As the owner of a new start-up business, you want to create waves within your industry and put the competition on notice. One such way that business owners choose to do this is with a top of the range, all-singing-all-dancing website that packs everything onto the homepage.
That, however, is not the right way to go about a new website, especially when you are competing for rankings against older and more authoritative domains than yours. You may be thinking that packing in oodles of media and cool features looks great, but this will severely damage websites load time and, with that, the user journey. Google will not look favorably on this.
Striking the Right Balance
Rather than trying to blow your competition’s website out of the water with features they don’t have, think about why they don’t use those features. For a business/e-commerce website, the user journey is the most important factor to be considered and, unless you can come up with a valid reason as to how a feature will improve the experience, it should not be included.
A well-designed website with a subtle approach is best for new businesses. You do not want to overdo the design aspect, as more focus needs to be put into optimizing your website (more on this later). Think of yourself as a customer, and make a list of goals that you wish to achieve on your visit to the website – such as finding products, visiting separate pages and, most importantly, checking out.
The average user will expect a website to load in under two seconds and will click away if the load time takes longer the three second – thus increasing your bounce rate. Ideally, your website should be aiming for around a one second load time, as this will make the audience feel that they can browse the site freely.
When a potential customer knows exactly what it is they are looking for, they are not going to wait around for a website that will not load quickly. What they are going to do is go back to the search result and click on your competitor, whose smooth running website will take away a sale that could have been yours.
Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups
As a start-up business with zero authority, you have to be precise with your targeted phrases. For example, a brand new sportswear company will not get anywhere by making ‘sports clothes’ or ‘football shirts’ their keywords as global brands such as Nike and Adidas will likely dominate.
Targeted and localized phrases such as ‘Peterborough sports shop’ or ‘football shirts in Peterborough’ will rank for local users looking for an exact product. Audiences that click through with such targeted keywords are likely to produce high conversions. Further localized examples can be found at i3media.net
As Google also ranks websites on usability, ensuring that your pages contain high quality and unique content presented clearly is key. Pages with little content (fewer than 200 words) will not perform as well as those with an abundance of text (400 words or more) as this will allow search engines to pick up on key phrases. Other media such as embedded videos and images can also be used for SEO purposes, but should not be overused so as to maintain the performance of the website.
Learn from (Inevitable) Mistakes
As a start-up business forging your way into the industry, you are going to make mistakes. It is a given and, when these happen, it is how you address these issues that will make or break your business.
The same goes for your website. Your website will not be perfect when it goes live because you do not know everything that your customers are looking for, which is why you should always seek their feedback. Take on board your customers’ thoughts and look at how this can be implemented if there is sufficient demand.
Conclusion: As a start-up business, a simple website will go a long way as you look to establish yourself, and as time progresses you can look to evolve your website, tailored to your customers’ needs.