Although you may think that having a website is optional for your business, it really isn’t anymore. Six out of ten consumers expect brands to provide online content about their business, and more than half head straight to the brand’s website for product information. According to a recent report done by Pardot, 72% of consumers go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials about a business. Those consumers won’t be able to find you if you don’t have a website!

With over 4 billion people using the Internet, you should also make sure that you have a great looking website that stands up to the competition. 2019 is almost here and there’s no better time than now to update or have a website created for the first time! Keep these tips, tricks and trends in mind coming into the new year:

Pay Attention To Speed

It only takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not – and most importantly, whether they’ll stay on it or navigate away. If your website is taking too long to load, they’ll most likely leave. Make sure you’re using internet-friendly photos (the larger your content/images, the slower the site), and take advantage of things like caching. The days of slow websites will be long gone in 2019.

Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

The average person doesn’t go more than 10 minutes without checking their phone, according to this recent report. 2016 was the first year that mobile internet usage surpassed computer usage, and it’s still continuing to grow. Making sure that your website works well on mobile devices is a must. W=Small details, like ensuring buttons are large enough to tap will help keep people happily engaged with your website. When the text or buttons are too small, or open into popups, this adds time, complexity, and frustration to the mobile navigation experience.

Focus On Minimalism

Single-page designs are becoming more popular, as speed, and scroll are becoming necessities for websites. Where there is less clutter, you’ll also have better conversions. A clean minimalist design helps highlight your products and services in a clear, non ambiguous manner, according to SitePoint. Minimalism makes a clear distinction between what matters and the “fluff” you can get rid of. Use negative space to your advantage by creating easily defined sections and clear offerings. Make sure your website also has a focal point with lead capture (like funneling them towards a contact form, page, or phone number.)

Consider Adding A Chatbot

Convenience is key! Not everyone will want to click around on your website to find the information they’re looking for. If a chatbot popped up and made sure they had the answers they were looking for, there’s a higher chance for a sale to happen. According to Sprout, customers expect a response between 0-4 hours — but brands typically take 10 hours to respond. The solution? When a chatbot pops up, that automatically changes. Your consumers won’t be spending a ton of time waiting around, browsing other businesses. Make sure to create a natural conversational flow when creating your bot. This will allow you to understand your consumer better!

There are so many benefits of having a website in general — but having a great website is a game changer. A website is always a necessity, whether you have a small or large business. With the new year being around the corner, now is the perfect time to stand up to the competition. Start building your website with us today!