Leap Into the Digital Age with a Responsive Website from Vega Digital
4 Reasons to Have a Responsive Web Design
- MOBILE USAGE Mobile usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time in history in 2014. Also, global mobile data usage increased by 80% from 2013 to 2014 and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing. But that’s not all. According to Google, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present. Even when there are desktops available, people are on their smartphones.
- USER EXPERIENCE According to mobiForge, 46% of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website they had trouble accessing in the past, and 33% of tablet users are less likely to purchase online from a company if they experience poor website performance. The goal of your business should be to solve a problem, NOT create one. The same should be for your website. You should strive to make the lives of your users easier.
- DEVICE FRAGMENTATION Before responsive design, the prevailing practice was to create “Mobile-versions” of websites. Now, with almost 20,000 different types of Android devices (and countless other phones, tablets, TVs,) with varying screen sizes and resolutions, responsive design is more important than ever!
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) In December of 2014, Google announced that they would be giving preferential treatment to websites that they consider “mobile-friendly.” If responsive web design was a nice-to-have before, this change has made it a need-to-have. Before, it was a courtesy, now your site will be penalized in search results for not abiding by the new standard of the web. Wondering if Google considers your website “Mobile-Friendly”? Check out their free tool and see for yourself.
Responsive Web Design:
The New “Must Have”
With the increasing use of smartphone and tablets, businesses must have a website that is not only mobile-friendly but consistent and user-friendly across all devices, meaning that the content of the website would adapt to the size of the different devices that are available.
By having a Responsive Web Design (RWD), it will help provide your visitors a better user experience, support search engine optimization goals, save your business time and money in the long run, and will give your website a competitive advantage over other businesses that haven’t yet invested in this new technology.
By the Numbers | Small Business Websites, 2016
Posted in Online Marketing
Even though it is easier than ever for a small business to set up and benefit from a website, a new survey by the marketing software company Clutch.com reveals that nearly half of small business do not have a website. Why? The majority of the no-websiters say it is not relevant to their business or because it’s too expensive.
If you don’t have a website, come up with a better excuse. If a customer is trying to find you via Google, a website is extremely relevant to your business. The majority of the small businesses covered in the survey had ten or less employees and annual revenues of less than $1 million. Here are some of the key findings:
Small businesses with/without websites
54% | (Percentage of…) Small businesses that HAVE a website
46% | Small businesses that DO NOT HAVE a website
24% | Plan to build a website in the near future
12% | Are unlikely to build a website in the future
10% | Unsure if they will build a website in the future
Reasons why small businesses don’t have a website
32% | Not relevant of business or industry
30% | Cost
12% | Use of social media profiles instead of website
11% | Need for ongoing maintenance
10% | Lack of technical knowledge
5% | Don’t know or other
For small businesses with websites, percentage that have mobile friendly websites
68% | Have a mobile-friendly website
32% | Don’t have a mobile friendly website, or don’t know if they have one
The most anticipated website changes or improvements during 2016
40% | SEO
40% | Social media marketing
39% | Content development
38% | Design
36% | More website features
32% | Mobile friendliness
31% | Security
21% | Improved user experience
21% | Improved site performance
19% | Marketing automation
7% | No changes or improvements planned
Observations and Recommendations
- All small businesses can benefit from having a website. Whether a one-page site or a comprehensive interactive tool, every single business in every single industry can benefit from having some type of website.
- The cost of not having a website is much higher than the cost of building a website, especially with the availability of lower cost DIY website builders.
- For those small businesses with a website, there are always areas to improve on a site to maximize its visibility, credibility, and usability.
- You can find new customers and build stronger relationships with current customers
- Small businesses need to make their websites mobile-friendly and further optimize these sites for mobile engagement.
- Both usability and site performance should become a priority for small business website improvements in 2017.
Small businesses that have a website will continue to benefit and further, those that have a mobile-friendly, user-friendly, optimized site will beat out competitors as they offer users a higher quality website experience.
Besides, 2017 is around the corner and if you do not have a website, there isn’t a better time to get one than now! Vega Digital Marketing offers you a variety of Web Design Packages to fit your budget (see our offers below.)
- 4-7 Pages: Home, Who We Are, Products & Services, Gallery, Contact Us, etc.
- WordPress CMS (Content Management System)
- SEO Plugin installation
- In addition to the Basic Website, the Plus Website includes:
- 7-11 Pages
- Personalized Design
- Internal SEO
- Search engine optimization, installation of plugins, forms, video, image and photo integration
- Free hosting during the first year
- In addition to the Plus Website, the Premium Website includes:
- 7-15 Pages
- Specialized software according to your needs: search engine and advanced filters
- 1 Month of website administration and service
- Includes partial SEO
- On-Page Optimization (a $900 value) includes sitemap creation, sitemap submission to Google and Bing, keyword checking and generation, Google Analytics installation, 404 error checking (page not found) and URL optimization
3 Reasons Websites Are Vital for Small Businesses
Running your own business is no easy task, and your to-do-list is guaranteed to never end. This said, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to take short cuts when it comes to having online visibility. Beginning with your website, it’s vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business. With this in mind, consider these three reasons why having a strong website is important.
1. First Impressions Count
Let’s face it – we live in a world where people Google before they shop, visit online review sites like Yelp before they buy and “check-in” via Facebook as they go about their days. Because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be. Beginning with your website, consumers are passing judgement and making decisions about whether or not they will even visit your store, restaurant or office. They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.
2. Window Shopping Isn’t What It Use to Be
Strolling down your local Main Street isn’t the only way people check out stores and other small businesses nowadays. With routine visits to Yahoo, Bing, Google, Yelp and other online sites, customers are constantly seeking where they plan to make their next purchases. Make sure your business is well represented on these sites by first and foremost, having a website – but by also being represented among each of the online search engines, review sites and other online spots your business may be considered for customer review. Beyond having your URL address available, also be sure your street address, phone number and email is easily visible. Social media links can’t hurt, either, but only include these if you are actually active on social media.
3. No Website Means Losing Business
By now it’s clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you. This said, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can actually be worse since it literally makes your business look bad. With so many template based websites available nowadays, such as Shopify.com, for you to customize for your unique business, there’s truly no excuse for your website to look unprofessional and sloppy. If you can’t proudly promote the website you have currently live and available for the world to see online, take it down. A bad website is far worse than no website – but let’s be clear… both are bad for business.
Whether you are a one man or woman show or operate with 100 employees, your website should appear as if you have a team dedicated exclusively to keeping your online presence strong and noteworthy. The key here is “appear” versus actually having someone updating your website everyday. For most small businesses, this is simply not necessary. However, having a professional, polished looking website that functions easily and offers customers easy navigation, strong photo images, professional quality content and an overall experience that engages them enough for them to want to do business with you is key.
Courtesy of Forbes Magazine | Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle
It’s 2016, so Why Do Almost Half of Small Businesses Not Have a Website?
There are 28 million small businesses in America today accounting for an estimated 54 percent of all domestic revenue, much of which is generated through online sales. Meanwhile, virtually any industry that comes to mind in the U.S. is represented by some sort of web presence, yet nearly half of small businesses nationwide operate without a website, according to a surprising new survey of small business conducted by Clutch, a B2B research firm.
More than one-in-five respondents said that a website is not in the company’s short-term future, while 17% plan on launching their website this year. Among those who did not have a website, “irrelevance” to their business and the “overall costs associated” were the top reasons cited.
I must admit being surprised that in 2016 a small business owner would consider a website not relevant.
“Everything you do in marketing is to drive awareness. Yes, there is an initial expense and to maintain traction. Even if they get a personal referral, the first thing a lot of people do is go visit a website,” said Mark Cummings, owner/creative director of Wayne, NJ-based Cummings Creative Group.
“You want to look current, not out of date. A website provides the opportunity to say who you are and what you’re about. There is a wide range of options of what you can do — from a “brochure” site to ones that are used for eCommerce,” Cummings added. “Today, a web site has to be part of your business plan.”
If your site has a blog, you can leverage relevant key words and tell your story. Essentially, you have a free medium if you do it right. This can be done on a smaller budget and you can then leverage social media on top of it.
Having a mobile-friendly website, does not appear to be a priority for small businesses — even ones that already have a site on the Internet, according to the Clutch study. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of web searches are completed on mobile devices. On Biz2Credit’s web page, almost 60 percent of the registrants come via mobile. Further, the study found that 23 percent of existing small business sites are not mobile friendly. Nine percent of respondents said they did not know if their website had mobile capabilities or not.
“It’s almost as bad to not have a mobile-friendly website as it is to not have a site at all,” says Max Elman, founder of Razorfrog Web Design. “I spend a lot of time traveling and looking up businesses on my phone. It’s common to encounter the difficulties associated with not having a mobile-ready site. People will give up on accessing it and go somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, running any type of business requires an investment of both time and money; developing a website requires both. Fortunately, web development platforms such as WIX and GoDaddy have emerged as popular low-cost solutions for small businesses.
Any company that does not have a website should seriously consider developing one — even the simplest, low cost, one or two-page website — in order to have a greater online presence. There is no such thing as a business that is too small to establish an online presence, especially with an estimated 85 percent of consumers using the Internet to find local businesses and some 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase.
According to the SBA, more than half of all small business fail within the first five years. Among the most common reasons for a business to close its doors is the lacking of experience and volume of competition. Consequently, these embody two key areas of focal when considering the implementation of a website.
There is some good news, however. Of companies that do have a website, many are planning improvements this year. The survey findings revealed that search engine optimization (SEO), social engagement, design and content development are among small businesses’ top priorities for 2016.
Many small business owners have their hands involved in many different areas of the business and web design is often a daunting task for them. Despite an increased ease in operating and developing a website, outsourcing the work to a professional web designer or marketing/p.r. firm may be the most effective solution to get your website up and running. Besides, chances are your competitors already have some sort of online presence… and if they don’t, you’re one step ahead of them!
Moving forward, more and more consumers will rely on websites and other online functions to make purchasing decisions. Even if your product or service cannot be sold online, it is important to establish a presence online — even if you only list your address and a phone number — to engage current and potential customers. If you’re not doing this as a small business owner, you will only fall behind your competition. Avoid becoming a statistic of defunct companies, building a robust website is a good start.
Clutch’s full report can be found here.