Anyone in the marketing or IT world knows that the way in which we do business these days, and promote our products and services, has changed rapidly over the past few years, thanks to new and ever-evolving technology.
Traditional marketing techniques, while still useful, must play second fiddle to techniques that fully exploit the digital age, and everything it has to offer. In short, unless your marketing strategy is mostly based around digital technology, it’s unlikely to be fully successful.
What business owners must understand is that their audience has changed. Increasingly, that audience is made up of digitally savvy consumers who wish to carry out as many tasks as possible online, preferably through a mobile device.
Digital Marketing Budgets
But what is clear, is that many business owners have been slow in shifting their marketing budget from traditional channels to digital, apart from some investment in social media.
All the signs have been there for some time; over the past few years online shopping has increased substantially and, according to US consultants, the digital economy is growing much faster than the global economy.
Australia’s marketing methods, and budget allocation, must reflect that. Today’s marketers need a thorough understanding of the web development technologies that help boost customer numbers and sales.
Performance and User Experience
For example, one look at website development on the Sunshine Coast should be enough to strike home the importance of website performance and user experience – or UX. Savvy marketers will be advising clients to upgrade or re-design their website for faster uploads and easier navigation, two of the most important factors in ensuring a great user experience.
The reason being, your website is no longer just an attractive addition to your marketing, but a crucial component in driving customer engagement and sales. Every extra second that your website takes to load, represents more customers lost. Sounds harsh, but it’s true.
If you want people to visit your site, then engage, then stay on the site and, finally, actually make a purchase, you need to invest in creating the best website your budget can afford. If you doubt me, take a look at some of your competitor’s sites: if they offer the same or similar products as you, but their site is quicker to load, and easier to navigate, they will win the customers.
Privacy and Security
Another crucial part of that whole user experience, is making your customer feel welcome, special and safe. Digital marketers, and web development teams on the Sunshine Coast, must understand the importance of privacy and security – especially when it comes to payments.
If a potential customer has any concerns about these issues on your site, they will leave. People are afraid of being hacked, or having their personal details passed on to others, and clearly shopping online carries that risk.
As any good website developer will tell you, it’s all about building the right security software into the site, and ensuring software is well maintained and regularly updated. It’s not hard, but allowance must be made for it in your digital marketing budget.
Don’t Risk Dodgy Hosting
A very important part of that is ensuring your website hosting company is top notch. Whilst your marketer might come up with a whole bunch of cheap or even free hosting companies, they are best avoided, if you wish to protect both your customers and your business.
For a little bit more you can have your website hosted by a secure, professional company, that offers plenty of technical support, and regular backups. My advice? Don’t go for anything less than a 99.9% uptime guarantee on network. Cheap hosting services will put your site on overloaded or outdated servers, and your site is likely to spend more time down than up!
I would also recommend choosing a web development team on the Sunshine Coast that has experience of building in secure Payment Gateways. Such a team will work with you, and the various payment gateway providers, to offer the best solution.
Another web development technology that can hugely affect the success of your website is mobile optimisation. This will not only improve user experience, but can also make a major difference to your search engine ranking.
In this day and age, there is really no excuse for not having a mobile-friendly website. I would also advise against creating a separate mobile website. Invest your digital marketing budget into creating one fast, modern, mobile-friendly site, with a good Content Management System, great security and a reputable host.
Good digital marketers will also be recommending a fresh SEO strategy to reflect recent updates to Google algorithms, and the use of professionally written content for both user engagement and ranking boosts.
Choose the right web development team, and invest in sound digital marketing, and you will have a website, and a strategy, that will inform, engage and convert your customers.