The right website for you and your customers

Tim Smith Marketing (TSM) provides a range of website solutions and specialises in helping small to medium businesses get online with a professional website at an affordable cost. Here we explain why your website should be defined by what your business and its customers need and asks if COVID-19 has revealed the need for an upgrade in your online operations…

Online traffic has increased globally since the pandemic took hold, with early reports indicating a surge of up to 70%. With social distancing measures in place we are relying on the internet more than ever before for entertainment, learning, working and shopping. Many pet and equestrian businesses have seen a significant increase in website traffic as a result, so now is an ideal time to ensure you have a website that is functioning optimally.

Why does your business need a website?

From start-ups through to global corporations, every business needs a website. The reasons for having a website will vary greatly between businesses but if you clearly define what your needs are, you can ensure you are maximising on the opportunities a well thought out website will present.

A simple website may display information on products or services, along with contact details and not much else. For a self-employed farrier for example, this kind of basic website would be sufficient. However, websites that are crucial for influencing purchasing decisions or reaching new customers will need to work a lot harder to engage users and content will need regularly updating.

Reasons a business may gain from having a website include building trust and credibility, building a connection with customers, providing information that is accessible 24/7, gathering customer feedback, cost-effective marketing, an opportunity to beat competitors via SEO, and of course, for e-commerce sites increasing sales from online customers. The reasons are endless but focus on what is right for your business and most importantly your customers to make sure you get it right.

Should you be selling online?

Nearly 2 billion people made an online purchase in 2019 and with the recent forced closure of many bricks and mortar businesses due to COVID-19, this figure is set to rise in 2020. In order for your business to survive, can you now afford not to sell products online? An e-commerce site doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of pounds and there are plenty of affordable options on offer.

It is worth considering if your operation ground to a halt as you didn’t have an online shop to sell your essential items direct to the end user. Even if your business remained open as you were providing essential goods or services, the lockdown will have reduced footfall dramatically. Setting up an online shop could help to future-proof your business and is worth considering if you feel it could retain and increase your customers.

What makes a good website?

Your website must reflect your business and look professional. For potential customers it is likely that visiting the website will be the first time they connect with you so a good first impression is essential. For a positive experience it is important that your website is easy to navigate and the design is clean and works on all devices and screen sizes (mobile and responsive).

Useful information and good content is vital – you should regularly update your website and check for any bugs or errors. If you are selling products online a streamlined checkout and payment process is the most important function. If there are any hiccups at this stage there will be a huge increase in abandoned baskets and your conversion rate will take a nosedive.

If you are interested in a new website or would like to discuss marketing support for your current site, call TSM for an informal chat on 01724 784600 or email enquiries@timsmithmarketing.co.uk.