by Chloe Hashemi, marketing consultant for film and video production company LAMBDA Films
As we near the end of a largely technology-centric year, it has become evident our dependence on the Internet and other digital services is not going to decrease in the years to come. At current rates, the Internet is estimated to gain six connections per second. Therefore, it is vital now more than any other year to ensure that the main website for your business stands out for the crowd.
There is always considerable room to improve, and here are just a few features which can be added to your professional website to give it that unique edge:
Social Media Integration.
Social media is the most common activity carried out online. This is a fact and business cannot ignore this, involvement in social media platforms is fantastic for brand awareness, consumer engagement and a great way to share exciting or breaking news. Social media is not a phase, and it’s not going to slow down any time soon. New platforms are constantly cropping up, and the major ones such as Facebook and Twitter are just growing with each year. Put some extra time in to consider your social media strategy to target all the potential customers which are on there. Integrating social media links on to your website will give the impression that you have all bases covered, and will help build your following across numerous platforms. Expanding into the realms of social media can help expand your online footprint, and enhance your visibility in search engine results.
The addition of video on websites is becoming increasingly more popular each year. YouTube is quickly becoming one of the most used search engines in the world, with more than 1 billion unique users each month. With video becoming so vital to communication online, incorporating video into your website can make you stand out against your competitors, and help you stay on top of popular trends. Videos can help users make buying decisions. Viewers are up to 85% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video over reading a piece of copy on a website.
As most websites can be less effective than a physical sales person, integrating the option for live chat into your marketing strategy can be a great investment, and a great way to improve customer service. Live chat resembles the feeling of human presence, and gives the customer a reason to be confident when buying services or products from your website. They are provided the opportunity to ask any questions they may have before they make a purchase. Live chat can also help develop you brand personality, as you will be giving your customers a direct insight into your business, and how you communicate and operate. Additionally, live chat can increase your chance of communicating with a broader range of customers. For instance, Best of Suffolk who specialise in letting Southwold cottages in East England have discovered that live chat is a fantastic way to reach younger generations who do not feel comfortable picking up the phone and asking questions that way.
Optimisation for Mobile Devices.
People who use phones and tablets to access the internet with outnumber those who use a PC by 2015. Hence, you can’t miss out when it comes to this significant population of internet users. Websites which take too long to load, or do not function properly on mobile devices will not convert as well if they are ecommerce websites, or will not gain any members or subscribers. You need to make sure your brand translates to mobile screens as well as PC screens. Most businesses aren’t prepared for this mobile domination. Less than 12% of newsletters use responsive design techniques to optimise their layouts for mobile devices and non-responsive websites could hinder your rankings in Google as it something they are beginning to work into their algorithm.
Understandably, it is great to have an aesthetically attractive website, however there is little point in this visual success if it is not representing what you do as a business. Style over substance is definitely not a sacrifice you should have to make. Make sure your website does not lack information that is vital to the processes of your business and the quality that you stand for. It needs to be useful, and convert those users into customers.
Chloe Hashemi is a marketing consultant for film and video production company LAMBDA Films, which is based in East Anglia, UK.