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  • Writer's pictureGraham Henrickson

Is Your Website Fit For Purpose?

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

Over centuries of human development - 'face-to-face' became the most trusted and reliable way for purchasing goods. You could look the seller in the eye and if necessary, try before you buy. This proved to be the No.1 obstacle to the growth of online sales.

While consumers had come to trust the internet as a source of information, this did not apply to online transactions. Concerns about internet fraud and poor security were the major causes of this reluctance, plus 'face-to-face' transactions were the 'norm' and entrenched in daily life.

But Covid-19 turned everything 'normal' on its head. Subject to mandatory lockdowns and unable to leave home for months at a time, consumers had no choice but to use the internet for the purchase of goods and services. Internet traffic surged and online transactions boomed across all demographics. With this seismic shift in consumer behaviour, websites suddenly became critical for doing business.

While post-Covid will no doubt see the return of many tradition consumer behaviours, internet traffic and online purchases are expected to continue their rise. But before you rush out and hire a web designer or agency to build a new website for your business, you should do some homework first.

1. Among the things you should know, is that websites have changed and the most significantly changes have occurred in the past 3 years. For many years, websites were used as a basic form of digital marketing much like a full colour online version of a yellow pages ad. But with innovative changes in design and added functionality, websites have evolved into a powerful tool and can now be integrated into a business and used to reduce the administrative burden, improve efficiency, and help deliver greater customer outcomes. But simply having a website does not guarantee online success.

2. Another thing worth noting is that the internet offers small to medium size business something unique – a level playing field. That is because the best performing websites are innovative, easy to navigate and engage their target audience. Size and location are no advantage.

3. However, the internet has one major drawback - fierce competition. As well as industry rivals, there is stiff competition from other websites and social media platforms targeting the same audience. Time poor and overwhelmed by this battle for their attention, consumers have learned to be brutal in their judgement of websites. Fail to capture their attention within a few seconds and they will leave your site and may never return.

4. When I say competition, I mean COMPETITION. For most industries, there are thousands of individual businesses listed on the internet. But unless they are well known and respected, it is the few that appear on the first page of search results that stand the best chance of being considered. The emergence of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been a game changer and the application of expert knowledge in this field can have a direct influence on search engine results.

5. You will recall I previously mentioned fraud and security. Well, there have been significant changes with this, as there had to be. Legal compliance is a major requirement of websites today. This includes cookie notifications, a privacy policy and terms and conditions in accordance with the Trade Practices Act. While I am not aware of random checks by the relevant authorities, all it takes is a consumer complaint and you could find yourself in a tricky situation.

6. All these innovative designs, new functionality and competition for consumer attention has reduced the average life expectancy of a business website from 5 years down to three. Fail to change or update your website after 3 years and you risk losing your customers to competitors as well as damaging your long-term business.

7. While foreign low-cost web designers can appear to be an attractive option, the fact remains that you get what you pay for. Poor English comprehension, lack of commercial understanding and local knowledge are common challenges. The best thing to happen has been the introduction of free templates in place of bespoke design. As a result, web development is easier, faster, and cheaper than ever before. In fact, the costs for a new website have never been lower.

idResults created a free web checker to evaluate your current website.

idResults are experts in web strategy and design for aspirational brands, trades, and services as well as healthcare professionals. For an obligation free and confidential discussion about your website or web strategy Call Us on 0419 491 485 or use our Contact Us Form

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