Is Your Website Ready For 2017?
As we welcome the new year 2017, it is also a good time to review on your website to make sure you stay on top of your competition in this competitive digital space. If you are one of the millions who does not know what to look out for on your website for this new year 2017, this post is for you. As a web design company in Singapore, we have put together a list of questions that you can go through to determine if you should consider a website redesign as part of your plans for 2017.
While it is best to review any website on a case-by-case basis to see what changes are recommended, the questions below are still valid for any business that has at least a website.
#1: Do You Have An SSL Certificate For Your Website?
SSL is the acronym for Secure Socket Layer and is a protocol that help encrypt communications over a computer network. If a website wants to encrypt the transmission of its data between the server and the client, they would need to purchase a SSL certificate which contains an encryption key on the server. With the SSL certificate, your website can be switched to HTTPS.
You may be wondering why is this important to your website. Let us give you some back story, in 2014, Google has announced to use HTTPS as a ranking signal for their search results, which means if your site has an SSL certificate, your website will rank higher for your keywords on the search result page. Then again in 2016, Google announced to put more emphasis on having HTTPS website in order to have a more secure web. If you are using Google Chrome, you will start noticing that the address bar in Google Chrome will show “Not secure” for any login or payment page. They will continue to extend till all webpages that are not HTTPS are marked as non-secure. Given that Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers being used, you should definitely consider getting an SSL certificate to make your site secure before your web visitors get alarmed by the “Not secure” warning on your website.
#2: Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
In Singapore, almost everyone is using mobile phones or tablets to access the web. If your website is still not mobile-friendly in 2017, you MUST start planning to get one by this year. There are already countless number of online articles out there that have been emphasizing on the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, if you are still not planning to get one, you will eventually lose your market share.
From what we know, those websites that are still not mobile-friendly are sites that have outdated information. So why not make use of this opportunity to do a revamp of your website to make it mobile-friendly and, at the same time, update all your website’s content? If your current web design vendor is still designing non-mobile-friendly website for you, you should also consider changing vendor.
#3: Have You Been Updating Your Website?
There is nothing worse than having a website with a bunch of outdated information on it. If you do not update your website regularly, your clients might think that your company is not improving or value-adding to stay competitive. Eventually, your existing clients will be attracted by your competitors’ offers because they are actively updating their websites with the latest improvements to their products and value-adding their customers.
Other than your website content, you also have to update your CMS (Content Management System) to prevent your website from being hacked. Having a backup of your site does not mean you are safe as the vulnerability is still there or the malicious script has already installed onto your system. Updating the CMS core version and its plugins’ versions seem very technical and you might not know what will break after the updates too.
Hence, you might want to consider working with your web design vendor to maintain your website for you and make sure it is kept up-to-date.
#4: Is Your Website Providing Value To Your Visitors?
If your website only has your company’s information, it will not excite your visitors to come back again. You need to have valuable resources on your website such that your visitors will keep coming back and engage with your website. This breeds trust and will help convert visitors into clients over time. For example, an updated blog allows visitors to follow on the latest trends in your industry or to keep track of important announcements. You have to let the visitors know that your company is an authority in your industry by establishing your credibility through the content you created on your website. As the saying goes, content is king, so focus on writing value content and even Google will reward you!
#5: Are You Monitoring Your Website’s Traffic?
If your answer to the above 4 questions are a resounding “Yes”, then you need this important step. You need to be constantly checking on the number of visitors coming to your website and how they engage with your content. One easy to way to do so is to use Google Analytics which is a good free tool to monitor your website’s traffic. If you have very few visitors every day even after you have done all the above, then you might want to consider having a proper digital marketing plan to reach out to the public, like having a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Social Media Marketing (SSM). An effective digital marketing strategy will bring in lots of visitors to your website and, ultimately, increasing your sales.
It may seems like the digital marketing plan is the most important part but without the previous 4 points, it will not work too. So you will need to work closely with your marketing team or your web design and digital marketing vendor to work out a detailed execution plan that will allow your company to stay competitive and continue to drive in more sales for you in the long run.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider to stay competitive in the digital space. If you are not geared up by this year, you will eventually be left behind. Consider invest some of your budget this year on your online presence and it will pay off big time in the long run.
Now, if you are starting to think that your company could use some help planning a possible re-design of your company’s website or work on a digital marketing campaign – Let’s talk.