Essential Featrures for any Small Business Website

Your Website is the face of your business and an effective tool for generating leads.

It will help consumers discover your products and services, philosophy, and vision.

A poorly designed Website can result in a number of negative consequences, the most negative being a lack of business and sales. In fact, your Website can actually make the difference between your customers converting and moving forward or seeking alternatives, like reaching out to your competition.

With your Website carrying so much importance, the mere thought of building a new Website or re-designing your existing one can be intimidating. In addition to design considerations there are content needs and technical aspects that need to be well thought-out. The following infographic will help you address these considerations so that you can create an effective, efficient Website which will enable you to build your small business in the online marketplace.

Web design for small business. ted360

Five mistakes on your Website

Your Website is your company’s virtual storefront.


Digital & mobile solutions for small business. ted360
At its best, it presents your business to current and potential customers, showcases your products and services, and influences – or even facilitates – purchasing decisions.

[source: Tavanberg] But poor information architecture and content strategy can turn clients away. Here are five mistakes you might be making on your Website, and how to fix them.

1. Burying key information

A restaurant’s mission statement and glamour shots of the food might seem like the top priority. But most of the time, people are landing on such sites to find out one of four things: hours, menu, location and contact information. At best, it’s annoying to customers to have to click through several pages to find out if you serve lunch or take reservations. At worst, it might make them give up and go elsewhere.

Fix it: When planning what goes where on your Website, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine the top things they’ll be looking for. This information should go in a prominent place: the home page or even a footer that appears everywhere on your site. (The CN Tower, for instance, has a very basic landing page that gives the majority of visitors exactly what they’re looking for – and lets those who want more click through and explore.) And don’t forget a place to post updates such as holiday hours or seasonal promotions, even if it’s simply a Twitter feed embedded into your site.

2. Forgetting SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, isn’t some dark-magic alchemy that requires a highly paid specialist. At its most basic, it’s simply a matter of having a Website that loads quickly and includes all keywords relevant to your business. If you don’t come up near the top in Google when people search for your company name (and city, if the name isn’t unique enough), you have a problem.

Fix it: There are two key things to think about here: first, ensuring people can find you when they’re specifically searching for you; and second, working toward your site coming up in search results related to your business. Make two corresponding lists of all keyword phrases someone might type into Google to find your business. For instance, if you’re a florist in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the first list would include your business name together with words such as “hours” and “address,” and the second might include phrases like “Mount Pleasant florist delivery.” Ensure these keywords are included in your site copy in an organic way – i.e., not so it feels like a bot wrote them.

3. Letting information go stale

If you used to be open seven days a week and you’re now closed on Mondays, you’ll have some angry customers venting on social media if they show up to a locked door. And if your site updates are so infrequent that Halloween lasts until the end of November, visitors might wonder if you take your business seriously. As for broken links, they can make for a frustrating online experience.

Fix it: Ideally, have your site built with an easy-to-use content management system, so that a designated member of your staff can quickly update text and photos without having to depend on tech support. And whether you keep yourself organized with a paper calendar or a Web-based task management system, set regular reminders to review the site to ensure that it’s up to date.

4. Favouring flash over function

Auto-play music, animated splash pages and intro videos might have been cute in 2001. But this far into the Internet age, they’re just a distraction keeping people from efficiently finding the information they’re looking for. As for layout, we’re long past the time when the goal was to be mobile-friendly. Nowadays, it’s mobile-first, and if, say, your e-commerce site is clunky on iPhones, you’re likely to be missing out on sales.

Fix it: You don’t have to kill that fancy video – just don’t put it at centre stage, and make sure it works on mobile. Similarly, ensure that your whole site is at least readable on smartphones, and ideally uses a responsive design that sizes itself to browser windows automatically. (In most cases, a separate mobile site with limited information is a bad idea.) And kill anything that auto-plays. No one needs surprise audio blasting from their cubicle at an inopportune time.

5. Being uninformative

A bare-bones site is fine for launch, but at some point, it needs to be filled out with content to draw in customers and help them assess your business. After all, not everyone will take the extra step to contact you with questions. And for companies that might want media exposure, excluding facts such as the city in which they’re based and full names and bios of founders – not to mention, for some kinds of businesses, easy-to-download photos, logos and other resources – might mean getting left out of stories.

Fix it: Build up your site with informative content, be it FAQ pages, behind-the-scenes stories and photos, or profiles of staff. Give potential customers multiple reasons to do business with you, and encourage current customers to stay engaged with meaningful articles that help them feel part of your community.

 

Technology is changing asset management.

Web design for financial services


In the old world of banking, savings and investment professionals viewed the world as two classes of people, wealthy clients and ordinary people.

The first category where offered wealth management services, and the latter where offered a savings account.

[source: Hernaes] However, banking customers were developing more sophisticated needs and the rise of self-service investment and trading platforms captured the attention of the mass affluent segment when they arrived in the mid- to late nineties. As a result, the securities industry reached a stagnation in growth and ultimately major consolidation of the brokerage industry.

Changes in the regulatory landscape also challenge status quo in the asset management industry through MifID II and Retail Distribution Review (RDR). Key takeaways from the UK market shows that the implementation of RDR has led to an advisory gap, leaving 5,5 million banking customer “underadvised”. This strongly favors self-service platforms, and players like Nutmeg has seem tremendous growth following the implementation of RDR in 2013.

With the rise of robo-advisors and intelligent automation, asset managers and financial advisors are potentially facing the same fate as the retail stock brokers. According to a survey conducted by the CFA Institute, the majority of respondents, which included more than 3,000 chartered financial analysts around the world, view asset management as the industry most at risk from disruption by automated investment tools.

Robo-advisory is a fraction of the market compared to overall assets under management, but the industry is preparing for a much more competitive future. That future is one of greater choice because “robo-advice represents the democratization of wealth management,” according to Dirk Klee, Chief Operating Officer at UBS Wealth Management. Too meet this development, UBS have developed their own robo-advisory service containing investment options that were previously only available to the distinguished few are offered wo a wide range of customers. UBS recently launched online wealth manager, SmartWealth, which lets people gain access to the Swiss bank’s investment expertise with as little as £15,000 to invest. The previous investment threshold was £2 million.

While incumbents are still addressing traditional clients, the demographics and user behavior of the typical customer is changing. Marketplace lending is not only a source of capital for SMEs and individuals, but offers an additional asset class for private investors that where once only available for wealthy clients as well as receiving a AA- rating from Fitch and Aa3 rating from Moody’s on the most senior notes on a securitization of parts of the loans portfolio earlier this year.

There is also a disconnect between the rising economic power of women and the fact that women are still a disproportionately small portion of the world’s savers and investors. The rise of everyday banking services that integrate savings as a part of daily spending behavior lowers the barrier to start saving money will also have a profound impact on future customer behavior. Their high frequency, tech-savvy approach demands and uses a variety of self-service channels and services, including personal finance management (PFM) tools and financial alerts. According to Javelin research, this demographic named ‘Moneyhawks’ are the most profitable customers banks don’t know they have.

Even though much of the change is focused on the front end, it will ultimately affect the whole value chain. Low interest rates and global trends are correlating increasingly with fund performance, and explains over half the average stock returns, favoring low cost ETFs over active asset managers. As active managers are struggling to outperform the market, Vanguard is lowering account fees to as little as 30 bps, compared to 100+ bps from a typical managed fund.

There is nowhere to hide in the changing landscape of financial services, and asset management is no exception. There will still be room for the human element in asset management, but technology will play an increasingly more important role. At the end of the day, the democratization of wealth management has the potential to make previously unavailable investment alternatives accessible to a much larger market.

 

Little to No Online Presence

ted360 Web Design for Small Business


Many small businesses are at a competitive disadvantage.

Redshift Research survey commissioned by Web-hosting company GoDaddy reports that well over half of very small businesses have no Websites or Facebook pages.

[source: Inc.] About 60 percent of very small businesses (made up of one to five people) don’t have Websites, according to a recent survey. Of those, about 12 percent have Facebook pages.

That leaves a lot of businesses relying on word-of-mouth to get their name out, though many may have a presence on online platforms like Yelp.

The Redshift Research survey, commissioned by GoDaddy, showed that the percentages were roughly the same for the U.S. and the aggregate of businesses surveyed globally, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.

“While we take for granted that everyone is online, the reality is that for many small businesses it’s simply not true,” said Blake Irving, CEO of GoDaddy, Inc. said in a press release.

The reason given by many of those surveyed, according to GoDaddy senior vice president of business applications Steven Aldrich, is that they perceive themselves to be too small.

The survey reported the percentage of businesses that saw themselves as too small for Websites at 35 percent. Other reasons given were that they lacked technical expertise (21 percent) or couldn’t afford a website (20 percent).

The statistics seem surprising until you consider that 39 percent of businesses surveyed globally and 46 percent in the U.S. consisted of only one person, according to GoDaddy.

Of course, Web-hosting business GoDaddy, for which small businesses are the core audience, thinks businesses without Websites are missing out. Aldrich points out that being on the Web makes a business easier to find.

Of the surveyed businesses that have Websites, 83 percent said their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over businesses without Websites.

“What is clear is that these very small businesses are realizing that if they don’t fully engage online, they are at a competitive disadvantage,” said Irving.

The survey was conducted of 4,009 businesses of 1-5 employees each, with the sample size split roughly equally among the eight countries where businesses were surveyed, according to GoDaddy. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points.

 

A Competitive Disadvantage

Many Small Businesses Have Little to No Online Presence

A Redshift Research survey commissioned by Web-hosting company GoDaddy reports that well over half of very small businesses have no Websites or Facebook pages.

ted360 Web Design

[source: Inc Magazine] Small businesses may be even less connected than you thought.

About 60 percent of very small businesses (made up of one to five people) don’t have Websites, according to a recent survey. Of those, about 12 percent have Facebook pages.

That leaves a lot of businesses relying on word-of-mouth to get their name out, though many may have a presence on online platforms like Yelp.

The Redshift Research survey, commissioned by GoDaddy, showed that the percentages were roughly the same for the U.S. and the aggregate of businesses surveyed globally, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.

“While we take for granted that everyone is online, the reality is that for many small businesses it’s simply not true,” said Blake Irving, CEO of GoDaddy, Inc. said in a press release.

The reason given by many of those surveyed, according to GoDaddy senior vice president of business applications Steven Aldrich, is that they perceive themselves to be too small.

The survey reported the percentage of businesses that saw themselves as too small for Websites at 35 percent. Other reasons given were that they lacked technical expertise (21 percent) or couldn’t afford a Website (20 percent).

The statistics seem surprising until you consider that 39 percent of businesses surveyed globally and 46 percent in the U.S. consisted of only one person, according to GoDaddy.

Of course, Web-hosting business GoDaddy, for which small businesses are the core audience, thinks businesses without Websites are missing out. Aldrich points out that being on the Web makes a business easier to find.

Of the surveyed businesses that have Websites, 83 percent said their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over businesses without Websites.

“What is clear is that these very small businesses are realizing that if they don’t fully engage online, they are at a competitive disadvantage,” said Irving.

The survey was conducted of 4,009 businesses of 1-5 employees each, with the sample size split roughly equally among the eight countries where businesses were surveyed, according to GoDaddy. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points.