Businesses must have some level of digital presence, and it’s especially important if you’re marketing your products and services to younger generations, as their world is almost wholly online.
And with 75 per cent of consumers admitting that they judge a business’s credibility based on their website design[i], an easy to navigate, up to date and well-presented website shouldn’t be underestimated.
Here, OnDeck’s digital marketing manager, Amit Kacker, gives five simple hacks that can give your digital shopfront a winning edge.
1. Don’t take our word for it
Millennials, for example, won’t simply take your word for how good your products and services are – they’ll want proof! For an SME, fresh client testimonials are the most effective way of creating this body of evidence, as well as providing word-of-mouth publicity that will create cut-through with new leads.
Apart from telling people you’re doing a great job, fresh client testimonials also provide your website with new content, which is important for driving search engines to your digital shopfront.
2. Mobile phone friendly
Interestingly COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in more browsers using their desktops and laptops to surf the worldwide web. Prior to COVID-19, around 70% of online searches were conducted using mobile phones.
Once life returns to normal, it’s fair to assume mobile phones will again be the go-to devices when Googling for goods and services.
On this basis, you need to check whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. Check out this free tool from Google where you can test your SME’s website for its “mobile friendliness”. Simply paste the URL of your website into the tool and within a few seconds, you’ll have the results.
3. Secure your online assets
With more people working from home, online security is a major issue. In fact, some recent international research shows that hackers attack websites every 39 seconds[ii].
On this basis, be sure to install a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate as a crucial first step in safeguarding your digital shopfront. SSLs are digital protocols designed to provide communications security for web browsing, email, instant messaging, and voice over IP.
Also, use anti-malware software that can scan for and prevent malicious attacks, while keeping your website up to date by using the latest software patches is a must. Using outdated software is like inviting the online crooks into your shop via the backdoor. Furthermore, make it hard for the hackers to guess your passwords – 123456 simply won’t cut the mustard.
Additionally, be aware of phishing emails and other scams the online criminals are using to attack your SME and customers.
4. Embrace social media
Social media users in Australia are some of the most active in the world, with a total of around 60% of the country’s population an active user on Facebook[iii].
To make sure you get a cut of the action, you should feature social icons and links throughout your website that enable visitors to share information and content about your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
5. Update your website regularly
In times gone by it was perfectly fine for a 7-10 year gap to lapse before a website required a facelift. Now it’s more like three years, as new, more user-friendly design platforms hit the online world at a more regular rate.
The upshot of this design revolution is that a stylish website makeover is now relatively more affordable and pain-free than even five years ago. WordPress is an excellent starting point for a redesign. But there are other platforms too such as webflow, Carrd, wix.com, Weebly and Format that can help you present a cleaner digital shopfront with the latest designs on a more regular basis.
Finally, new content is also crucial to keeping your website fresh and current. But for time-strapped small business owners, this doesn’t mean writing a new blog post every hour – far from it! Instead, you can take existing content and re-purpose it with a new headline.
If you’re a house painter, for example, you can easily modify a blog about tips for painting walls. With a tweak to a paragraph, you can re-post the blog as an advice piece about how to re-coat your living room. This simple hack provides your website with fresh content and more reason for browsers to visit your digital shopfront.
Want more info?
Connect with Amit on LinkedIn for more tips and insights!
Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at August 2020. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.