“Websites promote you 24/7 and no employee will do that,” – Paul Cookson
Online technologies dominate the world we live in and therefore, an effective website is a pre-requisite for most businesses in modern times. We must note that a website may be viewed as ‘old school’ in certain quarters, but there is no denying the fact that a flagship online presence can serve as a business destination in cyberspace and can be used to underpin a credible corporate identity. A website should be viewed as a cost-efficient business investment because the global Internet is forever expanding and offers significant sales opportunities for every enterprise. We must note that an effective website should be available to all online visitors at all times, must not be curbed by geography, must have high redundancy standards, and must be equipped to handle substantial volumes of online traffic.
An effective website should be designed and engineered from scratch so that the commercial organization that owns it can lay claim to an original online creation. Website content and website navigation should ideally be top-rate so that the business can create an emphatic impression on first time visitors. For instance, a business that deals the manufacturing and marketing of ceramic tiles should brainstorm to create high quality and relevant content to greet visitors. We must note that content should be central to an effective website because it represents the seriousness of the business enterprise and promotes credible volumes of repeat traffic. Therefore, the ceramic manufacturer can choose to enlighten visitors about the historic importance of ceramics and pottery in human civilization and then trace the development of the subject into recent times. In addition, the said website should be embedded with online mechanisms that enable visitors to transact with the business through the Internet. This attribute remains important because enabling e-commerce mechanisms can help the business to expand its customer base. Further, website navigation should be flawless because this enables customers to peruse the varieties of merchandise on offer before they arrive at purchase decisions.
We may note that the scope of content on an effective website can take the form of an online newsletter that should be refreshed at regular intervals. For instance, a business that sells office supplies online can choose to inform and educate its customers about the primacy of paper, plastics, and polymers in the domain of office supplies. This can be viewed as an attempt to embellish the mandates of commerce with useful information to achieve a winning combination. The online newsletter should be crafted keeping current market dynamics in mind, as also the latest products and gadgets that are relevant to the enterprise. High definition product images and multiple colour combinations can be used to highlight the various aspects of office supplies. In light of the above, we may note that an effective website can be a force multiplier that promotes sales and business information in a bid to capture a larger share of the said market.
Search engine optimisation is a crucial factor that may help transform an effective website into an outstanding web presence. This aspect of online technologies is significant because the use of such optimisation technologies can generate higher traffic to business websites. We must note that search engine optimisation remains an ongoing project and must be meticulously executed to achieve the desired results. For instance, a retail business should employ optimisation technologies so that its website is ranked higher than the competition. This will automatically direct higher volumes of online traffic to said business, thereby improving its commercial fortunes. We must note that the Internet has emerged as a significant sales channel for modern businesses, and search engine optimisation techniques can boost online visibility and increase profitability.
An effective website should be compatible with all major display platforms. These include smartphones, connected tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The back-end engineering of the website should make it mandatory for the website to be immediately available to any user that visits the web address using any of the said devices. We could view this as website optimisation because a perfect display is necessary for a thriving business enterprise. The lack of such optimisation can lead to lost sales opportunities, an incompetent commercial image, and sub-optimal levels of online traffic. We must note that such optimisation can involve sunk costs for the business, but these must be undertaken at the planning stage of the said website. Further, colours and content must be perfectly aligned on every display platform because this can help the business to create and project a professional online demeanour.
An FAQ page can be considered a worthwhile addition to an effective website. This feature of a website can be viewed as an important differentiator because it makes the business appear user and customer friendly. A business can use the FAQ page to collate the most repeated customer queries and present the relevant information in an organised manner. In essence, the said page can be part of an ongoing conversation with customers. The page also signals the seriousness of the corporate enterprise to help first time and returning customers with information these entities are most likely to seek. In addition, we may view the FAQ page as a device that lightens the work loads of customer care executives. This aspect remains relevant because these executives can quickly paste web-links to the FAQ page (or the relevant sections thereof) and transit the links via email and online chat systems. Further, the FAQ page can be used to educate customers about a company’s products and services and this can help to spur market demand for said products and services.
Social media is a reality in both the commercial and personal domains and therefore, businesses must tap virgin markets through social media platforms. An effective website should be deeply integrated with multiple social media platforms so that the business can conduct significant outreach among social media consumers. The social media buttons can help online visitors to share content, blogs, and information nuggets from the website, therefore expanding the visibility of said business. Interesting patterns of customer and business interaction can emerge and these can be leveraged to attain commercial objectives. In addition, we must note that the social media handles of a business must operate in synchronicity with content on the business website. This would enable the business to reach new customers and conduct co-ordinated marketing campaigns in cyberspace. Further, a credible social media marketing mix can help businesses to plumb younger demographics and therefore boost the pipelines of future customer interactions, thereby enhancing its mind share in the market.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have assessed some of the top features of an effective website. Businesses must devote significant resources and brainpower into constructing a definitive online presence; such actions must be ongoing in keeping with changes in consumer behaviour and customer mind sets. An outstanding website can assist a business to scale its operations through the use of Internet technologies, while remaining a major force in commercial domains. Websites should also encourage customer interaction because the inputs and information that emanate from such dialogues can help the business to refine its marketing strategies and build an enduring enterprise.