If you own a Niagara winery or bed and breakfast website or looking to market your business online it’s important to not only have a visually pleasing website that effectively communicates your brand but also use it as a marketing tool to first and foremost BE FOUND and entice visitors to either make a booking (if you’re a bed and breakfast) or visit your winery. Unfortunately some of businesses however great they are fall short when it comes to their online presence which could potentially affect how visitors perceive their business.
I believe that websites should be developed with purpose such as generating leads/sales, educating consumers, improving brand recognition or simply being found online. The basic truth is that just having a website isn’t good enough and hiring just any web developer isn’t enough to compete with the ever growing online landscape.
Cost is definitely one of the deciding factors when considering for clients who are looking to get a new website. There is nothing wrong with having a budget, however keep in mind that there is typically a big difference between a website that is built by a reputable web development company versus someone who just graduated in web design or those who have chosen to outsource overseas. As someone with almost 15 years of web development and SEO experience, I can easily identify well developed websites and where improvement is needed.
Here are some important factors to consider when developing an online presence for your winery or business.
Is your website built in WordPress?
WordPress is an online software or content management system (CMS) that allows anyone to manage the content on their website without being at the mercy of their web developer. It has become the most widely used CMS for a number of reasons including:
- You easily can manage your own content
- It’s search engine friendly
- You can purchase professional looking themes for under $100
- You can add plugins or code that can add addition functionality
- You’re less dependent on a web developer for changes
- And many many more reasons…
Is your website mobile friendly?
Almost everyone has a smart phone these days and over 65% of local search is now done on mobile devices. This is surely a huge reason to make sure your website is responsive to different device sizes. Many wineries have websites that are simply not mobile friendly and this not only impacts website visitors but Google has made it clear that this is now a ranking factor in search engines.
How fast does your website load?
Do you have a slow loading website? This is a common reason why visitors leave websites, otherwise known as bounce rate. As of 2016 it has been abundantly clear that this is yet another factor that can impact how a website ranks in search engines. Things to consider to speed up your website may include a better WordPress hosting package, resizing/compressing images or installing a caching plugin if you’re running a WordPress website.
Do you have a blog and are you blogging?
Content is King. This has been a well known saying for over a decade and it’s no secret that Google ranks website’s higher that are rich in content or blog often. Understand that if you have a website that has thin content there is no SEO expert in the world that can help you rank high. This is why most reputable SEO companies will typically include blogging as part of their monthly SEO plans. it’s also been well known that Google look’s at a websites “freshness”. Websites that offer new content regularly are more likely to get 50% more traffic and outrank their competitors who aren’t.
Is your website SEO friendly?
As I’ve mentioned other SEO factors that can impact how your website ranks previously, there are website elements such as page titles, meta descriptions, the use of heading tags and other factors that are all considered on-page SEO. Although these may sound technical to you, this is the most commonly overlooked practices of web designers and developers leaving their clients with a beautiful website which receives little to no traffic.
It’s important to hire a professional web developer that understands WordPress web development, search engine optimization, social media and internet marketing to make sure that you’re website that works for your business rather than sitting on page 8 of the search results. As the popular saying goes “the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of the search results”. As I always say, what’s the point of having a website if nobody can find you?
If you’re a winery, a bed and breakfast or business looking to make a statement on the internet, contact Nextoronto WordPress Development.