It doesn’t matter how big your business is. When consumers are interacting with your website, they expect a level of service that’s been set by the biggest names in the industry, like Amazon.

This means you need to incorporate all of the latest technical features into your website to put yourself on even footing. The good news is that, even for smaller businesses, access to this technology is possible. Here are some of the elements you should include in your website if you want to be competitive in the online landscape.

A Mobile-Friendly Site

Today, the majority of searches start on mobile devices. What works on a desktop might look sloppy or illegible on a smaller screen, so it’s critical that you’re taking all devices into consideration when you design your site.

We suggest taking it a step further with a responsive website. Responsive websites adjust based on what type of device they’re being loaded on. This ensures that your content looks clean and clear on the biggest (or smallest) of screens.

Quick Load Time

According to research from Kissmetrics, most consumers expect a website to load in two seconds, and 40% will navigate away from a site that takes more than three seconds to load. This means that if your site is bogged down with slow-loading elements or you’re on a sluggish web hosting service, you could be losing business before consumers even get to your content!

Sticking to an HTML-based site and eliminating Flash and JavaScript elements that take a long time to load can help keep your site moving quickly.

Fresh & Modern Images

Nothing dates your site quicker than an old-school color palette and outmoded images. Of course, you want to be sure that the design elements on your site work with your brand’s color scheme and logo, but there are always ways to freshen up the visual elements of your website while staying on-brand.

Simple, sleek icons can keep your site looking modern. You also want to use high-quality photos that speak to current photography trends.

It’s also important to leave enough white space. An overcrowded site ends up looking like your eccentric uncle’s living room ““ musty and unwelcoming.

Social Media Integration

Your website serves as the hub of your online presence. It’s important to drive all traffic online to your website, but the reverse should also be true. Include icons that link out to your social media channels, and consider featuring social media content feeds on your website.

Keeping all of this information centralized can help drive more followers to your social channels. No one wants to have to put in the extra effort to search for you on social ““ instead, make it seamless for them to follow you.

Long-Scrolling Websites

More and more frequently, brands are turning to long-scrolling websites to showcase their content. These sites are effective because they’re clean, they’re modern, and they drive visitors through a clear and concise journey without asking them to click anywhere.

Every time you ask a visitor to click within your site, you’re asking them to make a decision. Those who are just hearing about your business for the first time might be hesitant to make the commitment and click through to other pages. However, they’ll keep scrolling for as long as the content remains interesting.

A long-scrolling website allows you to build on your brand’s story, ultimately ending with a call to action. The scrolling action draws visitors in without asking them to click anywhere.

Live Chat

Chat is becoming an increasingly popular way for brands to serve consumers online. Chat allows people to get instant answers to their questions. This kind of service can help turn a casual visitor into a hot lead.

Chatbots can get you part-way there, but when a consumer has a complex question or issue, chatbots can actually cause more friction for them. Instead, consider investing in live chat.

There is no substitute for real human interaction. Live chat allows you to address customer concerns quickly and efficiently, and a real person can provide feedback and guidance to prospects that can drive sales in the way a bot never could.

A modern website is the cornerstone of any business’s online presence. Keeping up to date with the latest trends in website design and technology can elevate even the smallest of businesses to the level of the biggest players in the game. If you need help developing a modern, user-friendly website, check out our website design and live chat services.

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