Fast growth businesses by nature experience considerable change over a short period of time. A growing company and team has a lot of ground to cover. Businesses need to ensure the production cycle of their product is all going to plan, that the employees are being paid, and that their social media presence is strong, among myriad other concerns.
Most importantly, the website – the heart of a business – must be up-to-date and engaging. Making sure the website is growing and developing as fast as the business itself, and is enticing returning customers is essential for success.
Ambitious businesses must ensure their customers come first and this means the website takes centre stage. Driven by an always on, always connected world, consumers want 24/7 access to everything online. By establishing a simple to use, effective website, businesses will be positioned for success.
Creating a website which resembles your business, which provides the services your consumers demand and which scales and develops with your customers, will help you create a loyal following to achieve growth and stability.
What type of platform should growing businesses look for to achieve this and what should this platform provide?
Growing business, scalable website
Websites must be reliable. Consumers want access to a website 24/7 – they have little time for excuses and won’t tolerate downtime. They’ll simply click to the next competitor site. For some businesses such as retailers, there will always be fluctuating traffic levels to their website, depending on the time of day or month. Whether it’s your average Wednesday in April or Christmas Eve, businesses must be able to provide customers with a stable website, or risk losing them for ever.
The key for thriving businesses is having a platform which can be scaled in real time in line with demand. A scalable platform like WordPress provides this and ensures that no matter the increase in traffic, businesses can adapt quickly and meet demand without the risk of downtime.
Not broadcasting, but publishing
A crucial aspect of any website is to promote and showcase the great information and content companies have to offer in a personalised way. Today, businesses do not simply want to broadcast random content, but publish engaging, exciting copy which is appropriate for their audiences. By taking publishing into their own hands, brands can build direct relationships with customers. For expanding businesses, who may not be able to employ huge teams and technical specialists, the website needs to be built on a simple CMS platform that can be managed by anyone, regardless of technical ability.
When brands can publish content themselves it ensures a greater diversity of content can be shared, real time updating of stories and less reliance on one technical individual with the relevant expertise. The ease of use and flexibility of WordPress (rooted in its blogger origins) is driving this ‘brands to publishers’ revolution.
With 26 per cent of the web – more than 74 million websites – now operating on WordPress, the days of WordPress being thought of as just a blogging platform are truly over. WordPress is the CMS of choice for some of the world’s biggest brands. Enterprises such as CNN, Tech Crunch, Skype and UPS use the platform, making it clear that WordPress provides an enterprise-grade service.
With thousands of plugins available to support with security, e-commerce, SEO and many other features and functions, it has never been simpler to create an enterprise-grade or enterprise ready site. With this in mind, WordPress is an appropriate CMS for the early days of a business, through to when the site gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a week.
For most companies, the website is the most important extension of the business as a whole, and for others the website is the entire business. Through making it secure, making it personal and making it work 24/7, businesses of all sizes have a great way to connect with customers and develop brand loyalty, while increase sales.
Fabio Torlini is the managing director, EMEA of WP Engine.
Businesses failing to create mobile-optimised websites
Small and medium-sized businesses are not paying enough attention to the need for websites which can be viewed in a mobile capacity, new research shows.
Some 91 per cent of companies surveyed admit that business sites are not optimised for mobile viewing.
In a survey carried out on behalf of website building platform BaseKit, findings pointed towards smaller businesses not effectively using technology to engage with customers.
On top of the 91 per cent of firms not creating a mobile offering, a third are unable to update the business’ site while only half use social media for promotional reasons.
Juan Lobato, CEO of BaseKit, comments, ‘In this day and age, a website that can only be accessed via PC is positively prehistoric – consumers are now accessing websites on-the-go, especially on the high street, and businesses with no mobile offering are simply missing out.
‘Our research showed that over 50 per cent of traffic now comes via mobile, and so it is essential that SME websites should be designed with mobile in mind.’
Further results of the survey find that less than a fifth of companies are SEO optimised to ensure that the maximum amount of customers are attracted.
Mark Franks, user interface manager at names.co.uk, adds, ‘The increase in internet access from a tablet and smartphone has doubled within recent years, so it is essential that we meet the demand for mobile access.’
BaseKit’s survey involved questioning 510 SMEs hiring between 1 and 49 staff in the fourth quarter.