Jenny Stanley
Jenny Stanley 1 July 2021

Your Website is More Important than Ever - in Light of Covid-19

The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the use of new and existing technologies and as people continue to rely on digital connectivity, it's even more important for companies to have a well-optimised website.

"I just don't have the time," or "now certainly isn't a good time for me."

Responses that we are guilty of coming up with when thinking about making changes. A rebrand? No time. New content? Not just now, thanks. Website? We've got one, and we've got more than enough on our plates.

These things must be updated, and we know that companies have been and will be left behind if not. We have to refresh and update sometimes. So why not now?

Right now is the perfect time to invest in long-term strategy, you certainly don't want to be thinking of doing it when you are once again too busy to act. And also, importantly, you are not the only one at home. We all are, everybody else is, and we all need something to direct our gaze at. 

From one side, we don't have shop fronts, store displays, or events to showcase what we do. From the other, we have nobody to talk to at the coffee machine, and we can´t gossip by the copier. We need to be entertained.

If you already have a website, you have already been collecting data for some time now. With today's Google Analytics providing visibility as we've never had, now is the time to cash in.

It is easier than ever to identify which areas of your site work the best, which pages rank the highest and use data to find out about visitors. There is no point in framing this data and putting it on the wall - with everyone working from home no one will see it anyway.

You should be using it to see where your visitors are coming from and going to, what they are liking and what they are ignoring, and then building something which makes it easier for them to do so.

79% of customers who voice dissatisfaction with websites say that they would be unlikely to buy from them again. A website is not only a great way to get clients, but it can also be a fabulous way of losing them.

Half of web users expect webpages to load in less than 2 seconds, a 1-second delay here translates to an 11% drop in page views, and, tellingly, a 7% drop in conversions. A 1-second increase has made some companies thousands of dollars more every day, literally.

Speed and user-friendliness are among many factors, of course, and you should take the time to really have a look at factors such as:

Mobile-friendliness -  We surely don't need to go into that.

Design - This isn't myspacing anymore; design should be unique and proudly display your brand. Inviting, clear, succinct, and true to you. It must look good. If you were buying a car, you'd expect four wheels and some mod-cons, but you'd also choose one that looked nice.

Ranking - Many of the web's best looking and most functional sites slip under the radar far too often. Great design, content, and architecture mean nothing if you are not showing up in search results. Several factors will affect this, of course, but usability will be high on the list.

Conversion rate - Ok great, your site is ranking spectacularly and generating more leads than a pet shop, but again, useless if they are not converted. 

Branding - Maybe the number one factor to look at right now. It is high time to sit back and get some perspective on your brand, your industry, and your company. Have things been slowly changing over the last few years? Is your product still the same?

More than ever before, a consistent, multi-platform brand is key to gaining awareness and loyalty. Your brand must be more than a fantastic and recognisable logo; it must be your voice and your precept. 

Content - Fill up your website with fantastic content (content will generate SEO for years to come, for free) and make it look fantastic, keep people on it as long as possible. Right now is a great time to invest in content. Once you have it, it's yours, use it and squeeze it as long as you can.

One thing that this situation will surely boost is ecommerce. The fear of expanding into online sales must be overwhelmed by the fear of having no sales at all. Once we are through the isolation period, yes, people will rejoice and head outside, but ecommerce will have been introduced to millions of people that didn't use it already.

Give your customers the same feeling as they get when they come to see you, make them feel welcome and free from this confinement by offering a fantastic online experience from which they can still enjoy your product.

Home deliveries seem to be the best bet right now, so be the site that offers the most comfortable path to it. And don't think that it will be short term, most clients, if they have enjoyed the experience, will continue to shop online.

This continues to ring true now, 7 months after this original article was published. We are still living in uncertain times where many are being reconfined, working from home, going out much less than we used to.

With the holiday season approaching, ecommerce will probably be more popular than previous year. It is important to make sure your ecommerce platform is in top shape.

If you are new to ecommerce, here are some basic but crucial tips you should make sure to be following:

  • Be customer centric: always look at everything from the perpective of the user who will be shopping on your website.
  • Test, test, test. Don't launch in a rush and have mistakes that will frustrate your customers. Test everything and ensure everything runs smoothly before going live.
  • Collect user information to build a database that will help with future launches.

And of course, don't forget that you can also provide a shopping experience through Instagram! It's worth looking into it.

A website, across all platforms, is your storefront right now, it is your kiosk at the industry convention. Content is your voice. Take the time to marry as much of the good of your company and brand as you can, and make sure that everyone can see the product you do. 

If you think you'd benefit from a chat with somebody who can offer insight and expert knowledge about any of the above, please don't hesitate to get in touch with any of these Creative Agencies or Digital Agencies.

If you like the article, you should also check out this article about The Best Web Designs of 2020.

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