3 Things That Can Impact Your Online Business
How many times have you heard the phrase, “if you build it, they will come?” But that’s not the end of the story. With so much competition out there, if your website isn’t fast, secure, and user friendly, viewers are likely to quickly move on to the next available option. So how do you get viewers to stick around long enough for them to learn that you have the best service to offer? Let’s look at a few things to help you connect with future clients through your website.
In the digital age, there is no wait time. If your website takes too long to load, potential clients will move on to another business’ page. While it may be tempting to dress up your website with graphics, videos, and high quality, high resolution images, these may cause the individual pages of your website to load slowly. It’s also important that you reduce the size and resolution of images and videos before uploading them, not after. Remember, each image is considered its own component and needs to load individually. The more images you have, the slower a page will load. You may need images and large files like videos to really get your message across. But keep in mind that you should try to stick to the essentials. Less is more when it comes to content and speed.
You can also speed up loading time by compressing pages using free compression tools available online. It’s also extremely important to choose the right package from an established webhost when building your site. Unfortunately, the cheapest packages are likely to have the slowest loading speed. So pick wisely.
Before you launch your website, consider the fact that sites that look great on a computer screen aren’t always as clear or user-friendly on a mobile phone, tablet, or other internet-browsing device. What are you using to read this post? Chances are high that you’re using your phone. A lot of your potential clients will find your page while browsing on their phones as well. If your website is designed with a computer in mind, this may lead to distortions when viewed on a phone or tablet. This is especially problematic for features like the location of dropdown lists and internal links. The last thing any business owner wants to do is frustrate a potential client. If the layout of your website isn’t easy to follow on a phone, potential customers are likely to quickly move on to another option.
It’s also important to think about details like the difference in screen size for different devices when designing your website. One common mistake a lot of websites make is using “pop-ups,” or small windows that cover part or all of the main text. To close these on a computer, it’s easy to use the mouse to click that tiny “X” in the top right corner. It’s much more difficult to do that one-handed on a small phone screen. While there is definitely a benefit to having viewers sign up to your mailing list, asking for it in a pop-up when they first get to your website might not put them in the best frame of mind when considering your business. Consider using these after they’ve had a chance to read through enough of your content or as a last attempt, when detecting an exit intent.
Security is an extremely important consideration for any online business. Hacking can allow other individuals to change the content of your webpage and prevent you from taking the necessary steps to reclaim it. But much more importantly, this can lead to data breaches where the information of clients you’ve already worked with is stolen. Once these clients learn that their credit card information has been stolen from your website, it’s going to be extremely difficult to save your company’s reputation.
To protect your website and the privacy of your customers’ information, consider the following:
- Choose your administrative password wisely. Whatever password you choose for your administrative account should be a mix of both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Make sure that it’s at least 8 characters long. Don’t include anything predictable, like your own name, the name of your child or pet, or the name of your business.
- Consider restricting which specific devices are able to access the administrative account at all. Each web-browsing device has an Internet Protocol, or IP, Address. It’s possible to set up your website in a way that only allows the specific IP addresses you choose to be able to log into your administrative account. This means that you might not be able to make changes to your website whenever you want, but it also means that no one else can access confidential information or alter your website either.
- If you work remotely, changing work locations frequently, or if you travel often, then you might want to sign up for a VPN service, aka a Virtual Private Network. This creates a secure internet connection wherever you are, keeping you safe from any potential hackers using the same network. If you don’t use external WiFi networks much, a free VPN extension or software, with limited monthly GBs, should be enough. But if you do work outside your office or home often, then we recommend looking into paid subscriptions.
- If you look at the very beginning of any website, you’ll see that it either begins with “http” or “https.” The difference between the two types of websites is that the ones beginning with “https” are more secure. To best protect your website, use an “https” connection. To do this, you’ll need to buy a Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, which can cost as little as $8 a year.
It can be intimidating to begin an online business in today’s fast-paced digital era. And it’s easy to make mistakes that lead to long loading times, causing difficulty when viewing your website on a device other than a computer. But if your website is fast, user-friendly, and secure, potential clients are more likely to stay on your page and eventually buy. If this is not your area of expertise, don’t worry, we are here to get you up in running or help you step up your game if you are struggling in the online space. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.