In 2020, Hammersmith Support will be working to get all of our maintenance clients accessibility certified using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines standards. Why is it so important for your website to be accessible to everyone? The main reasons are because it’s good practice and makes good business sense. Ensuring your site is always up, running, and ready for any potential client is a must! There are several other reasons (and one perk!) for having your website accessibility certified. Read on to find out more.

Good Business Practice

Differently-abled people account for nearly 15% of all those using the Internet. So if you had 1,000 visitors to your website, 150 of those would be differently-abled individuals. Accommodating those with a disability isn’t complicated and is the right thing to do. Ensuring that your text is able to be converted to a larger or audible version, having images with accurate alt text, and enabling your site to be navigated using the Tab key are all things that can make your site easy for anyone to use.

Diminish the Risk of Discrimination

There is a growing number of disability discrimination lawsuits being filed against even small businesses. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities and has created many of the standards with which companies are required to comply. If a company ignores those standards and or refuses to comply, it can spell big legal trouble. Read about some of the recent website accessibility lawsuits here.

Boost Your SEO

Many of the functions that are required for a website to be accessibility certified actually double as a good SEO booster. Background information on images like alt text, captions and title are all beneficial for a visually impaired individual, but it’s also great information for web crawlers to use in evaluating and ranking your site.

Is Your Site Accessibility Certified Yet?

Are you ready to get your website accessibility certified? Click here to contact us about our monthly maintenance packages that include accessibility certification.

Good design drives business. In a world of cookie cutter, DIY websites, it can be easy to overlook the importance of a well-designed website. If you don’t sell your products online, why do you need a great website? Actually, there are a few reasons why good web design matters.

First, let’s define what “good web design” means. A well-built site is one that is:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Functions well and is easy to navigate
  • Provides useful content, including services and contact information

Now, on to why these aspects of web design really matter.

Validity

Have you ever searched for a business online and come up empty handed? Did you continue to try to find that business, or move on to another? Chances are, you moved on. And it could be because without a website, your business doesn’t seem legitimate. A well-built, informative, and responsive website shows your customers that your business not only exists, but that it takes their customers’ convenience seriously and therefore has a very easy-to-find website.

SEO

One study found that 87% of consumers searched for a business using a search engine, which means if your site’s SEO isn’t maximized, you could be missing out on potential customers. Good web design is a major factor in Google Ranking and hits on several areas including responsiveness, quality, security and more. Having a well-built site not only makes it easier for potential customers to navigate your site, it makes it easier for them to find you in the first place.

First Impression

You know the old saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” The same can be said for your website. How your website looks and functions says a lot about your company. If you’re willing to put time and effort into creating an easy way for potential customers to interact with your business, then you’re probably willing to do the same for them with your services. Shoddy websites can give the appearance that your business is cheap, antiquated, and/or disorganized.

Mobile

With nearly half of the world’s 3.9 billion internet users doing so from their mobile devices, not having your website mobile optimized is a problem. Having a well-designed site will usually start with a “mobile first” format. This will ensure that potential customers will be able to find you and your site, no matter where they are searching from.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

Feeling like it might be time for an upgrade to your website? Wondering if you need a complete rebuild? Maybe just need a little help to get your site running better? We’re happy to answer your questions! Contact us and ask away.

When was the last time you looked at your business website? Like really looked at it? Chances are, you’ve been busy running your business and not putting enough time and effort into your website. Why is that a big deal? Because potential customers are going to judge your business based on your site. If it looks bad, is inaccessible via a mobile device, and or is not secure, they may decide to take their business elsewhere.

So how do you know if your site is out of date? Here are five areas to consider:

The Site Is Slow to Load

If your website takes forever to load – and by forever we mean if it’s not instantaneous – it’s slow. Consumers have high expectations: they want what they want and they want it right now. If your site takes too long to load, they are going to move on. Ensuring that your site is updated and utilizing a CDN will help it load quickly, keeping fast-moving consumers satisfied.

It’s Not Mobile Optimized

Pull up your website on your mobile device – can you see the entire site? Do all of the buttons show up? Do they work? Are the images sized correctly? If not, your website is not mobile optimized. With more than half of the world’s 3.9 billion internet users viewing websites from their mobile device, not having your site fully functional on mobile is a huge loss.

Your Content Is Old

Take a look at your about page. Is it still accurate? How about the images, the titles? Old content can be a huge red flag to consumers, not to mention confusing as well. Take time to update even tiny details and freshen up your content, it will make a big difference.

Your Micro Content Is Nonexistent

If your website is not showing your social media – or if your business social media doesn’t exist, fix it. Micro content is essential to keeping your business top of mind for consumers. Small bites of information can entice consumers because they can digest them quickly. Good micro content will point consumers to your website to find out more information, so do not miss out on that opportunity.

It Lacks Security

Does your URL have an “s” after the “http”? If not, you are running an unsecured site. While this may not seem like a big deal, if you are asking for potential customers to submit personal information like an email or phone number, they will know that their information is unsecured. In addition, Google Ranking Factors will rank your site lower if it lacks security.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

Feeling a little overwhelmed by what needs to be updated on your website? We’re here to help. Contact us to talk through your business and website goals and we’ll help make it a reality.

For so many businesses, it may be a slow or very slow time. But slow time doesn’t have to be wasted time. Utilizing newly open hours of your day by doing some work on your business website will ensure that it is in tip-top shape as things begin to rebound. Hammersmith Support has brought you many blog posts over the last year and we’ve gathered several that have great information about why and also how to get your website updated.

Enroll in Google Search Console and Google Analytics

Are you using either of these FREE tools from Google yet? If not, now is the perfect time to get rolling. Google Search Console will help you pinpoint any issues on your site and keep you updated should something go down. Google Analytics is great way to see where traffic to your site is coming from and more.

Look at SEO

If you’ve been neglecting your site’s search engine optimization, we’ve got a few ideas about how to fix that. First, read about what SEO is. Next, check out these organic (read: free) ways to boost your SEO.

Start Your Business Blog

You really do need that business blog! Not only is this a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers, blogs also feed your micro content (i.e. social media) and boost your SEO. Learn how to get started here.

Freshen Up Your Site

A stale site is not only bad for SEO, but it’s bad from a customer perspective too. If a potential client sees that your site never gets touched, it can be a huge red flag. There are some easy ways to update your site with new images, refreshed image information, a blog, new reviews from clients, updates to your “about” page, etc.

Get Some Support

Are there areas of your site that need a professional touch? Or is your site in need of a full overhaul or rebuild? Drop us a note, let us know what you’re thinking about and we’ll help make it a reality.

We’re here to help. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

We are fortunate to know Katrina Oko-Odoi of ContentWorm from The W Source Scottsdale / Arcadia Chapter and we are so thrilled that she has shared her thoughts on how we can still be creating content marketing in the current climate. The coronavirus has crippled some businesses while bringing a huge influx of clients to others. This shift and the uncertainty of how long these changes will last creates interesting opportunities for supporting both those hurting and those flourishing. Here are Katrina’s thoughts on how to market during this time:

Don’t shy away from content marketing during a public health crisis. Chances are the heart of your content is still valuable, but it may need to be presented in slightly different terms or with a more sensitive approach. Your expertise hasn’t changed, but how it can be of benefit to your audience might. Follow these steps to attune your content to today’s climate.

  1. REACH OUT – Contact current clients and stakeholders. Express your concern and the actions you’re taking to keep the public and/or employees safe (if people don’t hear from you, it could leave a negative impression).
  2. ADJUST SCHEDULED CONTENT – Review all drafted content that’s already scheduled to publish (social media, blog articles, newsletters, PR coverage). As needed, adjust wording to be more sensitive and in tune with the climate. If the content is absolutely not usable right now, table it for later.
  3. DEVELOP NEW CONTENT – What unique insights can you offer that are immediately relevant to your audience? Focus on your expertise and how you can address the current reality of social isolation and quarantine. Opt for free, actionable resources that people are likely to engage with and share—this will help boost your visibility to a captive audience.
  4. REVIEW CURRENT CAMPAIGNS – Reassess current ad, product launch, or event campaigns and determine whether to adjust strategy and continue the campaign, delay, or cancel altogether.
  5. RESTRATEGIZE – Don’t halt current marketing efforts! Instead, rethink your strategy to be sensitive and helpful to current and prospective customers. Stay in communication and offer regular content for people to engage with: you have a captive audience looking for inspirational, practical resources. Position your brand as a go-to source for insights in your market. Start a new campaign to advertise any offerings of immediate need during this crisis.
  6. BE RESPONSIVE – Remain responsive and helpful to current clients. Even if you’re closed down temporarily or have limited staff, be transparent and offer any alternative solutions available. Customers will appreciate your communicativeness.
  7. STAY AGILE WITH YOUR CONTENT – Continue to monitor the situation and adjust efforts and messaging as needed. Send updates to clients and stakeholders as often as appropriate.

Above all, trust your instincts and stay true to your brand. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not—focus on sharing the best of your organization during this time and the rest will flow from there. If you’re looking for more content support, please get in touch.

Katrina Oko-Odoi, PhD, ContentWorm Founder & Chief Content Strategist

katrina@contentworm.com | (619) 554-8595 | LinkedIn & Facebook