Growing a business has never been easier thanks to the impact of the internet. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or you’re trying to build your brand online, web development is important. In fact, having a digital presence is a necessity nowadays if you want to see success. While things like social media are necessary for engagement and brand recognition, there’s one thing that many small business owners often overlook – web design.
A business website remains one of the first things people look at and research when they’re trying to learn more about a business. If you don’t have a functioning and appealing site, your business could fail before it has a chance to find its footing.
Chances are, you didn’t start a business because you had extensive design knowledge. Maybe you don’t even know how to build a website. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize web development if you want to see consistent growth. Let’s take a look at why web design is so important for growing your business online, and how you can address any current design flaws in your website that could be doing more harm than good.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WEB DEVELOPMENT
It’s hard to find a successful business that doesn’t have a high-quality website. Nowadays, consumers are used to being able to find information about a business quickly with a few words and clicks. If your business has been reluctant to adopt new technologies and utilize them, you could be missing out on more engagement from your current audience, as well as significant growth.
Focusing on web development helps your business in a few different ways. First, the better your website, the more likely it is that it will rank highly with search engines. The best ways to get platforms like Google to boost your ranking include:
● Having an accessible site map
● Using target keywords
● Building more site pages
● Updating frequently
● Using relevant, informative content
If you’re not sure how to boost your digital growth with design alone, utilize existing data and use it to your advantage. Data transformation focuses on the discovery, mapping, extraction, code generation, execution, review, and implementation of data to help you with everything from organization to improved quality. Your existing site is collecting data around the clock, allowing you to learn more about your target audience. Which pages are they looking at? Where are they clicking? Is your site accessible enough for everyone, or are users leaving quickly? Data collection, transformation, and implementation can boost your development and design and draw in a larger, more responsive audience.
UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Speaking of your audience, one of the best ways to boost your growth via web development is to focus on the customer journey.
Again, most consumers will do some basic research online before they decide whether to make a purchase from a new business. As a small business, it’s important to map out what the average customer journey looks like so you can meet those customers every step of the way with exactly what they’re looking for. There are many benefits to this approach, including:
● Targeted customer insights
● Increased engagement
● Higher retention
● Optimized touchpoints
● Better customer focus
● Fewer silos
Creating a customer journey map for your business is easier than you might think. Start by setting goals for your business and what you expect to happen during your customers’ digital journeys. From there, you can define the customer personas you want to target. This goes back to the importance of data collection – the more you know about your audience, the easier it is to know what they’re looking for, and your maps can be more specific. If you don’t already have a lot of organized data, use things like surveys, testimonials, and reviews to start collecting.
Consider mapping your current customer journey against the ideal buyer journey. What do you want your audience to see on your website? How do you want them to navigate their way through your business so they can find the right products and information? When you see differences between the current journey map and the ideal one, you’ll know exactly where to make changes, create more touchpoints, and avoid roadblocks.
FUTURE-PROOFING YOUR WEBSITE AND YOUR BUSINESS
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a small business is resting on an existing site. Technology moves so quickly that it’s not enough to build a quality website and never look at it again. If you want to experience growth within your small business, you first need to focus on digital growth.
Because of technology’s consistent forward progress, you have to think ahead now to future-proof your business.
As you might expect by now, one of the best ways to do that is through data collection (noticing a pattern?). Computers will continue to change the way data is collected, providing more detailed, advanced information that you can use to increase your digital presence. If you’re not up-to-date with the latest data collection techniques and equipment, you could risk losing your target audience or mapping out a customer journey that no longer fits their needs.
Don’t stop at data collection. No matter your industry, if you really want to future-proof your business and find success for years to come, it’s essential to stay on top of tech trends and network with other professionals to determine what’s around the corner. Web development is something that needs to be consistently moving forward. If you’re not taking every step to optimize your website, promote digital accessibility, and connect with your target audience through data collection and customer service, your business could get left behind and your competitors could quickly steal away your customers simply by having better digital practices in place.
If you’re not tech-savvy or you’re not sure how to implement practical web design practices, it’s worth it to get someone on board who can take your digital presence to the next level. From building a website to collecting information and using it to engage with your audience, prioritizing web development is essential for small growth and something that should be at the top of your “to-do” list if you don’t already have a strong web presence.