Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

WordPress – Why Your Company’s Website Needs It

wordpress website logo

As an agency specializing in WordPress design, we often hear business owners say their company already has a website. Then when we begin explaining the value of having a WordPress website to them, they quickly want to know why their current website isn’t good enough and why they should switch. Sound like you?

Or maybe you have already ruled WordPress out because it’s designed for blogs, which your company doesn’t use (although you should!). WordPress has been around since 2003 and in the beginning it was targeted toward bloggers, but it has evolved into the #1 most popular content management system (CMS) for good reason! Over 24% of the internet’s websites are powered by WordPress, with that number rising every year.

So why is it different? What are the benefits? Though there are literally thousands of reasons to convert your site to WordPress, I’ll give you the most popular ones:

WordPress is Free!

This fact still excites my developer husband. With thousands of design themes and plugins to suit any website need, it truly is amazing that WordPress is a free software service. It’s free because it is run by a volunteer group of consultants interested in expanding the software. It’s a community where experts are invited to create a theme, write a plugin, answer tech support issues, and generally contribute. Once you begin using WordPress, all those community benefits become accessible to you. You receive support, downloads, themes, etc. And many are also free to install and modify, which makes WordPress so universal and loved.

The open source code is also especially helpful for beginners wanting to learn how to maintain their own website. It enables anyone to view, study and change the source code of the software. The only investment required is on hosting and a domain in order to operate WordPress.

WordPress is User Friendly

wordpress website cms

No coding experience required. Novices are able to upload video and pictures, edit blog posts, manage content and create new pages. WordPress offers hundreds of articles for beginners. The WordPress platform allows you to log in from any computer, day or night, and make changes so you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to contact your design company. You have control. And because blogging was the original target for WordPress, it remains to be the simplest platform on which to blog. Blogging is already built in to WordPress and ready to use, so every site from e-commerce to photo gallery will gain from its benefits.

WordPress is SEO Friendly

If your company’s website is struggling for first page placement on Google searches, then powering your site through WordPress is a good option for you. WordPress’ code is written to be highly compliant with search engines. It’s clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to index your site. Additionally, you can prime your WordPress website using keywords to make search results very specific. And because Google loves new content, the fact that you can easily and regularly upload changes and modify your company’s site will boost your SEO.

WordPress is Safe

A lot of novices feel insecure with their ability to maintain their own website, fearful they might “break it” or that it might be susceptible to hackers. Rest assured, WordPress is secure. There is a specific process to “harden” a WordPress website installation that doesn’t exist in traditional websites. And with the right agency, your site will be safe even with multiple users. You, as the administrator, have the ability to appoint users on your site and grant them varying access levels and capabilities.

WordPress Can Grow

Your company’s website is not limited to its original design and functionality with WordPress. There is no need to start from scratch and build a new site because your business changed its marketing strategy or branding method. Want to add an event calendar, calculator, or email sign-up form to your site down the road? That’s not a problem for your WordPress engine. Even if you need to expand your site by adding pages or a video, WordPress is adaptable and none of it will negatively affect the performance of your company’s website.

A huge way WordPress grows a business is by recognizing mobile devices. If your company does not currently have a mobile-friendly website, WordPress covers that by configuring your site to adapt when being read on mobile devices so that it is viewed appropriately. Brilliant, huh?

There are so many benefits for companies that convert to a WordPress website, it’s impossible to name all of them. But if you are beginning to see the value of hiring a WordPress expert agency, feel free to fill out our contact form to discuss your project and we will be happy to set you up and on your way to managing and maintaining your own website. WordPress training comes standard, of course.

Have you already experienced the benefits of powering your site through WordPress? We’d love to hear it! Post below your favorite WordPress qualities and plugins to share.

Go Responsive or Go Broke

It’s time to go mobile, business owners. In 2013, we started to see companies encroaching on the mobile market and developing a new kind of website – not just a mobile version that spelled out your company’s URL with an “m” before the web address, but a responsive website. As more varieties of mobile devices are invented (tablets, laptops, smartphones), there is a growing need for a single website that will function and respond flawlessly on all devices, hence, a responsive site. Those quick to catch on soon realized if they wanted to beat out the competition, investing in a responsive website for their business early on would give them a leg-up that would last. And they were right!

Will Consumers find your business or your competitors’?

responsive design

In May 2014, Google discovered that local searches led 50% of mobile users to actually visit stores. In fact, 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone occur just before consumers visit a store and half of consumers who performed a local search on their smartphone will visit a store within 1 day. Google already knows that businesses that list local content are favored in mobile searches, so it’s important your company’s website can be uniformly viewed on whatever device your customers are using. What’s more is that 4 out of 5 consumers perform local searches on search engines, with 88% using smartphones and 84% searching on tablets and laptops. Specifically, these mobile searchers want to know when your local business is open, where you are located, how to get there, and the availability of products. If this information is not quickly found on your company’s mobile website, it’s time to upgrade to a responsive design that clearly reflects these basics. Otherwise, you might be left out of the competition as this trend will only grow in 2015.

While rooting out which website trends are most popular for 2014, the movement toward a mobile responsive website nears the top of the list yet again and is expected to grow in the years to come. Currently, there are over a billion smartphone users worldwide and counting, so companies that fail to tap into this marketing mecca are declining into a serious disadvantage. Google Analytics is a great way to gauge how urgent your need is for a responsive design by helping you track how much of your site’s traffic is currently coming from mobile sources.

Don’t substitute social media as your company’s website

Think posting all your business info on Facebook is enough? Sadly, what companies don’t realize is mobile users are searching for you by name, product or service, and if you don’t show up in local search results, then you have missed out on sales. That’s why it’s so crucial for your company to have its own space online, especially one that is responsive. This rule is especially true for companies that are in the retail or food business. Because many decisions about where to eat or where to shop are made impulsively and based upon a consumer’s mobile search result, you want to be certain your business website shows up as a mini virtual version of your store.

mobile responsive design

Social media has gone mobile. More than half of social media usage is through a mobile device. So, if you’re posting business content on a social media platform to lead customers back to you, be sure to have a responsive website so all the content will be viewed nicely and function properly on a mobile device. Otherwise, users will leave unhappy and your conversion will suffer. Having a responsive website will also give customers an easier way to contact you for comments or complaints, making it less likely they will plaster it all over social media.

Is Responsive Design Really Worth The Cost?

The truth is, making a website responsive is about as costly as making a conventional site, but in doing so, there are many costs you are eliminating. Once a site becomes responsive, the development, marketing and maintenance costs significantly decrease. Responsive design has acknowledged the open future of new devices and will automatically conform to whatever new device your customers use. So, developmentally, you will not have to duplicate your website for mobile, tablet, desktop, etc., saving you on future costs. Responsive design also offers a single code base, so your developers are no longer managing and testing multiple code bases.

Value through responsive design is also received through your company’s marketing costs. By eliminating different versions of your website, the cost of ownership maintenance and effort decreases. Not to mention, there becomes only one website to SEO (which makes Google happy). Google stated it prefers responsive design as the “recommended mobile configuration” because it makes it easier for them to index content online. And we all know if there is anything we can do to please Google, it will boost our search engine ranking.

Google favors user experience and shared with us that 48% of users stated when a website does not function on their mobile device, it makes them feel the company doesn’t care for their business. Business owners need to come to realize more and more of their customer base is coming from the mobile pool and if their website isn’t fully functioning on those devices, they’re missing out on a growing market (but their competitors will thank them!)

So, how much will going responsive cost? It depends, but a better question to ask is how much value will a responsive design bring to your business? There is a unique value that responsive design brings, especially through content driven websites. Going responsive is a great choice especially when you consider they’re no extra cost compared to most other mobile approaches. A few things are certain: you will notice a reduced demand on your time for site maintenance and content management. You will also notice an increase in marketing efficiency and greater opportunities in the mobile channel. And after you’ve made responsive design work for you, you can spend your extra time and money investing in SEO, keeping customer relations, or on family.