Business Technology

How to give your website a competitive edge

5 min read

22 April 2014

As technology advances, it becomes vital that a business’s website stands out from its competitors in order to be successful. Here are just a few things that every business should consider to give their website a competitive edge.

Live chat

As a website lacks the ambience of a sales person, implementing live chat into your website is a great way to improve customer service and can help to encourage consumers to invest in your products or services. Live chat creates the feeling of a human presence, which will help to increase consumer confidence when purchasing products as well as gives them the option to ask any questions that they might have. 

Live chat can also help to enhance your businesses brand personality as talking to someone from the company will allow consumers to get a better idea about your business and the businesses brand values. What’s more, live chat increases your chances of communicating with a broader range of customers. For example, Best of Suffolk, a company who specialise in Suffolk cottages, discovered that live chat is a great way to communicate with the younger generations who do not feel comfortable calling and asking questions. 

Video

Thanks to larger bandwidth and faster connections, use of online video has rocketed over recent years. YouTube is currently the second largest search engine in the world and has over 1bn unique monthly visitors. Indeed, implementing video, which is 5.33 times more effective than text alone, will help to make you stand out against your competitors.

For example, if your website has a current written blog, then upgrade it to a video blog to communicate with your consumers – 60 per cent of visitors will watch video content before reading text that is on the same page. Furthermore, the value of video is much more than text alone. According to research, video is worth 1.8m words, which is the equivalent to 3,600 typical web pages. If your website combines text and video and your competitors do not, consumers are much more likely to choose to convert on your website. 

Web design

The landing page is the beginning of the consumer journey. Therefore, it is essential that a good first impression is made. It should immediately represent the desired brand image and immediately attract the consumer to explore further. 

Big Fork, a company that offers web design, state that “your website design isn’t just something to print out and admire, it’s an important step in the process of developing a powerful marketing tool”. Web design is more than just choosing a background colour for your website, you need to carefully plan what brand identity you want to convey and consider exactly how you are going to go about achieving it. 

Aspects you should be looking at:

  • Colours;
  • Graphics;
  • Fonts; and
  • The look and feel of your website. 

Furthermore, it is essential that once you have decided on all the design elements, that you consistently use it throughout your webpages as well as on other online platforms. This will ensure that a strong brand identity is achieved. It will also give your customers the impression that you are a professional and successful business. 

Navigability

Easy navigation is essential in today’s competitive online market – it’s all well and good having a website that looks physically great, but if the user cannot easily navigate their way around the site then they will find another site that does. As Steve Jobs used to say: “Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works”. 

Consider the user experience and what their goal intentions are. For example, an e-retailer with a large catalogue of products would need a search engine to support users in finding their way through the product range. If the consumer can’t find what they are looking for then they will leave the site.

Laura Harrison is a professional writer who works with Best of Suffolk, who offer a wide range of Suffolk Cottages.

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