Having a website is essential and very important for your business. To have a good website that can benefit your business well, there are some factors that are required to help you add value to your website.
In order to protect your visitors, you need to have your website secured. But what is the meaning of website security? You might have heard about HTTPS. HTTPS is a way to encrypt information that you send between a browser and a web server. This protects your website’s users from different attacks, where someone steals the information being sent to a website, like credit card information or logins. Another issue in security is SSL certificate. An SSL Certificate is a set of data files that you can add to your server to achieve an encrypted connection between a browser and your server. When installed, a green padlock will be displayed when users visit your site to indicate that the site is secure.
So, we can say that SSL certificate is a product that you purchase and install on your server resulting that your website becomes HTTPS.
Thus, If you’re selling anything online, you need to put some effort into securing your site with an SSL certificate. The SSL will encrypt communications between you and your clients (i.e. a credit card number, Social Security number). This will make them more comfortable to share their data with you. VeriSign, TrustE, Entrust and GeoTrust are good options to explore.
Social Media Integration
Nowadays, people are increasingly connected to the internet through any possible internet enabled devices. They spend majority of their time on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Because of this increasing usage of social media, it has become a critical part of marketing any business, as people now tend to associate more with the brands and businesses they see more on those social media platforms.
So to increase your presence online, you should promote your presence on them. Integrating these platforms into your website, will help you boost your SEO, improve your business image on the social web, expand your network, add to your credibility and improve your sales.
Thus, you have to integrate with social media. This integration should not be only by posting some content every while, but it should be a strategic process that involves the intelligent promotion of your social media channels.
Mobile Friendly Version
Now-a-days, mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices have become essential to our lives. According to Statista, in 2017 56.1% of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phones. These numbers are only going to grow as mobile devices become cheaper and more mainstream. In 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.87 billion, up from 2.1 billion in 2016.
For this reason, it is important to have your website optimized for mobiles and other portable devices. This will allow you to increase your reach and give better user experience since nearly everyone is on mobile now.
Having a mobile optimized website may also help to increase your sales since the studies have showed that mobile users buy more than people who primarily use desktop computers.
Live chat can add to your website. Having a live chat on your website allows your customers to have access with you and seek help. Wait times at live chat are usually less than call center. The general trend among users in marketing forums and on blogs is that live chat on a website can generally lead to improved sales numbers.
Live Chat can increase your potential sales, but to do so, it must be executed correctly. To do this, you must train your team well, take care of your shopping hours, not to be robotic in your responses and give your customers useful chat features.
You will be able to get all these benefits with a reduced cost than the traditional phone support method.
Buying and selling on the internet has become very well accepted and with the implementation of encryption for the transmission of sensitive data, the entire process is completely secure. So if you have a store, you can customize your website for e-commerce which will help your business grow.
Do you have a website for your business? Do you get all the possible benefits from this website?
Few years back, the forwards-thinking business owners realized that having websites for their businesses will be a profitable marketing opportunity. This encouraged them to build their websites and host them. When they finished doing that, all was done regarding the website issue.
Nowadays, things have become more difficult and more complicated. It is no more just about having a website for your business. The internet has become overpopulated and is continuously changing. So if you aren’t able to show and draw targeted traffic to your website, it will not fulfill the expected contribution to your business’s success and growth. This means that building a website is not the only job. What do you need to have?
What you really need after this is to manage your website or have someone manage your website for you. But what do we mean by website management?
Meaning of website management
Website management is all the multiple tasks involved in the administration and control of the hardware and software used in the Web. This is done by performing all the tasks necessary to keep a website up-to-date and in good working order so that it works and shows up correctly with the latest web browsers and mobile devices. It includes hosting, monitoring, verification that all contained links are active, maintenance, and so on.
So Website management entails a number of different services that are combined together to keep you website running without having to worry about it.
The duties and responsibilities of website management include:
1. Ensuring the website functionality and SEO availability continuously.
2. Performing regular software updates.
3. Ensuring the website’s security and keeping it up to date. This includes setting up good firewalls to block hacker as well as performing regular malware scans.
4. Monitoring, assessing and reporting the website performance.
E-commerce is the transaction of purchasing and selling products and services through electronic systems.
The beginning of e-commerce can be traced back to the 1960s. At that time, it was meant for exchanging data electronically for the first time. After that, the 90s saw the first secure online purchases. The e-commerce industry then grew quickly from this point onwards. Online sales accounted for more than a third of total U.S. retail sales growth in 2015. This is according to data from the U.S.
E-commerce is still growing. It is also expected to continue growing all the time. As you can see in the graph below, global online business-to-consumer (B2C) sales are expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2018.
The rise of e-commerce forces IT personnel to move beyond infrastructure design and maintenance and consider numerous customer-facing aspects such as consumer data privacy and security.
Reasons for customers to shop online:
1- 24/7 availability: they can do their shopping at anytime of the day and at any day of the year. It doesn’t matter whether it was midnight or noon, or if it was a holiday or a normal week day. The possibility to shop online gives the customers the freedom to shop at their own pace and convenience.
2- Variety: One can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place.
3- Comparison of prices: Online shopping has made the comparison of products and prices possible and easy. This allows the customers to determine which online store offers the most affordable item for them to buy.
4- Avoid crowds: Crowds may be one of the annoying issues that anyone could face while shopping. Crowd can also be a problem when it comes to finding a parking place where you want to shop. So online shopping can help customers buy without having to stand in long lines and wait, or go around the place searching for a parking.
5- Save time: Purchasing online saves time. The customers only choose what they want to buy and with just a couple of clicks they put the order. They can save time this way and move to other important things they want to do.
6- Save fuel: The market of fuel industries battles from increasing and decreasing its cost every now and then. One of the advantages of shopping online is that there is no need for vehicles; so no purchase of fuel is necessary.
7- Easy to search for products: the customers can easily search for the product they are looking for with all its specifications. In addition, it is easy for them to find out whether this product is available or out of stock.
Advantages of shopping online for small businesses:
After we’ve learnt how the customer would benefit from shopping online, you must be wondering, how can a small business benefit from it? We are now going to cover a few key advantages of running an online e-commerce store for small businesses.
1- Lower cost: Starting an offline business needs a lot of money. You will need to have a physical storefront which will incur rental and management costs. On the other hand, it is not expensive to start an online business. Your main costs will be the software you use to set up the online store, the hosting and the domain name. So in general, an online store costs less to set up and run than a physical shop, but it’s still important to recognize that making e-commerce work requires continuing investment.
Some of the other costs that can be also reduced by opting for e-commerce are: advertising and marketing costs, personnel costs and travel costs.
2- Visitors tracking and analysis: Google analytics makes it extremely easy to know where people finding your website are from, which pages they visit and from what region they are. There are also other tools that can analyze the cursor movement as they browse your site. Such statistics would be very difficult to get with a physical store. These statistics can help you easily track what works and what doesn’t . It can also help you calculate and evaluate sales effectiveness, customer effectiveness, marketing campaigns, product mix, customer engagement and more. Having gathered all these information, you can thus build your customer persona and all the suitable things for them.
3- Social media: Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others, have now made it possible for everyone to express their feelings and recommend products and services to others. You can also use social media for your marketing campaigns and to promote your products for free.
4- Product inventory: Since the products are purchased online, you can easily track what products are being shipped to the customers and how much products are left in your storage. You can also decrease the operational costs of inventory management by having an automated management system.
5- Customer email communication: In the online world, it is easy for you to get the customers’ emails. This will enable you to send them future offers and marketing messages. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep in contact with your customers.
6- Written reviews: Online, it’s easy to take advantage of customer reviews and reviews around the web to build credibility in the eyes of a potential customer. You can also support your digital marketing efforts by including these reviews and testimonials.
7- Location independent: You can easily manage your business from any part of the world. You don’t have to be in the same place in order to keep an eye and manage your business. It’s also not a must to have your warehouse and staff in the same place, you can hire a staff member from another state or even country and take advantage of possible cost reduction.
8- Larger marketplace: Selling online removes all the borders to your business. Any person, from anywhere with an internet connection can access your website. This gives you an expanded geographical reach and even a local business can become international, just by having an effective e-commerce strategy.
9- Advertisement tracking: It is much easier to measure and track your marketing efforts and marketing campaigns done through online platforms. Through this, you can keep an eye on your customers’ buying interests and habits and tailor offers that suit their needs. The result of this tracking will help you in your future campaigns.
Finally, are you still hesitated to customize your small business to work online?
To get a rank for a website on the search engines, two main processes are performed by these search engines. The first process is the ability of the search engine to get around the site (crawling). The other process is getting the page in the search engine’s index (indexing).
In order to optimize your web page on the search engines, you should consider some points while building your website. While trying to optimize your website, you could either use tactics approved by the search engine to increase your rank. These are known as White hat strategies. Or you could use unscrupulous tactics to raise your website’s ranking illegitimately or lower the ranking of your competitor’s website. These are known as Black hat strategies. Search engine providers can now detect these Black hat tactics. This may finally result in lowering your rank or even getting you banned or penalized by the search engines and affiliate sites.
One of the tactics used in optimizing your page on the search engines is link building tactic. This is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. Link building can be either used in a good way which is then considered as White hat; or it can be used in a devious way making it a Black hat.
Here are some dos and don’ts to consider while building links to your website. These will help you get a position on the search engine rank page (SERP) without violating the search engine’s rules.
Dos (White hat):
- One of the best things that you can do is adding link of your page to relevant sites. This can be done by creating and posting relevant content. The links can then be put within a piece of writing, such as an article, infographic, or press release. The best way for gaining links is by using targeted keywords within the content which should be relevant to site.
- Another thing that you can benefit from in building links is commenting and posting in forums and blogs. It is good to sign up and participate in blogs and forums related to your industry. You can take part in discussions, and post your comments; but you must make sure that your participation is relevant and adding value to the topic discussed. You can then add your site’s link / URL in your signature. This may attract people to visit your website and learn more about you.
- One more very good tactic is making use of broken and dead links. Broken links are links to pages that have moved or changed. Dead links are those giving you 404 error (“page not found notification”). As a savvy online marketer, you can look for such links on relevant sites and on your clients’ sites. Once you come across one of those links, contact the website owner and inform him about this broken link and offer them an alternative link within your site. You should also track any 404 pages on your own site and make sure to redirect them to a similar page.
Dont’s (Black hat):
- What you should avoid doing while creating your content is not having duplicate content on your site.
- You also shouldn’t use irrelevant sites or blogs. Don’t try to mislead people by irrelevant content, or try to mislead the searching engine by using the keywords repeatedly in an inconvenient way.
- When participating in forums and blogs, first of all, you should make sure that you are not participating in a low-quality blog. You should also make sure not to post irrelevant content on irrelevant sites. Don’t spam those forums and blogs with your links and don’t put your link only as signature in the comments.
- Don’t deal with link brokers who sell links on various websites to online marketers to improve their ranking on Google. Buying such links from link brokers is a direct violation to Google’s guidelines which may lead you to getting penalized by Google.
Finally, we advise you to follow the White hat tactics on your website. The results of those tactics may be slow, but they are long lasting. Just remember: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Nowadays, the internet has become an integral part of everyday life. More than 3 billion people are using the internet today and they’re increasing everyday. If you have a business and you don’t have a website, you may be losing great opportunities for your business. A website can be a great means for helping your business grow.
Here are a few reasons why having a website is important for your business.
1- Your website will make you always available
Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision, thus it is continuously working on promoting your business without having to pay for employees all 24 hours. It also makes your business accessible so that your customers can interact with you at the time and in the way that is best suited for them. If your customers are in any part of the world, even if on the other side, they can reach your website at a suitable time for them. They will never visit you and find you closed. You are always accessible.
2- Having a website enhances your credibility
Today, most people use the internet to know more about the products and services they want. They also search for the companies’ websites before they start dealing with them. Having a professional website with helpful information about your company and the products or services you provide will have a powerful impact on the potential customer’s confidence in you. Through your website you will also have an opportunity to explain why you deserve their trust. Without having a website, your potential customers will probably go to your competitors who have one. A well designed, informative and updated website will add credibility to your business and strengthen your brand.
3- The website is a good way to increase your sales
You can increase your company’s sales by selling your products through an online store. This will make your store available throughout the day giving you the possibility to sell more. You can make good use of this by giving full details of all the products or services you are providing and how they are better. This will make it easier for your customers to come to a decision. Having a website will also make it easy for your customer to refer their friends and business contacts to your site: as website addresses are easier to remember than phone numbers. Also giving people several methods for contacting you makes it easier for them to reach you.
4- You can target a wider market through your website
Your website can reach local, national, or even international potential customers at no extra cost. So you can now expose your products and services to totally new markets. You are no longer limited only to the passing by or nearby customers to sell your products and services. Since information is always available, people from all over the world can visit your site at any time and get to know more about your products and services. Thus, if you are a small business, you can now expand your potential customers and you are no longer stuck to your geographic area. All you have to do is provide the full information through your website to attract more customers. A website gives you a global footprint exposing you to the international market.
5- A website makes it possible to apply marketing strategies with low cost
Having a website allows you to market your business online. There are many marketing strategies that you can follow, and they may be of lower cost than the normal marketing strategies. For example, designing, printing and delivering the marketing materials are some of the largest expenses that your business will incur. Now you can spread easily through your website. You can even change any information, or offers or advertisements on your website without having to pay for changing the marketing materials. You can consider your website to be an unlimited number of full-page ads that you can change any time!
So as you can see, this is why it is important for every business, whatever its size, to have a website. Without a website it will be difficult to remain competitive in today’s market. If you are a small business owner, you have the opportunity today to present yourself to the market as professionally and effectively as bigger companies. Just because you are small will no longer mean that you cannot compete with them!