In today’s business world a company, quite simply, cannot successfully compete with its competitors without a digital presence, such as a website or social media channels, especially within saturated business markets. With the developments in technology and cyber security, more and more people lean towards shopping online as opposed to traditional high street shops.  

This trend creates both – great threats as well as opportunities for business owners at the same time. One of the main threats lies in not being able to ‘keep up’ with the changes in ways in which business is done and a move towards the online world, losing clients and revenue as a result.

Nonetheless, for those businesses which are able to adjust their activities and operations to swiftly transit into the online world, the rewards can be truly great. The digital era brought changes to how companies do business – today, even a locally based SME can successfully compete with a large, multinational corporation and acquire customers who only 15-20 years ago would not have been within their reach.

Before all this is possible however, there are many digital aspects which a business must optimise. In this article, we will focus on the company website, which, if optimised correctly, can be a great tool for acquiring new customers in the business’ arsenal.

Speed

Speed is perhaps one of the most overlooked and ignored aspects of business websites, which at the same time is nothing short of crucial. A recent study has shown, that a slow loading time can dramatically increase the visitor’s bounce rate on a website, consequently causing loses in potential customers and sales.

It is essential to ensure that visitors are able to access your website fast, ideally in no longer 3-5 seconds as after this time they, to put quite simply, get tired of waiting and may visit your competitor’s website instead; a scenario any business owner wants to avoid at all cost.  

One of the best tools available for free which will allow you to check your website’s speed is the Google Speed Test. This is an accurate test which will allow you to see your website’s performance on both, mobile devices as well as desktop and will suggest ways in which you can improve the loading times of your company’s website.

Translated Content

Today, over 30% of customers regularly purchase goods online from shops based abroad. Yet, more than 90% of those customers, when asked, indicates that they are more likely to complete the purchase if the information about a product/service is available in their native language. This is where linguists and agencies offering professional business translations come into play.

Working directly with a translation company, such as TS24 or Language Reach, which are experts in providing business translation services can be extremely beneficial for a business which operates internationally or within a multicultural environment, such as London, for example.  

By reliably translating your content, you will be able to approach customers who are potentially interested in your products but may not be proficient enough in English to fully understand your proposition and as a result, if no information is available in their native language, may decide against the purchase.

When translating your website or other business material, it is also essential to remember not only to translate, but also carefully localise the content. In many cases, currency, time zone and images may need to be adjusted in order to be suitable for your chosen market.

If you have never worked with a linguist or a translation agency before, it is important to choose a provider which has a previous experience in translating similar content or content from a business sector close to yours. A step-by-step guide into choosing the right translation provider can be found here.  

Design

A clear and straight-forward design can go a long way in the business environment. When customers visit your website, they want to get straight to the point – find an item they are looking for, read the translated information about it and perhaps proceed to the purchase as fast and hassle-free as possible.

A website design which is too complicated and too difficult for the visitors to understand may dishearten them from buying from your site.

Intuitive navigation

Visitors should be able to find products, services or information they are interested in within just few clicks. A navigation system which requires them to spend a long time going through different categories or pages in order to find their preferred item, similarly to a bad design and slow loading times, will discourage them from making a purchase. Ensuring that the navigation on your website is easy and intuitive throughout, on both mobile devices as well as desktops, will allow your business to have a higher conversion rate.

High quality images

High quality images are an essential part of a good website. Choosing the right images isn’t however as simple as it may seem at first. High quality images are usually large in size, which can affect the loading times of a website, another key conversion factor from this list.

Finding the right balance between picture quality and its size can take a long time but making sure that the image isn’t slowing down the loading times of your website, yet remains high quality is essential.

Reviews

Reviews are becoming more and more important to businesses, customers as well as search engines. Integrating reviews from a reputable source such as Trust Pilot or Google Reviews onto your website can in many cases persuade a visitor to completing a purchase.

As you can see, there are several different factors which can directly influence the consumer’s behaviour on your website. In order to successfully compete within a saturated, competitive business market, all of the website aspects above must be taken care of. Being present in the online world brings great benefits for companies of all sizes, from locally based SMEs to large, multinational corporations, nonetheless, each step along the way must be carefully completed.