Elaine Fogel

The 5 Best Places to Invest Your Website Marketing Budget

Guest post by Marlena Stoddard

Websites used to be low-priority expenses where businesses mostly shared contact information and a little about their services. Now, company websites need to make positive impressions with thousands - or hundreds of thousands - of visitors.

In today’s market, it’s not enough for your website to merely “do the job;” it has to satisfy your visitors’ needs and desires. Here are five things that will make your website work for your customers.

1. Responsive Design

Responsive design is website programming that adjusts the layout and sizes of web page elements so that they work on different-sized screens and devices. Since as many as two-thirds of people would rather interact with beautifully designed content than content that is plain or lackluster, it’s important that your site is well designed.

Ensure that visitors can engage with your site features whether they use a mobile device, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. Either hire an experienced web designer or use available tools that automatically adjust your web design for mobile screens.

2. Live Chat

If you’re selling products or services online, being available to visitors while they shop is a smart idea. Live chat systems allow you to offer suggestions and guidance in real time while visitors are browsing your site.

If you are designing your own website, look for a compatible live-chat plugin that you can customize based on certain user actions. You can set it up to ping you when someone uses it, so you don’t have to stare at the chat window all day.

3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Use SEO to increase the chances that people will find your site in Google, Bing, and other search engines. When people type in keywords that match your products/services or the questions you typically answer, good SEO will drive them to your site for information.

Research the SEO keywords that are most relevant to your business and include them in the back-end of your site. This will help guide users already looking for businesses like yours to your online content.

Be sure to leverage the power of social media to boost your online presence by interacting with users and customers on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or others in meaningful, positive ways. The more buzz you generate, the more people will be able to find you.

4. High-Quality Images

Every new generation of phones, laptops, and TVs has better screens than their predecessors. That means that even phone screens can display high-definition images with amazing clarity and detail.

Take advantage of these high-screen resolutions and use the best images you can on your website. However, be sure to use a file format that supports image compression, such as JPEG or PNG, to keep bandwidth usage low and load times fast.

Be careful not to use any photos you don’t have the rights to use. You should either pay for stock photos or find clearly indicated free images. No matter the images you choose, make sure the license allows you to use it for commercial purposes.

The sharpness and quality of your photos will help your site design be professional, modern, and leave a good first impression.

5. Short Load Times

People don’t want to wait for pages to load or things to download when they’re browsing online. In fact, 39% will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.

The longer you make them wait, the more likely they are to leave and never come back. Work with a web developer to increase page speed and streamline the coding so that visitors can navigate as quickly as possible.

Your Website Can Always Be Better

It’s easy to think that you’re finished once your website is live or re-designed, but attracting and converting visitors is an ongoing process. You should always be looking for ways to make your site a better experience for visitors.

Don’t let your website become stagnant. Keep on top of changing trends, best practices, and technologies and you’ll keep your customers happy and your business growing.

Edited by Elaine Fogel

Marlena Stoddard HeadshotMarlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, two kids, and puppy Molly Belle. Information for this post was provided to Marlena by an expert at Meredith Broadcast Digital Solutions.

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