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Having a website is practically a given for any business that is operating in today’s market. But having a website alone is not good enough to truly drive your business success in the digital marketplace we are in today. Most business websites all fall into the same traps that hold their websites back from being a truly successful piece of the business, which is a shame given how easy it is to fix or avoid many of these issues if you know the right steps to take. To help you out, here are eight improvements that every business needs to make to make their website stand out from the competition.

Add Fresh Content

If you are not regularly adding new and original content to your business website, you are falling behind. This has to do with increasing your websites ranking on search engines, which often prioritize new content over old content when ranking the order in which websites appear when a user searches for a relevant term. If you aren’t always updating your content, then you are letting your website slide back in search relevance. If you have ever used the internet, then you know it is often just the top two or three sites that pop up that receive any attention from the searcher. So do yourself a favor and post more content frequently to keep your business near the top.

Make it More Intuitive

Nobody likes a website that is designed like a maze. If your website isn’t intuitive, allowing users to navigate across pages and get to where they need with ease, then your website may be doing more harm than good for your business. Think about it like this: unless you are IKEA, you likely haven’t designed your store front as a maze that customers struggle to find an escape from, navigating aisles with little connection and jumping across areas of the store. So why would you let your website be a maze for customers trying to navigate it online? Think about designing your website so that even the most computer illiterate customers can get through your website with ease and do it with little frustration or confusion.

Improve Response Time

When people send your questions via email or website question response boxes, they are often questions that would best be answered as quickly as possible for your customers. So, anything you can do to increase your response time to customers using your website, the better. Once again, let’s compare this to how you operate a physical store. If a customer asked you or an employee a question, you would expect the response time to be nearly instantaneous. While instantaneous responses on your website may be impossible and unrealistic, if you can get in touch with customers as soon as possible through the website, you will improve the user experience. Customers like feeling cared for and paid attention too, and this extends to the online experience.

Update Your Security Measures

There are few things that can be as catastrophic to a small business like a cybersecurity hack that results in the theft of customers personal and payment information. Breaches like this compromise customer confidence and ruin your public image as a business that takes care of customers. And the most upsetting thing is that plenty of these hacks are preventable. More than 80% of IT breaches could have been prevented using modern technology. So, start using that technology, install security plug-ins to your website, hire a cybersecurity professional, and use firewalls to protect your sensitive information. You wouldn’t leave your physical store vulnerable to threats by not installing locks, so don’t do the same for your website.

Emphasize SEO

If you are not utilizing SEO best practices into every aspect of your website that you can, then you are on the back foot for expanding your online growth. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of principles to follow that help your website rank higher in search engine searches for relevant search terms. Many people only look at the top three or four websites that show up when they search on the internet, so everything you can do to make sure that your website appears at the top of search engine results, the better. Make sure to understand and implement SEO best practices to increase traffic to your business website.

Backup Your Website

You need to back up your website, and you need to do it often. In the event that you perform an update to your website that ends up backfiring and causing issues, bugs, or other problems that need you to take the website down, having a recent backup can help you get a functioning version of your website up and running as quickly as possible. You should be backing up your website every time that you update it and keeping at least 15 of the most recent backups on file just in case. This puts you in the safest position for whatever happens. You never know when you might need it.

Use Better Images

Everybody likes high quality images on a website. And if your website is not using the highest quality images on your website, it is reflecting negatively on your business. Make sure to use high quality images that are well lit and properly show off your business. If your website includes photos of your store or products, make sure that you hire a professional photographer to handle these photos as a pro can make it look, well, professional. Don’t skimp on your images – it is a big reason customers enjoy websites

Proofread Your Copy

Nothing will sink your website and lose you digital customers faster than typos and grammatical errors in your copy. Anything you have written on your website will be seen by your customers and they will find typos if they are present. Take the same care in your details as you do in a physical store. Proofread anything you are going to put on your website. No professional business should put typos and grammar issues out in public.

Websites are the future of business. But some websites are certainly better designed and maintained than others. Make sure that you follow these eight tips to improve your business website today.

Read this next: Websites are the Key to Marketing Success

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