Welcome to the February 2017 edition of Web Talk, helping Kirklees website owners to prosper online.

This month is about getting back to website basics!

With online now very much a part of our culture, as consumers we have clear expectations as to how websites should work.

Here’s the basics that website owners should have in place, from a customer usability perspective.

Mobile accessibility: With more than 60 per cent of phones in the UK now being used to access the internet, it is vital that websites are available via phones and tablets.

In 2017 Google will be separating out the mobile index from the desktop index, so websites that do not have a mobile version will not be found on mobile (phone and tablet) search.

Mobile usability: It is not just essential to have a website that is accessible on mobile, but it is important that the website performs for the user.

Websites that don’t (this can be due to slow loading, broken images, poor navigation etc) will cause visitors to drop off.

This is a sign that the website is not engaging and will affect search engine positions.

Fresh content: Websites are an information resource, whether a user is looking for a product, a service or some general knowledge, a website is often the first port of call for us to find information.

Websites that are not kept up to date will be less engaging and the search engines take the opinion that if the content never changes then the website does not deserve to be ranked as high, because it is not delivering anything new to the searchers.

Google My Business: This free business directory service from Google allows businesses to register and link their website.

This is particularly important for companies who have a local target audience (this is most of us) as this service helps business listings and therefore websites to be found on local search.

It is very important that the website is linked to the business office co-ordinates, as this builds trust that the business is located where you say it is. With trust comes Google rankings.

Follow-up: Driving traffic to a website can be an expensive process and developing a follow-up strategy helps business owners to reduce customer acquisition costs, and it is something that customers expect.

Building loyalty with consumers through thank you messages and keeping your visitors informed using opt-in emails is something we all expect, and can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. We all face lots of competition and so attention to customer service and effective communication helps to build a core base of loyal fans.

Getting the basics right delivers more value for your online investment!

• To read more on this and other subjects, please visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Twitter: @andrewjfirth

Connect on LinkedIn: andrewjfirth

Ascensor are a digital agency providing website design, ecommerce and search engine optimisation.

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