Why Optimising Your Website is Good for Business

A sizeable percentage of your customer base is already using their mobile devices to purchase your products or services. In all likelihood, given current statistics, this percentage will grow exponentially in the near future.

The question is, how prepared is your business website to handle the explosion in mobile usage among your target audience?

Simply having a website up and running won’t meet this demand. The way your site looks and how well users can navigate differs dramatically from desktop usage to mobile devices. Screen size is different. The speed with which websites load is different. The way a business site’s homepage looks on a mobile screen is different.

If your site isn’t optimised to accommodate mobile devices, it can be difficult to view and navigate. Any such difficulty can be enough to deter prospective customers and their impulse to make a purchase on the spot. If so, chances are you’re losing out on a lot of business.

According to online marketing expert Ian Mills, mobile users “report that their mobile purchases are often impulse buys,” which “underscores the importance of optimising your mobile experience to match a visitors needs and behaviors” when they browse your site.

Generally speaking, three design strategies are used in optimising websites: mobile optimised, mobile friendly, and responsive design. All three ensure—to differing degrees—that mobile users can download your site and view it effectively, regardless of browser or device being used. It’s up to you and your IT team—or trusted third-party vendor—to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your site and opt for the best design solution.

What’s important to include in your optimisation strategy? Consider the following:

The call-to-action (CTA) must be visible and accessible at all times. A user interested in getting more information about your business should be able to easily locate a CTA on their mobile screen—and click for whatever comes next. The simplest solution is creating “eye-catching, stand-alone calls-to action” to enhance visibility.

Streamline the navigation process. Mobile users must be able to move through site pages with speed and efficiency. Consequently, there should as few steps as possible to take them from your home page to the products/services page and then to check-out. Other key tips:

  • Employ image scaling to make sure images download with appropriate dimensions, and without slowing the navigation process.
  • Offer content that is quick, succinct and easy to read.
  • Stay away from pop-ups, which can be inconvenient and frustrating to mobile users.

A mobile optimised website enables “more customers to be reached at a quicker rate,” notes digital strategist Justin Wong, and this can dramatically “increase customer satisfaction.”

Use icons instead of words. On larger screens, it’s OK to feature text like “click here” to prompt further actions. On an optimised site, the use of traditional mobile icons is far more preferable. These reduce clutter and make the desired action easier to recognise and perform.

Keep contact information front and center. Prospective customers may or may not make that all-important impulse buy, but most do want essential business information (contact numbers, email, store location and hours, etc.). As concisely as possible, make sure such information is highly visible on all of your optimized web pages.

Test your optimised site. Want to know how effectively your optimisation upgrade is working? Try Google’s mobile-friendly test. After providing your site’s URL, this resource will assess its degree of “mobile-friendliness” and give you a view of how the site appears to a mobile user. It can also offer insights into how well or poorly various pages load.

The need for mobile optimisation isn’t going away. It’s become a necessity for businesses concerned with retaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Want more advice on technology and its impact on your business? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

Tactics for Strategic Cost-Cutting in Your Business

For many businesses, cost-cutting becomes necessary in times of sales slumps and reduced revenue. But strategic cost-cutting is a different matter altogether. This process, as Forbes contributor Rodger Howell notes, “helps ensure an organization is ready for growth” with a focus on “aspects of the business that are controllable while freeing up resources” that can lead to future growth.

Become a better negotiator. Business is based on transactions, specifically those that in some way benefit both parties, the seller and buyer. As CEO or business owner, you’re often well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of your company. Are you making sure to keep your negotiating skills at their highest level?

A skilled negotiator walks into a meeting with a vendor, for example, having “already explored all of the possible outcomes and how each aligns with [their] overall strategic plan.” Armed with the knowledge of how much vendors charge for the same types of products, you can cut costs by aggregating purchases to achieve savings in volume.

Identify cost-saving measures linked to multiple business locations. If your company operates offices in several locations, try performing a “geographic income statement” that pinpoints areas where budget cuts can be made without sacrificing product or service quality. If one area regularly outperforms another, it might be time to shut down the underperformer and focus resources where they gain the highest ROI.

Explore flexible scheduling for employees. A great deal of money is spent on supporting employees who work traditional hours in a traditional workplace setting. If your company hasn’t already explored the potential benefits of flex-time and telecommuting, now’s a good time to start. When employees work remotely, you can reduce expenditures related to utilities and even negotiate a reduction in your building lease or rent payments. These savings can make a big difference spread over months or years.

Cut travel-related expenses. Business travel may be necessary, but it doesn’t have to involve needless expenses. CNBC offers these budget-slashing travel tips:

  • Book your flights as far in advance as possible.
  • Leverage all the hotel chain and airline rewards programs you can.
  • Forego the convenience of flying into a major airport hub if the costs involved in flying into smaller regional airports are significantly less.
  • Encourage virtual meetings through Skype, GoTo Meeting, Web Ex or other digital resources.

Again, minor savings here and there can add up to big reductions over time.

Consider a hiring freeze. It’s never a good idea to stop hiring new talent and it’s also desirable to avoid any significant layoffs. Instead, if personnel costs become too burdensome, consider a hiring freeze for all non-essential positions. Doing so enables you to “consolidate the employees you have to complete the work that is essential for serving [your] customers.” And you can devote more time and resources to recruiting candidates for your more difficult-to-fill positions.

Adopt a smarter approach to operations. For manufacturing businesses, there’s always savings to be found in automating or combining repetitive processes. This same principle can be applied to many other types of businesses seeking ways to increase productivity without spending a great deal more on equipment or personnel.

Look into acquiring (or leasing) new technology that optimizes routine operations. Of course, there will be initial acquisition costs, but over time, you’ll likely see the kind of cost reductions you’re looking for. To stay competitive in the marketplace, “there’s really no other option than enthusiastically embracing the opportunitiesnew technology provides.”

Embracing a strategic approach to cost-reductions can help keep your business lean, agile and prepared for challenges in the future.

Want to learn more about strategic cost-cutting? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you.

 
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons