Entrepreneur, invest in your business
A good website is vital for an entrepreneur
Running a business comes with a surprising amount of expenses. As your income may vary, it is natural to try and cut costs wherever possible, especially in the starting stages of entrepreneurship. When you're budgeting your necessary investments, your website might not be on the top of your mind, and so the cost of a professional one may come as a surprise to the unprepared starting businessperson. Even so, your website is one of the things you do not want to skimp on.
Responsiveness is key
The importance of the internet as both a marketing and sales channel for businesses has increased radically over the past decades. Whereas a website was a nice bonus ten years ago, it is an absolute necessity today. It is important to keep in mind that people not only use the internet daily these days, but they also use it in new ways. Smart phones have become the dominating device for browsing, and statistics provided by Statistics Finland show that in 2017 68% of people aged 16 to 89 used their phones to access the internet. For 16 to 34's, the corresponding percentage was 93%. At Noita Digital over half of our visitors came through our mobile site.
With these numbers in mind it is important that a website is both agile and functional, regardless of the device being used. Responsiveness, optimisation for mobile devices and user friendliness help you stand out from the competition and offer a pleasant browsing experience for the potential customer. Responsiveness is a website's ability to conform to different devices, such as smart phones, tablets and tabletop computers. A responsive website recognises the device being used, and adapts the content, layout and functionality respectively.
Mobile optimisation is also becoming increasingly important. The leading online search engine Google recently announced they will begin prioritising mobile websites in their search algorithm. This means that - when forming the search ranking - their algorithm will primarily be using the content and structure of mobile websites. A website's Google ranking dramatically affects how easy a website is to find, and thus the amount of visitors who make their way to it. Hence it is extremely important to make sure your website works as intended also on mobile devices.
"Don't make me think"
Responsiveness and mobile optimising are important components of the general user experience, but user friendliness consists of more than just technological measures. It's an all-encompassing principle that creates the foundation for a pleasant user experience. Digitalisation brings with it a constant and at times overwhelming stream of information that can be time consuming and frustrating to navigate. If a website is slow to load, hard to navigate and offers too many choices, it can lead to visitors leaving the page. A good webpage is intuitive and requires a minimum of effort from the user's part. A visitor to your page should not have to spend time figuring out how your website works; the webpage should instead cater to the user's needs. As the user experience expert Steve Krug puts it: a user shouldn't be made to think.
Can a good website be affordable?
There are numerous services available online that give the appearance of offering free websites, but from an entrepreneur's point of view these are not a good alternative. A potential customer will often form their first impression of your company based on your webpage, and a clumsy and poorly functioning site will reflect poorly both on you and your company, even if your work is impeccable.
Websites that seem free aren't actually free - they are funded with advertisements that will show up on your website and that are often situated in ways that make using your page more difficult. If the point is to sell your product, why would you want somebody else's adverts on your site? "Free" websites also often charge money for enhancing the usability. For example getting your own domain, removing ads and so on costs extra. To make matters worse, free websites may not let you modify the appearance or functions of your page, and especially the mobile usability is often poor.
As mentioned earlier, from the user's perspective it is vital that a website is easy to use. Free sites are often difficult and unpleasant to use, which results in you losing customers - especially when a well-functioning competing website is only a few clicks away. In other words, a free webpage may turn out to be very expensive indeed.
DIY or hire a professional?
You can of course also make your own website. You can find many platforms and guides on how to use them online. It's easy to think that doing things yourself is a handy way of saving money, but remember to take into consideration the value of your personal time. As an entrepreneur your time is your most valuable resource. Making a website, especially if you are inexperienced, can eat up enormous amounts of time. Might not this time have been better spent doing things that only you can do for your budding company? There is much to be said for learning by doing, but your first work is rarely going to be your finest, and when what we're talking about is in effect the primary interface between you and your would-be customers, you shouldn't set your aim on anything less than excellence. When you hire a professional, you can rest assured that the end result will hold both a high quality and that it will be quickly executed, which in turn leaves you free to concentrate on running your business.
Here at Noita Digital we will make you a professional website in minimum three days without compromising on quality. We also consider familiarising the customer with their new webpage an important part of our job; we believe in sharing knowledge and encouraging customers to take control of their own website. To achieve this, we include a two hour personal introduction session with any purchase of a website, so you can keep your page up to date yourself. In this way you get the best of both worlds: a professionally made website with the speed and quality that entails, combined with the freedom to maintain your website independently.
If you feel like it might be time to upgrade your website,
don't hesitate to contact us!
This blog post was written by Satu. Translated from Finnish to English by Arne.
Jakob Nielsen https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages/
Shaun Anderson https://www.hobo-web.co.uk/your-website-design-should-load-in-4-seconds/
Steve Krug https://www.sensible.com/