While it’s true that the pandemic necessitated many businesses to adopt a work-from-home strategy, companies have slowly been transitioning to an online model as far back as 2014. 

If you remember, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer made a groundbreaking shift to telecommuting in 2013. She started slow – transitioning only 10% of the workforce from office to home-based and generated admirable results.

After one year, Meyer pulled the plug on the telecommuting project because she felt that at a certain point, telecommuting generated diminishing returns. 

In our opinion, Meyer pulled the plug too early. There’s a learning curve in everything new. Had she stayed the course, Yahoo, which had been heavily losing financially under Meyer, might have turned around. 

The studies that we share with you in this article proves that adopting a work-from-home strategy for your strategy will produce dividends. 

1. Increase Productivity

A study by Global Workplace Analytics cites the following statistics to support the idea that a work from home strategy increases productivity:

  • Many big corporations including Dow Chemicals and British Telecom have reported that employee productivity increased between 35% to 40% after they adopted a work from home/telecommuting strategy in the workplace.
  • Likewise, more than 67% of companies that took part in the study reported that employees who transitioned to telecommuting assignments showed improved productivity.
  • Other corporations such as Compaq, American Express, and JD Express reported that employee productivity increased from 15% to 45%.

It’s easy to understand how working from home can improve business productivity. 

In the same Global Workplace Analytics study, Sun Microsystems claimed that since incorporating a work from home strategy, the company was able to improve productivity by recovering the 60% of productive time lost by employees during their commute to work. 

When your employee works from home, he won’t be stressed out by the commute. He can enjoy his first cup of coffee, a hearty breakfast, and prepare himself mentally for the challenges ahead. 

By the time he gets behind the computer – he’s revved up and ready to go! And when he gets tired, he can take short naps or a walk around the park to get rejuvenated for the next item on the agenda. 

Although distractions still abound at home, the employee doesn’t have to deal with the usual stressors in the workplace such as politics and water cooler gossip. He won’t be constantly looking at the clock to check if he has enough time to finish his work and pick up his kids at school. 

The Global Workplace Analytics study revealed that businesses lose an estimated US$600 million annually due to office distractions. 

Employees become accountable for their work schedules. As the employer, what you’ll focus on are the results. 

2. Reduce Operating Costs

Rent is one of the biggest expense items on your monthly budget. If you designate a percentage of your employees as telecommuters, you won’t need to rent as big a space. 

You can maintain a smaller workplace and with more areas dedicated to revenue-generating activities. Consequently, you lower your utility costs for electricity, Internet service fees, and water.

Communication expenses can be slashed down significantly because you can incorporate online-based tools that can make communication more efficient and affordable. 

Instead of messaging employees via their mobile phones or calling them on the office landline, you can use ZOOM, Viber, Skype, Messenger, or Slack. These services offer free subscriptions but with limited features. 

Use these tools to arrange and preside over audio-visual teleconferences. It’s as good as face-to-face meetings because you can share screens, send files, and privately message participants. 

Lastly, because more employees are working from home, you can reduce or eliminate office supplies. 

3. Lower Attrition Rates

We mentioned earlier how office politics and water cooler chatter can cause distractions that affect productivity. More specifically, these types of distractions can make the workplace feel uncomfortable and affect the morale of employees. 

Unhappy employees become disengaged. In addition to the losses in business productivity, a disengaged employee will eventually leave your company and contribute to the cost of workplace attrition. 

The cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be double the employee’s salary. In the United States, workplace attrition has cost the economy approximately US$1 Trillion a year. 

A study conducted by the American Sociological Review found that people who work from home are happier and perform better than those who work from an office. 

Another study by Global Workplace Analytics disclosed that 72% of businesses with work from home arrangements reduced attrition levels significantly. 

People who work from home are happier and more productive for the following reasons:

  • They are less stressed.
  • They have more time with their family.
  • They can set aside time for exercise and wellness activities. 
  • They have more savings because they no longer have to commute or eat outdoors.
  • They are less likely to get ill. 

If your employees are happy, so will you!

4. Expand the Reach of Your Talent Pool

Another work-from-home strategy that you can incorporate into your business is outsourcing. 

Outsourcing is the process of delegating or transferring tasks to qualified third parties. For example, instead of setting up an in-house accounting department, you outsource accounting to a company that provides back-office services. 

What are the benefits of outsourcing?

  • Lower costs because you contract the services of a company – you don’t hire employees. The cost of hiring an employee is calculated at 1.5-times his salary because benefits are factored in. When you outsource, you pay per project, per productive hour, or via monthly retention fee. 
  • Improve the quality of work because you’re delegating tasks to qualified people – these are individuals with the requisite knowledge and experience to do the job correctly. 
  • Increase productivity because now, you can focus only on the core activities of your business. 

With outsourcing, you expand the reach of your talent pool. You’re no longer limited to hiring local people. You can outsource to talent located across the globe. 

The obvious advantage of outsourcing to remote talent is that you can capitalize on the lower cost of labor. For example, outsourcing to India or the Philippines will cost you less in terms of labor. 

That doesn’t mean you get what you pay for. In most cases, you’ll get MORE than what you pay for! If outsourcing to remote locations wasn’t effective, India and the Philippines wouldn’t remain as the top outsourcing destinations in the world. 

5. Contribute to a Better and Healthier Environment

If more businesses around the world shifted to a work-from-home business model, we would have a cleaner and safer environment because there would be fewer cars on the streets, less traffic, and lower demand for public transportation.

Because expenses for office supplies would be greatly reduced, there would be less need for paper products. Electrical consumption would be greatly reduced and there would be less garbage to be collected. 

If your company is a strong advocate for sustainable solutions that protect and preserve the environment, shift to a work-from-home business model. 

Conclusion: Work From Home Could Be the New Normal

We believe that in time, the pandemic will become endemic. But that might take a while. 

As of this writing, scientists are still evaluating the effectiveness of the vaccines. Almost on a daily basis, you’ll come across developments that are promising… or underwhelming. 

This is to be expected as it usually takes decades before a vaccine is pronounced effective. It’s safe to assume that all of the vaccines are still in their experimental stages. 

That’s why if your business hasn’t adopted a work-from-home model, it’s not too late. You can still do the shift – but you should start NOW!

Let’s set aside the pandemic. For the purpose of discussion, let’s assume the pandemic never happened. Given the advantages discussed above, wouldn’t you be encouraged to incorporate a work from home arrangement into your business?

What do you have when you increase productivity and reduce costs? Improved profitability!

Do you want to experience how it is to outsource services? Outsource your web development and digital marketing activities to us! 

We have years of experience handling these tasks for our clients. Not only have we contributed to the performance of their businesses, but we also helped them reduce costs.

Give us a call and let’s get started!

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

 

With a website, you have the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and offer them your products and services. A well-designed website can turn your vision into reality, improve business prospects, and enhance the online experience of your customers and followers. 

However, a poorly designed one can do serious damage to your business. Here are some of the worst website design fails and how you can avoid them. 

1. Design Is Not Mobile Friendly

If a user has to zoom in to read your content, he would rather click out and visit your competitor’s website. 

According to a study conducted by Google, 72% of Internet users prefer to visit a website that’s mobile-friendly. In the same survey, 61% of respondents said they would abandon the search if the website is NOT mobile-friendly. 

Put simply, a mobile-friendly website is one where the design is set up properly on a variety of devices regardless of screen size. Some features such as drop-down menus aren’t available because they’re hard to use on a mobile device but generally, the website is usable and convenient to use. 

2. Weak CTAs

A Call-to-Action (CTA) is exactly what it means: What type of action do you want your website visitors to take? If your CTA comes across as weak, unsure, and indecisive, the website visitor will NOT take action. 

We get it. You might be worried that the visitor might find you “overbearing”, “aggressive”, or “pushy”. 

Here’s the thing: there’s a reason they clicked on your URL. Likewise, they’ll make a decision to stay or go within 7 seconds. You need a strong, beefed-up CTA to push the visitor in the direction you want them to go. 

Here are 4 tips on how to come up with a strong CTA:

  • Be clear and direct; what do you want them to do? “Buy Now!”, “Sign Up”, “Join Our Team”.
  • Let the visitors know the CTA is clickable.
  • Choose a color that’s eye-catching and enticing. 
  • The CTA button must be large enough to be easily seen. 

How many CTAs can a website have? You can have multiple CTAs on your website and they’ll be effective as long as you follow the 4 tips we just discussed.

3. Prioritizing Form Over Function 

We love it when our clients are excited about having their first website! Part of the Mountaintop Web Design process is to sit down with the client and listen to their ideas. Among the most popular design ideas we get from our clients are as follows:

  • “Let’s set up an explainer video on the home page.”
  • “I think a moving slide will look cool.”

These are all good ideas and will certainly present a new visual for visitors – but they can slow down your website and potentially distract them from your value proposition. 

Instead of having an explainer video embedded on the home page, we suggest embedding a link to a video from the client’s YouTube channel. 

By linking your YouTube channel, you don’t use up more server space and slow down your site. We can even create a “carousel” whereby the visitor can click a video from your library. 

A moving slide will look cool but it can also distract the website visitor from your value proposition. 

When a visitor lands on your home page, he’s immediately on search mode: “Why am I here?”. The visitor is looking for your value proposition – “What are you about?”, “How can you help me?”

From our experience, it’s always a good idea to keep everything static on your home page. 

4. Poor Website Speed

In the previous section, we discussed how an embedded video can slow down your website. For Internet searchers, nothing is more frustrating than a website that takes forever to load. And on the Internet, forever means under 3 seconds

What happens if your website doesn’t load fast enough? According to surveys, 40% of site visitors will click out if they can’t access the content in 3 seconds or less. 

What factors could be slowing down your website loading time?

  • Images aren’t optimized for size and format.
  • The website has a lot of flash content which is good to make your site interactive but its files are too large. 
  • The website has too many ads. We’re sure many of our readers have experienced this with their favorite websites. 
  • Poor, unreliable web hosting service.
  • Technical issues that are best handled by the developer such as unclean coding, not using enough caching techniques, and problems with Javascript.

You can easily run a speed test on your website. A good tool is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It’s simple and easy to use and you get results right away. PageSpeed Insights will give recommendations but the best course of action is to talk to your web designer – or us! 

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5. Crowded Design

It’s 2:30 pm, you’ve just come out of a 4-hour meeting, missed lunch, and are really hungry. You head off to the nearest restaurant. The waiter hands you a one-page menu with 221 selections. 

Now, you’re not sure if the migraine was triggered by hunger or the confusing menu.

The key to having a website that gets the job done is having one that gets the message across right away. You don’t have much time to hook the website visitor. If you have too many things happening on your web page, you’ll confuse your site visitors and ultimately, they’ll just leave.

  • Design should drive the message or value proposition of your website.
  • Keep it simple, not distracting.
  • Make use of white spaces to give design elements more substance and depth.

Having all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean you’ll have a good, effective, result-producing website. In most cases, simple design does the trick.

6. Hard to Navigate

When you’re thinking about web design, you have to think like a site visitor. How would you want the experience to be? Of course, you would want to have everything laid out in a way that makes it easy to navigate around your website. 

If your website is hard to navigate, your visitors will get frustrated and click out right away. Always keep in mind that people go to a website to fulfill a need. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in seconds, they’ll leave and click on another website. 

Here are 3 tips on how to improve site navigation:

  • Think of your website as a supermarket. How would you lay it out that customers – especially the new ones – can find the items they’re looking for? Your menu bar should be visible with the web pages properly described and organized. 
  • Each page should make it easy for the visitor to return to the home page. Some visitors might not be aware that they click on the logo to get back. If yours isn’t programmed this way, include a link that states “Back to Home”. 
  • Take the time to check the links and buttons on your web pages and make sure they work. 

A website that is highly navigable will keep visitors coming back. You’ll have a better chance of getting leads. 

7. Fonts Are Hard to Read

Font style is an important factor in web design. If the site visitor has a hard time reading your content, he’ll leave your website. Remember that most people will be accessing your website with a mobile device. 

How do you choose the right font for your website?

  • Style of Font – What’s your website about? Your style of font should fit the purpose of your website. Of course, you can’t go wrong with classic font styles such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Cambria. 
  • Size of the Font – Your text must be large enough to make it visible and not cause eye strain. Depending on the choice of font style, size 16 should be fine. The headings and subheadings must have slightly larger font sizes. 
  • Font Color – Headings and subheadings have to be bold-faced but the rest of the text must still be readable. We’ve come across web pages whereby the text for the main body is almost grey which makes it hard to read.

You can use more than one font style but don’t exceed three types of font. 

8. Poor Color Choices

Your choice of color is just as important as your choice of font styling although for a different reason. If your choice of font style impacts user experience, your choice of color influences the identity of your brand. 

How do you choose the right color or colors for your website?

  • Consult the Color Wheel – Psychologists believe colors have a way of influencing a person’s behavior and ability to make decisions. For example, the color Yellow supposedly encourages people to buy. The Color Wheel is an illustration that depicts the relationship between different colors and their various hues. 

Whether there’s truth to the Color Theory, choose colors that are associated with your industry or type of business. If you’re in Information Technology, blue is ideal for you. In contrast, those in the food business might be better off with orange or red. 

  • Refer to Your Brand or Logo – What are the colors used in your business logo? It would be a good idea to carry those colors over to your website for consistency in branding. 

We suggest choosing no more than 2 colors for your website. As we briefly touched on in #5 “Crowded Design”, make use of white spaces to add more depth and substance to the page’s design elements.

9. Text-Heavy Pages

Would you explore a website where the pages feature wall-to-wall text? People go to websites to read the content but again, the text must be easy to read. 

If you notice in this article, the paragraphs are limited to no more than 3 sentences and hardly exceed 4 lines of text. We did this to use white spaces to make each paragraph more readable and easy to scroll down on a mobile device.

Also, we want to break up each paragraph according to the main idea to maintain better continuity of the article’s context. 

Lastly, we recommend using more images than text on your pages because people tend to respond better to visuals

10. No SSL Certificates

We saved the best for last. 

People are wary of visiting websites that don’t have SSL certificates. According to a survey, 92.3% of browsing time is spent on websites that are covered by SSL Certificates. 

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is an encryption program that protects data from getting stolen when it’s transmitted from browser to server. It used to be the case that only eCommerce websites were required to have SSL certificates. 

Google has expanded SSL coverage as a must for all types of websites. Failure to do so will result in the dreaded “Not Secure” or slashed padlock icon branding from the Internet’s biggest search engine. 

If your website isn’t covered by SSL Certificates – get them now. That’s our CTA for you! They’re inexpensive, can boost your branding, and are easy to install. We can do this for you in no time at all. 

Conclusion

The good thing about having a website is that it’s easy to redesign. And depending on the extent of the redesign, it might not cost much. For sure, redesigning a website is more affordable than redesigning a brick-and-mortar store.

If your website isn’t achieving its goals, a redesign might be in order. As you have read in this article, even the smallest oversights in design can have major repercussions on your website’s ability to deliver results. 

Give us a call or an email if you’re thinking about having your website redesigned. We’ll do a quick audit and present our findings and recommendations to you. Since you’ve already invested in a website, we suggest that we move forward to make sure it pays out dividends.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, feel free to share it with your community.

Let’s start out with a news flash: Stress is good for you!

Stress is your body’s natural reaction when you are faced with a pressure situation. Your body releases stress hormones called cortisol which functions to improve performance. When the adrenal glands release cortisol, your senses become heightened. You are more focused and your reaction time is faster.

A good example would be when you have a tight deadline to meet at work. You might need to burn the midnight lamp to get the job done right and on time.

Working under these conditions will create a stressful environment. Your body will respond by releasing cortisol to help you cope with the various stressors. You may notice that your level of concentration is higher. Cortisol has helped you accomplish the project on time without compromising the quality of work.

There are people who are able to thrive under pressure because they can manage the conditions that make the situation stressful. Thus, if you can manage your levels of stress at work, you should be fine.

However, prolonged levels of cortisol in your body are not good. In fact, it is not healthy as evidenced by the following negative effects:

  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Impaired cognition
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Decreased bone density
  • Increased/ irregular blood pressure
  • Higher concentrations of abdominal fat
  • Imbalances in blood sugar levels

These negative effects may lead to illnesses and diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It will also result in premature aging.

This is why one of the most stressful jobs on earth belongs to the President of the United States. It astonishing to see how fast American Presidents have aged while on the job.

Thus, while pushing yourself to overcome challenges and accomplish more tasks is admirable, in the long run it can have damaging consequences on your health. Instead of pushing harder, pull back, step on the brakes and think about getting more rest and relaxation.

7 Health Benefits Of Rest And Relaxation

Proponents of Behavioral Leadership, a discipline that advocates new results require new behavior, like to advise their clients to  “Slow down in order to speed up”.

They believe that for top-level executives and entrepreneurs to succeed, it is important to be in the best state of mind, body, and spirit so they can perform to the best of their abilities.

If these top-level executives and entrepreneurs are chronically fatigued from stress, their sense of judgment will be impaired. Likewise, they will be more prone to illness and disease due to having a weakened immune system. Some may even acquire unhealthy habits such as excessive drinking and eating to cope up with stress.

As we mentioned, stress has been linked to several deadly diseases. Your achievements will not be worth it if you end up paying for it with your health.

If your mind and body are showing the effects of stress, slow down and consider taking some time off from work. One of the best remedies for stress is to simply get more rest and relaxation time in.

Here are a few of the health benefits of getting more rest and relaxation:

1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy –

Stress can lead to irregular heartbeat and this is not good for your heart. Activities that promote rest and relaxation such as taking naps or getting more sleep can help your heartbeat return to normal and keep your heart healthy.

2. Strengthens Your Immune System –

Studies conducted at the Carnegie Mellon University showed that stress doubles the risk of catching a cold.

The reason is that stress increases inflammation in the body which weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses. By getting more rest, you can help your immune system recover and become stronger.

3. Improves Cognition and Memory –

Studies on mice showed that stress can affect the function of the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for cognitive reasoning and memory.

If you’re suffering from a mental block, a simple 15 to 30- minute rest will suffice to get you up to speed. You will be able to articulate ideas much more clearly.

4. Lowers Risk of Stroke –

A study published in the 2011 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that work-related stress was responsible for 10% of strokes.

Instead of spending more time at work, why not head off to the gym and get some exercise? If you have children, you can use the time away from work to do healthy, family-bonding activities such as hiking or mountain climbing.

5. Prevents Onset of Depression –

Prolonged stress has been proven to kill brain cells and prevent the creation of new ones. This can lead to behaviors such as loss of appetite, and feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Cumulatively these conditions can develop into depression.

If your situation at work is making you depressed, get away from it all by taking a vacation. A short holiday will clear your mind and keep your body rested.

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6. Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight –

Stressors at work can develop triggers that lead to unhealthy habits. This is why many overworked people cannot wait to hit the bars for a few drinks or reach out for comfort food.

Cortisol can lower your metabolism which leads to higher accumulation of abdominal fat. Thus, when you are relaxed, your metabolism works more efficiently. You will also have less motivation to consume alcohol and unhealthy food.

7. Lowers Risk of Developing Cancer –

Although more studies need to be done, some research has shown a possible link between stress and certain cancers particularly breast cancer in women.

The bottom line is why take chances? It would be better to take a few days, even weeks away from work to get more rested and relaxed than potentially create conditions in the body that are ideal for developing cancer.

What Are The Best Ways To Rest And Relax?

The question may seem counter-intuitive considering that rest and relaxation are natural, learned examples of human behavior. However, many of us have forgotten how to rest and relax. We have been so caught up with our obligations to work that we have compromised our own abilities to get proper rest and proclivity to enjoy relaxing activities.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • On average, how many hours of sleep do you get every night?
  • Do you often wake up listless and lacking in energy?
  • When was the last time you exercised?
  • When was the last time you and the spouse had a relaxing dinner?
  • How long ago was your last vacation?
  • What was the last book you read?
  • When was the last movie you watched?
  • Are you attuned to the activities of your children?

These are normal activities that help us relax and get well-rested. However, many of us have taken these activities for granted perhaps thinking we can do these things on another day.

In the meantime, the cumulative effect of stress has taken its toll on our health and inevitably in our relationship with family and friends.

Of course, we are not entirely to blame. Technology has made it easier and more convenient for us to get things done in life and work. Unfortunately, instead of allowing us more time away from work, it has created a situation where we can do more things in the same amount of time.

In an increasingly competitive environment, it becomes harder to allocate time for rest and relaxation. We must simply do more to stay ahead of the competition.

In the end, we may pay the ultimate price with our health and overall well-being.

Now that we have read about the destructive effects of prolonged stress on the body, it is important that we commit time for rest and relaxation.

The question is, what are the best ways to rest and relax? It is a matter of individual choice. The most important thing is to find time for it. You should not just allocate, but dedicate time in your schedule for activities that promote rest and relaxation.

At Mountaintop, we have come up with a list of things that you can do to help you get better rest or find relaxing activity:

  1. Get 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night – Times may have changed but the science behind the ideal hours of sleep has remained the same. You should make an effort to get 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Sleep is your body’s natural way of recharging itself. Poor quality sleep will make you feel restless, inattentive, and irritable the following day.
  2. Schedule Time in the Day for Exercise – Regular exercise strengthens your muscles, bones, and the immune system. It will also improve blood circulation and help your organs function better. Exercise also releases mood- enhancing endorphins that make you feel good and fight off depression.
  3. Spend More Time with the Family – Time lost is time you will never regain. This is especially true when it comes to family. As your children grow up, they will go through milestones in their lives. You should be part of it. Regular communication is also important to maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse.
  4. Read a Good Book – Sure you can read a book from a tablet. However, nothing feels better than having a trade paperback in your hands. The smell of paper goes well with your favorite cup of coffee. Regular reading not only improves comprehension but it is very relaxing. That is why the richest people in the world like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg make an effort to read to read at least 50 books every year.
  5. Cut Down on Social Media – Social media is a great source of information, a terrific platform for communication, and is an effective channel to market and promote your business. However, it can also be toxic. If you often find your newsfeed inundated with negative content, you should either clean it up or cut down the time spent on social media.
  6. Schedule a Vacation During the Year – Taking a one or two-week vacation will not negatively impact your business. Vacations are a great way to recharge and revitalize your mind, spirit, and body. It can also be educational especially if you visit new places and learn about their cultures and traditions.
  7. Outsource Work – If you want to find more time to rest and relax, outsource some of your work. Among the types of work you should outsource are administrative functions and those that do not fall under your core competence. For example, if you plan to run a digital marketing campaign, outsource it to an agency so you can allocate more time to tasks that will contribute directly to your business’ bottom-line.

Conclusion – Get Some Rest!

At Mountaintop, we get a lot of projects that have tight deadlines. Digital marketing campaigns have to be tightly monitored. Analytics on performance are routinely made and discussed with clients. We manage a high volume of client websites and regularly run updates and improvements to ensure high-level performance.

Still, despite the hectic schedule, the people that make up the Mountaintop team make it a point to find time for rest and relaxation.

Founder Josiah Bussing and his wife, Jeanna, are avid mountain climbers which explain the name of their company. For them, climbing mountains is not only a great form of exercise but also presents new challenges to overcome. It gives them the time to clear their minds so they can perform to the best of their abilities. Mountain climbing is also an activity they share with their future children.

What about you? What activities help you relax? Please feel free and share in the comments section below.

If you want to learn more about outsourcing; how it can improve productivity and allocate more time for rest and relaxation, please feel free to give us a call or an email. We will get back to you as soon as we can!

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There are almost two billion websites on the Internet. If you see similarities between certain websites, it is because some use prepared template designs. These are downloadable website templates where the layout and structure have already been established.

Although this is a fast, easy, and convenient way to put up a website, it misses a very important element of effective design: Uniqueness.

The challenge for professional web designers is to conceptualize a design that is unique to its owner. Everything must come-together or align in website design. A business is an organization of people who share core values and a common vision to what the future may hold.

Design should embody; not distinguish the business and its owner. Its elements should represent the owner and support the purpose, objectives, message, and overall vision of the business.

Our Design Process At Mountaintop Web Design

At Mountaintop Web Design, we like to think of ourselves as artists and scientists. We explore the boundaries of creativity through artistic expression. However, at the same time, we respect the rules and precision of web design science. There are theories, guidelines, and principles of web design that we use as the basis for implementing artistic concepts.

We conduct research before initiating the formal design process. Research is categorized into two areas: empirical and intuitive.

Empirical Research

Under empirical research, we gather facts, relevant information, updated data, and other forms of usable and measurable inputs on the type of business and industry. We also implement best practices of web design which likewise, includes its own research. These principles go into each and every website we build.

Once we have a deeper understanding of the nature of the enterprise, we do a comparative analysis of the industry. This includes looking at the websites of the client’s closest competitors. We take note of design elements and similarities in content.

We also look through the competitors’ social media accounts. We want to see if there is alignment or some congruence between its design elements and those of the website.

Intuitive Research

Intuitive research is focused on the person behind the client. This is similar to a bank’s KYC or Know Your Customer approach. We want to know who the client is. What is his/her purpose? How did he/she get into this type of business? What are the motivating factors?

Our objective is to capture the essence of the client. His/ her personality should manifest on every page of the website. Its elements should reflect the client. When a visitor views the design and reads the content, he/she should have an accurate idea on who the business owner is.

Elements such as the use of color, spaces, angles, lines, and content will give site visitors clues on the type of person the owner is. Based on the interaction or response to the elements of design and content, the website visitor will rely on his/her intuition to formulate a profile on the business owner.

5 Popular Styles Of Web Design

There are many styles of web design. We would have to write an e-book to give you a complete rundown of every style that can be used for designing websites. Fortunately, we are not writing a textbook.

The purpose of writing this article is to give you an idea of how the design process works. It will give you a better understanding of what a professional web designer does and how to work with him/her when coming up with your own site.

In this section, we will discuss five of the most popular styles of web design. Then we will proceed to our own approach in designing websites for clients.

1. Illustrative Style

The Illustrative style of web design is highly visual in presentation. It uses drawing as the primary tool for design. We have graphic designers and artists who can come up with drawings or renditions based on an exchange of ideas with the business owner.

Renditions are visual expressions or concepts which the team believes best captures the message of the website. Creating design renditions for the Illustrative design is a close collaborative process with the client. We encourage the client to throw ideas on the design table.

As professional web designers, we incorporate principles of design to finalize the concept. Oftentimes, the client may have a different idea. Part of our job is to take the client through the design process so that he/she will get a better understanding of the principles of web design. This is how creative differences are resolved.

The final design is the one which the client feels accurately represents the business and at the same time stays within the parameters of effective web design techniques.

2. Single Page Style

The Single Page approach to web design is often confused with the Illustrative because it uses a rendition or depiction of a concept as the main design element. It can be colorful or simple. It could be vibrant or subdued.

Its overall purpose is to simplify web design. The structure is very simple and easy to navigate. You won’t find much text content on the Homepage as the focus remains on the image.

The Single Page style carries the same risk as the Illustrative in that the message of the design may not resonate with the site visitor right away. An image can look visually appealing but if used for symbolic purposes, its meaning may get lost in translation.

These styles of web design may work from an aesthetic standpoint. However, from a functional or messaging standpoint, the use of symbolic images may not deliver the desired results. That is why we do not actively recommend these styles to our clients.

We caution clients who prefer this style of design to exercise caution when it comes to the use of images as metaphors or symbolism.  As much as possible, the design concept should provide visual signals that make it easier for site visitors to understand what the business is all about; who the owners are, what they do, their purpose and vision. The content should resonate immediately with the viewer.

click here to learn more about web design

3. Minimalist

Have you ever come across a website where the Homepage looks like an abstract painting? How about a website where it seems like you just landed on a maze? Outside of getting a migraine or feeling like a laboratory mouse, these designs have so much going on that its purpose and functionality are lost.

The Minimalist style removes all the clutter so all that remains are the essential elements, features, concepts, and forms. This type of design is very easy on the eyes. Good examples of the Minimalist style are websites that greatly use space. You see only black and white colors. Orientation is very clean and organized.

The Minimalist design is popular because it acts as a counterbalance to the chaos on the Internet. There is information overload; run a search query and you scroll through hundreds and thousands of websites. The Minimalist works because it focuses only on your central message.

4. Flat Web Design

If you’ve come across the Microsoft website, you’ll have a good idea of what Flat Web Design is. This style of web design combines minimalism with usability. It attempts to clear out unnecessary elements and just focus on items that greatly support usability and functionality.

Advocates of Flat Web Design typically use a combination of space with bright or dominant colors as defining areas of references. Overall design remains clean; the addition of colors with sharper hues creates better distinction among the other elements.

When we implement the Flat Web Design approach, we want the design to be prominent but not to the point that it detracts from the purpose of the website. Navigability should never be compromised.

5. Typographical

There is a good reason why recruiters generally reject resumes that are prepared using the Comic Sans font. You just won’t be taken seriously. Recruiters will always recommend Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, and the over-used but still popular Arial.

The type of font you use is a design element that can successfully make or break your message. It triggers an emotional cue and an ensuing response. Used properly with image and text- based content, the typographical style can help you deliver a powerful and compelling story.

The drawback with the Typographic style is that it may slow down loading time. This is especially true when using mobile devices.

Mountaintop Web Design’s Approach To Web Design

Our underlying principle in web design is that best practices must always be implemented. Best practices in web design are those tried and true elements that have been proven to work. In this sense, we approach all of our clients in a similar same way. We can apply any style of web design that the client wants and which we feel strongly supports the purpose and objectives of the website.

However, our approach never veers off from the standard guidelines for effective web design:

  • The website must be mobile-responsive. Design should be able to set up seamlessly and effortlessly on mobile devices regardless of screen size. It should be accessible by large groups of people.
  • The website should have fast download speed. Our years of experience working with different clients and studying various industries have shown us that consumers are impatient. Our target is to make sure the client’s website can be accessed within 3 seconds.
  • Design should be optimized. Even if you have the best images and text content, these would have little value to your website if they cannot be found. We implement the principles of SEO or Search Engine Optimization to make sure all images and text-based content can be easily searched, found, and indexed by web crawlers.
  • Reliable security measures should be in place. We understand the value of a website for your business. Thus, we make sure all of our websites are built with the latest versions of the best security software. We also conduct regular site audits to run updates on plug-ins and address other issues that may present vulnerabilities to its security.

Case Study: Severe Weather Shelter

Severe Weather Shelter Network New website

We designed this website for a non-profit ministry. The objective of our design approach was to strongly highlight the services of the ministry. This was effectively done through the use of relevant images, the organization of the site, and the layout which were proprietary to the ministry.

The overall effect of the design was to deliver a clear message that was powerful and urgent, yet sincere and simplistic in tone and content.

The design gives website visitors an accurate idea on who the ministry is, what they do, how they operate, and helps them gain a deeper understanding of their objective. As we mentioned earlier, website design must represent the purpose and vision of the business.  

In this case, the purpose of the ministry is covered by the question , “Why did the ministry set up this organization?” The images, use of color, space, and layout, emphasize the ministry’s intent to help people in need.

We integrated the use of these provocative images with real statistics in order to compel the visitor into action. It certainly helped increase the number of donations and contributions to the ministry.

With the ideal design elements in place, our biggest challenge became the donation platform. We wanted to make sure it was easy and secure for people to use. Fortunately, we were able to implement the right platform for them and to date, the ministry continues to receive donations through its website.

If you are planning to have a website for your business or if you are thinking of having your current website re-designed, please feel free to give us a call or an email.

learn about web design - desktop, tablet & smart phone on desk - in blue

Entrepreneurs are amazing people. They are creative and at the same time, analytical. It only takes a moment’s inspiration to trigger an idea. Entrepreneurs know they have to capture the idea and transpose it from a visual on a sketchpad into a website design that best represents the concept through the medium of the Internet. From there, the visual should have the capability to seamlessly manifest in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. But as creative as entrepreneurs are, they need the help of a professional web designer to turn that visual into a fully functional, aesthetic website.

It’s easy to find web designers. A simple search on the Internet will yield links to several agencies and freelancers offering website design services. You can sign up with various online job platforms and send invites to select freelance web designers or post details on your project. You can connect with web designers in social media networks such as LinkedIn or ask referrals from your contacts in Facebook.

The real challenge is to find a professional web designer who can do the right job for you.  

If you came up with a shortlist of 5 web designers, all of them may have similar experiences, technical and fundamental competencies but not everyone may build your website according to what you want. They may not even capture your vision. There are intangibles you need to look out for when qualifying your right- fit web designer.

Here the top 10 qualities you should look for in a professional web designer:

1. Empathy

When you start collaborating with a web designer, the objective is to create a website that will attract your target market. It may seem superficial but studies have shown that the initial perception of your website will be based on how it looks.

  • Designs with the user in mind – A professional web designer will not design for himself but with a specific audience in mind. Customized design will require extensive research work.

In addition to the information you provide, a professional web designer will undertake further studies to learn the online behavioral traits of specific demographics.

His objective is to develop a keen understanding of your audience. He wants to get to know them better, so he will know the best approach in designing your website.

  • Navigability – In his book “Don’t Make Me Think” Steve Krug revealed that the greater the effort a user extends in navigating the site, the less memorable the experience. A good web designer understands the importance of User Experience or UX in web design. Poor UX will result in lower search rankings.
  • Functionality – Nothing is more frustrating for a user than a website that does not load fast or have malfunctioning buttons. These inconveniences can have disastrous consequences for the website.

A professional web designer will view the design of your website from the perspective of the end user. It must conform to his or her needs, wants and expectations. When users enter your website they know they are in the right place. They will want to explore further and not click out.

2. Analytical

Like the entrepreneur, a good website designer balances empathy with precision through the use of data. If empathy focuses on the image, analytics will build the substance of your website.

  • Designs with SEO in mind – Search Engine Optimization or SEO functions to have your website found on the Internet.

It does this by optimizing your web pages with the precise ratio of keywords so that the search engine robots won’t have a hard time finding your content and getting it indexed. Keywords may be used in descriptive, title and meta tags to fast track the search process.

  • Purposeful Content – Keywords can only go as far as drawing attention to content. The harder challenge is maintaining the user’s interest which is largely dependent on your content’s relevance, usability and uniqueness.

For example, what the user sees and reads during the first 10 seconds on the Home Page will determine whether he or she will further explore your website. Composition of web copy; its images and text, is very important to capture interest of the user.

  • Strategic Use of Design Elements – The loading time of your web page can be affected by design elements such as color, use of animation, the use of forms and status messages. A slow loading website can have serious implications on its ability to generate patronage and revenues. A website designer will frequently run tests to make sure speed and functionality will not be compromised by the elements of design.

3. Trustworthiness

Trust is a value that you earn over time. But when working with people, oftentimes you can depend on intuition to tell you if someone is trustworthy or not.

When you are collaborating with a web designer, you are entrusting your vision and ultimately your business with that person. If you don’t feel comfortable working with the web designer, chances are the arrangement will not turn out well.

What are the warning signs?

  • If there’s a lot of resistance on your ideas.
  • The web designer is habitually absent or late for meetings.
  • The web designer is behind the development schedule.
  • He or she can be rude and sometimes makes crass comments.
  • He or she is more worried about not getting paid on time than getting the project done on time.

These types of incidents are potential red flags. Disagreements are part of collaboration. But if you are frequently clashing heads, not only will you fall behind the launch date but you may not end up with the website you want.

4. Passion

You can tell if a person has passion for what he does. There’s an unmistakable energy and enthusiasm in how he approaches work because he loves his job. For him, web design is not just a means of livelihood. It’s an opportunity to help clients meet their business objectives.

During meetings, he is candid and open about his opinions and observations. His intent is to give you the best website for your hard- earned money. He cares about your project and actively offers solutions.

On the other hand, a web designer who only does it for the money is hardly expressive or involved. All he wants to do is carry out your instructions lock, stock and barrel without giving much of an opinion. In his mind, the sooner he gets the job done, the earlier he gets paid.

5. Good Listener

A professional web designer will always acknowledge the client as the expert in what he or she does. He understands that his role is to turn the client’s vision into a collection of web pages and multimedia content by using his knowledge on website design.

If he wants to have a better idea on how to interpret the client’s vision, he should be a good listener. Allow the client to express his or her ideas as openly and candidly as possible. This is the best way to develop an understanding of the client’s vision and branding strategy.

6. Effective Communicator

Communication is often described as a two- way street. When collaborating with your web designer, you must constantly bounce ideas off one another. Creating a feedback loop between you and web designer opens up the chain of communication and reduces the probability of making mistakes.

A web designer who is also an effective communicator knows how to relay opposing viewpoints without discouraging or embarrassing the client. He prefers to have regular scheduled meetings in order to have the proper forum to discuss concerns, updates and other issues.

7. Understands the Value of White Spaces

White Spaces are also called “negative space”. A professional web designer knows how to utilize white spaces and turn something empty into sophisticated elegance that remains simple yet understated.

There are many benefits to using white spaces:

  • Attracts attention to a certain visual
  • Improves readability
  • Highlights orientation of the page
  • Clears out distractions on the page
  • Gives the page a cleaner look

For the best web designers, white isn’t an empty color. They know how to use it to breathe more life into the web page.

8. Solutions- Based

Several things can go wrong when building a website. The page may not load fast enough, it may not set up properly in a smartphone or design issues may leave you and the designer stumped.

A good website designer does not merely settle for alternatives. He looks for solutions and exhausts all possibilities even before considering other options.

9. Meticulous

The saying “the devil is in the details” rings loud and true in website design.

There are many key areas of responsibility to oversee when building websites. A website designer who is not meticulous in his work process might overlook details that may lead to costly mistakes.

A website designer should be able to look into the details against the overall backdrop of the concept. The question he must constantly ask himself is, “How does this element or feature fit in?” Tests are frequently run to make sure the website is not only aesthetically pleasing but highly functional and usable.

10. Proactive

They might have the experience, skills and necessary proficiencies, but the best website designers know their limitations. They could be stuck with a programming or design issue but instead of wasting time trying to figure it out by themselves, they will reach out to people who can help them.

Of course, the web designer will inform you of the situation and how he plans to resolve it. This way you can keep track of the development schedule and know everything that is happening with your website.

How Do You Know You Have the Right Web Designer?

If you have not worked with a professional web designer before, you might place too much emphasis on technical qualifications and work experience. This is perfectly fine but do not overlook personality, attitude and other key behavioral traits.

Take the time to get to know your website designer better. Invite the candidate to an interview and ask the following questions:

  • Why did he or she decide to become a web designer?
  • What are the web designer’s goals, objectives and motivators?
  • What was the web designer’s biggest challenge and how did he or she overcome it?
  • How does the web designer feel about closely collaborating with the client?
  • How does he or she define “professionalism”?
  • What does he or she consider important qualities of a professional web designer?

The reality is, you will only know if you’ve found the right web designer once you start working together. Like all relationships, it is normal to hit rough patches every now and then but these differences should be resolved right away.

If it’s not working out and all efforts to move forward have fallen on the wayside, do not hesitate to terminate the arrangement and find another web designer.

Did you like what you just read? Please share your thoughts and opinions. I would love to hear from you. And if you’re interested in having your own website, feel free to give me a call or send an e-mail.

We might just be the professional web designer group you are looking for!

In this day and age where digital technology and the Internet has influenced how we live and work, it is shocking to know that very few small business owners have a website.

It is hard to believe that only 46% of small businesses have a website. This statistic is confounding when you realize people spend 6 hours a day on the Internet.

Based on 2014 survey results, 41% of small business owners reported they don’t think they need a website. What that means is they probably don’t know the benefits of having a website for their small business.

1. Improve Business Credibility

A simple way to view a website is that it is your online business address. This is where your customers, clients and associates go to find you on the Internet.

The Home page identifies your branded value proposition, the About Us page tells visitors all about your business and the Contact Us page informs everyone how to get in touch with you.

It legitimizes your business and improves your credibility. It gives your business an identity and is virtual proof that it exists.

Don’t be mislead into thinking a company page in Facebook is enough to build your credibility. A2015 survey showed that 84% of consumers believe that having a website makes your business more credible than just a social media page.

Having a website means you have your own domain. In the same survey, 65% of respondents regard a company-branded e-mail as more credible than a generic one.

2. Build Your Business

Before broadband technology became widespread in 2004, websites were used primarily for marketing and informational purposes. A website functioned more like a brochure; you put one up to stay ahead of the competition. But there wasn’t much thought and purpose behind the content.

With the growth of the Internet, the influence of social media and the popularity of mobile devices, the website has become a crucial tool to build your business.

  • Share Your Story – According to Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman, consumers patronize brands they can align their values with.

A website is a great way to share your story; tell your audience why you started this business, your goals and what you hope to accomplish with it.

  • Get Clients – It’s not enough to have a rock star online profile. 36% of clients prefer to deal with businesses that have websites. By contrast, only 21% will work with businesses without websites.

A website gives you the platform to highlight your experience and expertise.

  • Find Your Team – Are you looking for people to help you run your business?

Set up a Career page in your website where prospective candidates can fill out an application form and attach their resume.

Post your job requirement in social media and link it back to your website. You should have a good number of candidates in no time!

3. Enhance Your Online Presence

worldfoodbank responsive website design
Website for WorldFoodBank

Here’s a statistical fact that will blow your mind:

Of the 7.4 Billion people in this world, 3.5 Billion people or 47% are online every day. They are searching for information, sharing on social media or shopping on e-commerce websites.

This number is expected to grow as the world becomes increasingly dependent on mobile technology to search the Internet. Today there are an estimated 2.3 Billion smartphones worldwide. But in 2020, the total number of smartphones is expected to hit 6.1 Billion.

If your small business does not have a website, you will be undermining its ability to generate income. And not just any website; but a mobile responsive website, one that can be accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Statistically, 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.

A mobile responsive website will help you capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet through the following ways:

  • Improve Search Rankings – By optimizing your web pages, it will be easier for people to find your content.
  • Distribute Content – Create relevant, unique and usable content and distribute them through different channels such as social media and blog sites. People who love your content would want to know more about you and visit your website.
  • Open 24/7 – Unlike a brick- and- mortar business that operates 9- to- 5, a website never closes shop. It is open 24/7, even on holidays.
  • Introduce Business Flexibility – If you don’t want to miss out on opportunities, outsource customer service and have your agents manage all concerns and inquiries via chat or e-mail support at your website.

4. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Market

A business by definition is a living, breathing entity. Loyalty is achieved when customers know they are dealing with a company that understands their needs and not just a company that wants to profit.

  • Let the Market Know “Who You Are”. Outside the Home and About Us pages, you can set up a blog page where you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience.
  • Address the Needs of Your Market. Invite your audience to engage you by encouraging them to post comments on your blogs. Embed survey forms and ask your audience to participate and convey their needs.
  • Educate the Market of Your Business. Utilize the 80-20 Rule; 80% of your content should be usable or relevant to the needs of your audience while 20% should educate them about your business.
  • Improve Customer Service. In addition to e-mail, social media, mobile and landline, install chat support as the 5th avenue for customer service. This will give your end-users more options to relay concerns and inquiries.

5. Efficient Way to Promote Your Business

If you are still using traditional forms of marketing, you are wasting valuable resources, time and money. Traditional forms include press releases, print ads, flyers and distribution Point- of- Purchase materials.

While still popular, traditional methods cost more money and cover less ground. It is also unsustainable; flyers, posters, print ads and press releases usually end up in the trash can.

Online marketing is faster, more efficient and inexpensive. There are many tools and techniques that you can use for online marketing but without a website, these strategies will fall short.

Think of the website as the sun with these online marketing tools as the planets revolving around it. Your online marketing efforts will create inbound avenues to a specified destination place which is your website.

Among the most popular online marketing tools that you can use to create inbound traffic to your website:

  • Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion or 67% are on social media.
  • Blogging – Companies that blogged 16 times a month received 4.5 times more leads than those that blogged 0-4 posts per month.
  • E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook.
  • Use Videos – Embed a video on your Home page. A video can deliver your messaging content faster and more efficiently than text. Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.

Finally, online marketing is a sustainable process. Your content will not go to waste. You can easily update it and reuse after a few months.

6. Boost Your Reputation as an Authority

If your business is in a competitive industry, a website will give you the forum to boost your reputation as an authority figure.

  • Blogging –  There’s one reason why blogging is the cornerstone of the content marketing process: It works! Here are 3 key statistics on the benefits of blogging:
    • Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
    • 47% of buyers read 3 to 5 blogs before engaging a sales rep.
    • 61% of consumers report a blog influenced their decision to buy.
  • Podcast – Set up a podcast in your website, distribute the schedule via Twitter, Facebook and invite experts to discuss topics that interest your audience. 21% more people listened to podcasts in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • Seminars – Conduct seminars on your website. This is a great way to share your knowledge with your market. Encourage your audience to actively engage during the seminar.

7. Create a Tool for Sales Generation

A website can also be an active and passive tool for generating income because it is the termination or exit point in the sales funnel.

It is very difficult to convert sales in social media. There are no available mechanisms to complete the transaction on- the- spot. An e-commerce website for example, has a checkout counter where goods and services can be paid for right away.

It can also be a good source for passive income via PPC or Pay- Per- Click advertising. Advertisers will pay you every time a user clicks through their ad in your website.

8. Showcase Your Work

engraveandframe

Here’s a valuable tip for those who want a clear advantage in the job market:

Open a personal website and include a page that showcases your body of work.

That is one valuable tip that Hiring Managers all over the country wish job applicants knew. The same can be said for small business owners. A website will give you the venue to present samples of your work.

If you’re offering interior design services, content writing, professional web design services and other types of work that can be made visual, a portfolio page will encourage more clients to try you out.

If you want to increase the impact of your portfolio page, include 5 or more client testimonies. You can put the client testimonies in the Home page which is where users land after clicking unto your link or the Services page.

9. Keep Track of Your Business in Real Time

One of the most significant benefits of having a website for a small business is that you can keep track of its performance in real time through the use of analytics.

Analytics will provide you valuable data on how your business has been moving within a period of time. Key indicators of business performance include the following metrics:

  • Number of visitors going to your website.
  • Number of “unique visitors” or those who visit your website only once.
  • Page views or impressions tell how many times a page has been read or visited. This will give you an idea on which type of content visitors find interesting.
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without exploring past the page they landed on.
  • Average time on site will show how long visitors view your content. The longer the average time on site, the better for your website.

10. Professionalize Your Brand

Many small business owners make the mistake of not working on their brand until they gain traction.

You have to start working on your brand before launching your business. The brand gives your business its identity and makes it easier for customers and clients to understand what it is all about.

The website is the most effective and efficient way to build and professionalize your brand:

  • It places your branded value proposition front and center in the Home page.
  • Website optimization techniques can help Internet users find your brand.
  • It can be distributed seamlessly through various online channels.
  • A professionally made website shows you are serious about your business.

11. Expand Market Reach And Coverage

If you have a school, having a website will expand your market reach and coverage. You can offer online courses in specialized subjects to people outside your jurisdiction. 

For example, you are planning to introduce a school for Business Leadership training. You can create modules that can be uploaded on your website. People who sign up for your courses, will be able to access the modules and undergo online learning. 

Now let’s take it a notch higher by introducing a Learning Management System (LMS).

An LMS is a digital platform that allows you to replicate conditions for face-to-face instruction. There are LMS platforms that have features for virtual classrooms. 

In addition to modules-based learning, you can provide classroom-style instruction or one-on-one consultation. 

The courses can be accessed by anyone with Internet service. If you live in Los Angeles, someone from Europe or Asia who is interested in your program can sign up. 

12. Provide Contingencies for Your Brick-and-Mortar Business

If there’s anything that can be learned from the Covid-19 global pandemic is the importance of having a website for your brick and mortar business. 

The massive spread of Covid-19 necessitated governments worldwide to impose community lockdowns in their respective countries. Businesses came to a standstill – except those that have websites.

Businesses with a website were able to run a telecommuting program whereby employees work from home. An employee can log into a built-in portal where they can sign-in, retrieve the day’s assignments, and upload completed work. 

Customers can also use the website to contact you via email or chat support. In case they have issues with your products, customers will have a platform to air their concerns.

Definitely, this will do wonders for your brand reputation!

With a coronavirus vaccine still under the early stages of development, there are fears intermittent lockdowns will be imposed. 

Protect yourself from Covid-19 by staying home but protect your business by having a website. 

With a website, it will always be “Business as Usual”.

13. All-In-One Business Hub

The website has evolved by leaps and bounds since its early beginnings when it was used primarily as an Internet-based marketing brochure.

Today’s websites are more advanced and equipped with features that can turn it into an all-in-one business hub. 

What can you do with your business website?

  • Provide a showroom for your products
  • Finalize sales transactions through various modes of payment
  • Receive resumes and pre-qualify them through an Applicant Tracking System or ATS
  • Provide social proof via testimonials and customer reviews
  • Organize customer information with a built-in CRM
  • Offer subscriptions
  • Sell memberships
  • Educate your audience with blogs, e-books, modules, and training manuals
  • Give your audience an interactive experience with the use of 360-degree images and videos.
  • Provide customer support channels via chat, email, or built-in forms. 
  • Give clear-cut information about your business including a location map, directions, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

14. Have a Professional Email Address

What is more impressive?

[email protected] or [email protected]?

Any person who’s named “Dan” can have a [email protected] email. But only Dan; the owner of your-domain-name can have a personalized email address.

Having a professional email address has the following benefits for your business:

  • Creates better brand awareness
  • Representing your company with a free email account may be seen as a red flag for some prospects
  • Control the number of emails for your business. If an employee leaves, you can terminate the email.
  • Allows you to create specific email accounts to organize business operations. For example: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

15. Keep Your Business Open 24/7

Unlike a commercial establishment, the Internet doesn’t have operating hours. Your customers can find you 24/7. There are no holidays and you can “work overtime” without incurring extra costs.

Thus, a website can be an effective way to improve your customer service. 

If you have chat support available, all you need is to hire customer service agents who can manage incoming inquiries and concerns, and have them addressed immediately to the right person or department of your company.

You may want to outsource customer service to another region where time zone differentials exist. 

For example, a North American company can hire customer service agents from the Philippines. With the 12-hour difference, the agents can provide customer service to your clients while you are sleeping.

16. Gain Valuable Insights On Your Customers

For those who ran businesses before broadband technology became widely available, you probably depended on traditional marketing strategies to promote your products and services.

Traditional marketing strategies include the use of press releases, broadsheet advertising, the use of Point-of-Purchase materials such as flyers and counter-top ads, posters, and streamers.

Not only were these marketing strategies expensive, inefficient, and unsustainable but they delivered poor ROI. It’s hard to track the performance of your marketing campaign with the traditional approach.

In contrast, a website will collect data on your visitors:

  • Where do they come from?
  • What are the demographics?
  • Are they using mobile or desktop?
  • Which types of content are they interested in?
  • What is the frequency of cart abandonment?

A website has built-in analytics that you can use to assess the performance of your business as well as evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing program.

17. Stay Ahead of the Competition

Or at the very least – keep pace with the competition.

It’s not going to look good on your brand if your competition has a website and you don’t. 

More than branding concerns, not having a website gives you one less stream of revenue to help your business stay profitable. 

Go back to #15, “Keep Your Business Open 24/7”.

With a website, your business can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Prospective customers can view your products, testimonials, and read your content before they make a decision to buy.

18. Find Clients

More accurately, your clients will find you!

Some well-intentioned people may advise you that you can run a business with only social media – no website needed. 

That’s not true.

Other than the 16 other reasons discussed above, social media marketing is not that effective for converting sales.

Only 12.5% of consumers are enticed to purchase by a “Buy Button” on a social media page. In contrast, 60% of consumers reported that they were encouraged to purchase by an email.

Thus, email marketing is a better strategy than social media marketing for converting interest into sales.

And this “leads” us into #19…

19. Generate Leads

Lead generation is an important component of email marketing and your website is the best tool for capturing email addresses. 

When someone gives you his email address, he is giving you permission to send content to his inbox. If you ask your friends, family, and network of contacts, they will gladly give you their email addresses.

What about a complete stranger? A person who just visited your website?

He will not surrender his email address to anyone without getting something of value in exchange. 

With a website, you can offer a free monthly subscription to a newsletter, an e-book, or limited access to premium content. 

By doing so, you add value to your business, enhance your reputation, and most importantly, gain the trust of a potential customer.

20. Open New Streams Of Revenue

How else can you earn money from your website? Aside from having a virtual store to sell your products and an Internet-based address where prospective customers can find you, here are other ways to make money from your website:

  • Paid Ads – If your website generates an impressive amount of traffic and ranks high in the search results page, the advertisers will come knocking on your inbox! 
  • Affiliate Marketing – Promote the products and services of other businesses and earn a commission from every sale that’s generated from your website. 
  • Get Hired By Other Businesses – If your blog page has a good following, reputable websites might ask you to write for them for a generous fee. 

21. Manage Your Business Reputation

The website is your platform on the Internet. This is the place where you will be heard and have 100% full control over your content. 

Let’s say you’re the meat refining business and there are concerns about tainted meat being sold in markets and popular restaurants.

You can put a disclaimer on the home page of your website and inform site visitors that your raw materials are sourced from a region that has been declared safe for consumption.

You can embed an explainer video on the home page or add images of certifications from recognized organizations attesting to the safety of your meat. From there, link the home page to your social media accounts.

Conclusion

If you want an effective website or one that can help you take your business to another level, you have to be prepared to invest in one. In a survey of small business owners, 19% identified cost as another reason for foregoing a website.

A website is not an expense. It is an investment because you should expect a return on your money within a period of time.

For your investment to pay out, you have to make sure your website is professionally designed, fully functioning with fast download speed and packed with great content.

Do not penny- pinch and try to do a website on your own despite the availability of free templates. Your best option would always be to hire a professional web designer who has the experience and training to build a functional yet aesthetically beautiful website.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.