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Top 5 Reasons to Update Your Website Before 2021; And Why It's Urgent!

SEO

web development

website redesign

by Jake Ni
|
Published: 11-23-2020
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Updated: 1-29-2021
|
15 min read

2020 is coming to an end (finally). There is not much time left to complete your checklist. If updating your business's website is on it, then this article will definitely be useful to you.

Read through this article because at the end, we'll offer you a FREE 30 min virtual consultation, during which we'll analyze your current website and offer our solutions to improve it.

In 2021 when vaccines become widely available, strong economic recovery across all sectors may immediately ensue. This is great news for your business. Interestingly, we predict that the consumer habits developed during this pandemic, such as Zoom calling, online payment & virtual appointment, will stick around! 

These are strong reasons for updating your website. And it's kind of urgent, because we know it's going to get busy soon. And you don't want to get overwhelmed. A modern website will help automate your workflow and keep you from missing out on potential customers.

If you want your business to be ready for the booming 2021, ask yourself these questions.

Is your competition’s web site easier to use than your website? 
Do you take online payments? 
Do you have online appointments? 
Is it easy for your customers to find you? 
Are you losing business to your competition because their website is just easier to find and easier to use? 

Let’s fix that, NOW!

Without further ado, here are the top 5 benefits of updating your website before 2021.

Artwork by our team at 1 Stop Coder

Online Payment Is a Necessity Now

The arguments for having payment function on websites have always been strong. But during the current pandemic, it has become a must-have. After all, comparing to getting a germ covered C note, your chance of contracting the Coronavirus through online payment is zero.

In 2020, website payment goes way beyond just a PayPal button. Thanks to modern web technology, developers like us are able to program any and all kinds of payments on your website. And we don't need to use any external links that will take the user engagement away from your domain.

We use Stripe for payment processing. On your website, we're able to program one-time payment, recurring subscription payment, order checkout page & even financing payments with flexible terms!


Example of a checkout page

Example of one-time payment & subscription payment


Websites Keep Getting Prettier. Does Yours Stand Out?

Website design & user interface typically experience a generational change every 5 years. That's a short interval! If businesses don't make an active effort to redesign their websites promptly, consumers can get bored pretty easily. And in tech, there is really no such thing as "vintage". Newer is always better. I mean, do you still see people use Nokia phones...

To help you compare your website to the next-gen standard, here are 4 defining features of a next-gen design/user interface.

Dynamic. Things move on the most beautiful websites. Texts get animated. Icons get animated. Backgrounds get animated. Clicking, hovering, scrolling & selecting can all trigger animations. Thanks to modern JavaScript technology that made them possible. To experience this, just go to the home page of our website, and you'll find a bunch of really cool dynamic elements. A dynamic design is an eye-catching design, and that helps you attract visitors.

Interactive. Great websites retain their visitors by keeping them engaged. Nowadays users expect interaction when they hover over an icon, click on a button, scroll through a grid of elements etc. Take this article page for example. If you're viewing it on a full screen device, you should see a reading guide on the right. It automatically detects your screen position and highlights the section you're at. You can also click on any of the headings and go to the corresponding section. Features like this can wow your visitors and bring great convenience.

Minimalistic & Spacious. The leading consensus in the web development community is to make websites minimalistic and spacious. Look at Apple's, Google's & Facebook's website. Notice how they manage to space everything out so much, and keep screen content to a minimum. When you can use icons, don't use texts. When you can use a slideshow, don't dump out all the content. We find that consumers are increasingly growing sick of crowded and "noisy" sites.

Gradients, Drop Shadows & Grid Layout. The use of gradient colors instead of monotone colors. The use of drop shadows instead of plain borders. The use of grid layout instead of piling content one on top of another. These practices really solidified web design and user interface in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

Gradient design

Grid design


Drop shadow design


Things like mobile friendliness are so common, it's more of a minimum requirement rather than a trend.

Here is an example of a next-gen website: Stripe.com. Stripe is an industry leader in web-based payment solutions. We think their home page represents the pinnacle of website design, and it ticks all the boxes I listed above.

Stripe's home page as of 11/23/2020

Online Appointment Booking Is More Than Just a Convenience

The biggest benefit of having appointment booking on your website is to gauge customer influx and maximize your schedule. Appointment booking is not just about having your visitors fill out a form. Appointment widgets such as Square and Calendly can allow your visitors to see what time slots you're available in, which staff member is available, price for different services and many more.



Appointment booking widget


Search Engine Optimization Is Constantly Changing. It's Important to Keep Up

SEO(Search Engine Optimization) is complicated. Assume we're only talking about SEO on Google, which is basically the de facto search engine. The fact that Google keeps changing their algorithm isn't helping the situation either. An SEO practice might had been doing you wonders back in 2015, but it can now be completely deprecated. Google doesn't reveal exactly how their algorithm works, but they do provide a guideline.

To sum it up for you. These are the top 4 aspects of SEO.

1. Meaning of your search query. This is the search term people type in the search bar. For example "Top 5 home remedies for stuffy nose". If your website is a good match with this search query, you have a good shot of getting a higher ranking.

2. Relevance of your page. Next, Google looks at the content on your page and tries to determine if it's useful to the user.

3. Quality of content. Google prioritizes the most reliable sources. So it pays off when your page has expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic. 

4. The usability of your page. Google and the general public like web pages that are speedy, device-friendly, well-designed, and can provide a good user experience.

SEO is definitely a topic that requires professional attention. Consult with a web developer and make sure that your website is up-to-date with the current practices.

Features That Improve Your Workflow and Keep You From Missing Out on Potential Customers

There are certain website features that can greatly improve your workflow and retain customers.

One good example is chat bot. If you're unfamiliar with chat bot, it's basically a chat widget that can be programmed with an automated chat sequence and use that to talk with a site visitor. They also record conversation and user information so you can get back to that customer when your time frees up. It is an amazing tool to retain customers and capture leads. The chat algorithm is so good right now, sometimes it's just like talking to a real human being.  

A chat bot

It's also necessary to have an accessibility widget on your website so that it can be easier for people with disabilities to use it. Plus, being ADA compliant is required by law.

An accessibility widget

Hire a Pro if You Want Things to Be Done the Right Way

Businesses typically either hire a web design/development agency or use a DIY website builder. If your business is the former, then great. Please ensure that your web developer stays current with the latest practices, and properly maintains your site. If you think your site might be stagnant under the management of your current agency, feel free to branch out and try other companies.

The biggest pitfall we see however, is when businesses choose to use a DIY platform to build their own sites. These are platforms like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly etc. From a cost effectiveness perspective, they start off cheap. But not so much once you load it up with necessities. Most importantly, there are nuances of web development that untrained eyes just could not see. The layout of your DIY site might look perfect to you, but in reality it may actually set off all the alarms. Not to mention the advanced functionalities and proper SEO that only a professional company can provide.

In summary, now is more important than ever to have a great web presence. It will not only benefit your business, improve your workflow, and prepare you for the boom that's bound to happen next year. It's also a nice tax write-off if you are looking to meet your expense quota for 2020.

Here is the link to schedule a FREE 30 min consultation with me.

READING GUIDE

About the Author

Jake Ni

Founder & Chief Web Developer

Jake is a seasoned web developer specializing in small business website building, web CRM building & online advertising. He's dedicated to building the most beautiful, the fastest, the most feature packed & the most SEO friendly websites.

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