of your main focuses should be on the design of your site. The good news is, if you’re going it alone with your site build, you won’t need to become an expert programmer overnight. In this day and age, there are various platforms available – such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix – which make it easy to build a high-quality website within hours.

In addition to this, most platforms will also offer stylish templates that can be used for free. Although, if you want to ensure your site has the right combination of advanced features and contemporary design, there are also premium templates available for a reasonable additional fee.

SEO implementation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessity for drawing organic traffic to your website. By targeting the right keywords and search terms, your site can appear high up in relevant search terms on the likes of Google.

When it comes to SEO, there are many points you need to consider. Targeting keywords is important, yes, but it’s no longer the only element required as it used to be back in the day. Now the search engines place a much greater emphasis on quality, in-depth content that people want to consume.

Admittedly, this can be a little tricky when putting together a business website. You don’t want to stuff your homepage or ‘About Us’ page with a load of unnecessary fluff. Just make sure the pages are easily scannable with written content like lists and multiple subheadings, and also incorporate videos and images throughout.

It’s also recommended to start a blog on your website. This opens the door to targeting more specific keywords, creating long-form content, and boosting your overall SEO efforts.

Communication with live chat

Communicating with customers is an integral aspect of every business. Fortunately, there are various ways for customers to get in touch with you – including email, contact forms, social media, telephone, etc.

One of the newest additions to the communication sphere is live chat. If you visit websites on a regular basis, it’s likely you have seen an increase in live chat functionality being utilized. For the uninitiated, live chat usually appears in the bottom-right of a website screen where automated text message ‘triggers’ popup to catch a user’s attention.  

As the growing prevalence of live chat signifies, it’s necessary you use this function on your own site. It’s a great way to engage with users and draw them into your business. Plus, with the versatility of live chat triggers – with types that range from the pages a user has visited to their intent – you can guarantee maximum impact from your communication efforts.

Then, once a visitor wants to engage in a conversation, this can either be handled by a real person, automation, or a combination of both. Automation is advantageous for small businesses with limited resources, as it instantly provides them with 24/7 communication – something that not long ago was only available to large organizations.

Flesh it out

As the SEO section highlighted, Google enjoys pages that are fleshed out and full of information. However, you also have to think of your audience when putting together website pages.

Say your site has product pages. Along with multiple high-quality images that spotlight the most important features, you will also want to go with a description that bullet points the key points, while a bigger portion of text can venture into more detail. If you want to take it to the next level, you could also have a video that demonstrates the product in full.

By fleshing out your site, it’s more likely to retain visitors and turn them into customers.

Keep it updated

Okay, this might not be applicable just yet if you’re starting a new website. Yet, it doesn’t take long for a site to become dated if updates are not incorporated on a regular basis.

With this in mind, always stay updated. If you start utilizing a new feature or product, for instance, this should be displayed on your site straight away. If you have any blog posts with outdated information or broken backlinks, correct these errors before your site is penalized by Google.

Surface updates are not all you should be focused on, either. It’s also essential you update under the hood when necessary. Take WordPress as an example. This platform will often notify you on a regular basis of new updates that need to be applied to your theme/template. While you can avoid these updates, and plenty do as they’re comfortable with what they have, this isn’t the approach to take.

Why? Well, those updates will typically include security patches. Threats on the internet are constantly evolving, which means your security has to do the same. If these patches are not applied, you’re leaving your website susceptible to attacks that could result in lost access and customer data being stolen. Keep the hackers out by staying up-to-date.

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Terry Ts

By Terry Ts

Focusing China's mobile phone and electric vehicle market, senior automotive media reporter.