When is Having a Website a Strategic Disadvantage?

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website on computerCan you name a successful business today that does not have a website? We thought so. Not being on the web is not an option for most organizations these days. A firm’s website becomes integral to their brand identity. Today, being online is not a strategic advantage; it is an essential element in even competing at all. So what strategy or online tactics give a firm a competitive advantage? What online elements hold you back? Do you have to be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like to engage prospects? Maybe not. Let’s start with the basics – a firm’s main website.

The Importance of a First Impression

Think back to your last networking session. Let’s say you meet someone and exchange business cards. What’s the first thing you do to further vet that company? For most of us, that answer is check out their website. If their website is outdated and hard to navigate, does it make you wonder about the quality of their services? For an amazingly large percentage of site visitors, the answer is yes. An updated and easy-to-use website gives a more favorable impression of a company than one that does not consider their website important. The web experience you have after meeting these two professionals will make a difference in who you talk to first.

Maybe it’s not important that your company website really stands out above all others or be an award winning site. Maybe you don’t feel the need to have all the latest news about your firm online or report on the tricks of the trade in a blog. That’s ok. Yet that’s not an excuse to have a five year old website. Research shows that a website is valued by visitors for both its functionality and appearance. Remember, your firm’s website is normally your prospects’ first impression of your firm. Does an outdated unfriendly site reflect poorly on the quality of services provided by your firm? Well, if prospects can’t properly use the site or it projects an unprofessional image, it already has.

Yes, There is an Argument for Mobile

Professional service firms should know the metrics about how their clients are accessing their websites. Do you know the percentage of users that access your site from a mobile device? Or the most common screen size? There are so many more devices with access to the Internet than there were even two years ago. This increase in devices has led to more screen sizes and operating systems available with which users access the web. With all of this change, there is no longer a “one-size-fits-all” approach to web design. Developers now need to plan how the user experience will present itself on each different device. We’ve talked about the importance of optimizing your website for mobile in previous articles, but that’s only a piece of the web design puzzle. Search engine optimization, improved functionality, and more efficient coding are among the other benefits that arise from redesigning or updating your website.

Professional service firms should know the metrics about how their clients are accessing their websites.Click to Tweet

Yes, Search Engine Optimization is Still Needed

Optimizing for better search results is no longer just a matter of having keywords scattered throughout your page; to have a truly search optimized page, you must start with the development of the site. By redesigning your site, you can more easily create pages that are properly formatted to include all of the necessary elements for organic optimization making it easier to include relevant content that reflects the keywords you want your firm to be associated with. Having a website optimized for better results is crucial.

Think “Improved Functionality”

As web developers learn more about how users browse websites, it’s important that a website’s design cater to these habits. While basic components of a website are still prominently used (search bars, navigation menus, etc.), how these parts are utilized is changing due to the advances in programming. Site navigation and content display are increasingly becoming only constrained by your imagination rather than the programming available. How accessible a site’s content is to its visitors is another benefit of a redesign. A generally accepted way to approach this is the fewer clicks a user makes while on your site, the better their experience will be.

On the back-end of a website, having updated coding can make a huge difference in page performance and loading speeds.Click to Tweet

Updated Programming

On the back-end of a website, having updated coding can make a huge difference in page performance and loading speeds. By programming a site to work with the latest versions of web browsers, sites will experience fewer crashes, while improving the site’s display and layout. Condensing your code means less information for your browser to pull leading to a faster page load time. Studies have shown that faster site loading speeds lead to a better user experience and lower bounce rates.

What Unidev Can Do For You

At Unidev, we make redesigning your firm’s website simple. Our experienced team of developers will work with you to create a website that reflects your brand and the quality of service your firm provides. By building your site in our Content Management System, Auctori, updating your website’s content is easier than ever. Contact us if you’d like more information on redesigning your firm’s website. The Unidev approach to web design is simple; it’s all about U.