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How To Improve Your Business' Website in 2018 A look at a few crucial ways -from embracing SEO to upgrading web hosting services- to give your site and business the best possible chance of success in 2018.

By Chris Danks

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The digital age's vast array of modern technology has completely revolutionized the business world, but none more so than the influence of the internet. These days, a company without a website is almost unheard of, meaning site owners need to consistently up their game to have any hope of competing successfully against rival companies.

There are many aspects to consider when it comes to creating and maintaining a website. Some are more crucial than others, sure, but that's not to say the subtle details should be ignored. In fact, it's those minor factors which we break down below that can define your success, as you capitalize on them, whilst others overlook and dismiss them.

Write high-quality content

Well-written content is an essential characteristic of any reputable website. Without it, you'll struggle to engage your target audience and promote your company efficiently. High-quality web copy throughout the various pages of your site gives customers a reason to stick around, check out what you have to offer, and massively increase the chances of successful conversions.

Another popular and useful form of content is blogging. While this started out as a novel way to keep a digital journal, it's now become a crucial marketing tool for businesses, helping them to improve their site's SEO and directly connect with their audience. A blog is the perfect platform to establish your brand further, as well as provide more information about products and services.

How user-friendly is your design?

The first thing you notice when visiting a website is its design, for better or worse, which is why it's common to mull over your site's theme and other aesthetic aspects for quite some time. While there's no doubt that the style and professionalism of your website's design need to be top notch, its user-friendliness (or lack thereof) that will prove to be the deciding factor.

When potential or returning customers visit your website, it's crucial for their experience to be an efficient, hassle-free affair. If your site is complicated or confusing to navigate, links or buttons don't work correctly, or the information they need is nowhere to be seen, it's safe to say your competitors will be gaining a new customer.

Primary menus should be located in plain sight (ideally at the top of the page), and respond correctly for swift, effortless navigation. All internal and external links should lead to the correct pages/sites. Also, ensuring that your contact information is easy to find will prove to be useful for repeat business if any issues should occur.

Improve performance with better web hosting services

As technology continues to advance, our levels of expectation increase. Take the internet, for example. It was only a decade ago that the screeching sound of dial-up internet trying to connect was the norm. Now, broadband services provide us with a rapid connection, allowing websites to load in a matter of seconds. Anything less is now considered to be subpar.

Sounds harsh, right? Maybe so, but the fact remains- if your business website is slow, people won't hang around when there's a quicker and more reliable alternative. One of the ways business owners improve site performance is by upgrading their website hosting service. Upgraded web hosting grants you more bandwidth and web space to play with, and therefore increases the efficiency of your website. In the early days of creating a website, budget, underpowered web hosting is the norm, but to challenge with the high rollers of your industry, quality website hosting is not a choice; it's a necessity.

Benefits include quicker loading times and little to no unexpected downtime, as well as providing you with a safer server environment. While shared hosting is the cheaper option, it means you'll "share' the resources of one server with other websites. VPS hosting, meanwhile, provides you with your own resources, and dedicated servers hosting provides you with an entire physical server.

Embrace SEO

As someone who uses the internet as part of their career and therefore spend lots of time online, you're bound to be aware of, or at least will have stumbled upon the term: SEO. This stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's something that every website owner should take note of and embrace to the fullest.

SEO relates to the marketing methods used to make websites rank higher on search engines. Ranking higher means you'll appear on the initial pages of a search, and give you a better chance of gaining new customers. While this may sound complicated to anyone who isn't acquainted with marketing knowledge, the truth is that SEO techniques such as keywords and backlinks are easy to apply to your content and benefit you greatly.

Keywords are phrases and words that relate to your business and industry, which you should be using throughout your copy and blog posts. For example, if you're a builder based in London, it will benefit you to rank for keywords like "London builder' or "builder in London'.

Backlinks are links to high-authority websites to support statistics and other data mentioned in your content. This tells search engines that your site is a relevant and reliable source of information.

As it stands, there are around four billion people who use the internet. Four billion! That statistic alone is a good reason to invest time and effort into your business's site. With a website, you have the ability to connect with and market to a broader customer base than ever before. So, it's vital to ensure that you do your very best to improve it wherever possible, and the advice mentioned above will give you some ideal areas to start.

Related: Measuring (Online) Success: Four Elements To Consider For Your SEO Campaign

Chris Danks

Owner and Director, Cyber Host Pro

Chris Danks is the owner and director of Cyber Host Pro. With over fifteen years of experience in the hosting industry, he now supplies businesses all over the world with a wide range of website hosting services.

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