Digital properties today face a tricky balancing act with quality and speed: users expect the utmost visual experience to consider a brand credible, regardless of industry, and they expect it to be delivered immediately. When asked what influenced their first impressions of a company, 94% of respondents indicated basing their opinion on the design elements of the company’s home page, while only 6% referenced specific content. Meanwhile, 2 seconds load time is the threshold for website acceptability, with every additional 1 second delay in page response time resulting in a 7% reduction in conversions....

As internet usage trends increasingly towards mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly web page is essential to maximizing your website traffic. 60% of online traffic is now coming from mobile users, but those users may not find your web page as easily as before (1). In mid-April, Google made changes to their mobile algorithm to adapt to the shift in browsing methods. With these changes, mobile-search results now give preference to websites Google deems mobile-friendly, while penalizing those that are not. For the search engine which has traditionally focused on content relevancy, it is a big shift to see user-experience hold such weight.   So, what is mobile-friendly? There are several factors to consider, but the overall emphasis is on having a webpage that, when viewed on a mobile device, fits the screen, is easy to navigate and runs well. To ensure mobile-friendly...

Last week we looked at the top reasons why small businesses need a website, from ensuring your company pops up when people search for you on Google to establishing credibility. This week we’d like to help you ask a few deeper questions you’ll need to answer before crafting a solid site.

What is the purpose of your site?

To begin, what kind of business are you? An ecommerce site will want features that a community site probably won’t, and vice-versa. Are you selling a product on your site? Do you need for it to work with social media to engage with a community? Will it need a calendar to advertise frequent events?

It’s easy to see why a larger company might need a website, but it can be hard to see why a local shop or consultant might need one. If you’re running a locally-owned shop where most of your customers come in from around town, or if you’re a one-person micro-business acquiring clients through word-of-mouth or social media exclusively, what more could a website add?

Customers these days can interact with businesses on any number of review or social media sites, and it can be hard for small to mid-sized businesses in particular to keep track of who’s tweeting or writing about their service. Even if you’re consistent about maintaining a strong community on a site like Facebook— replying to comments, messages and questions to keep customers happy with your business— others likely pass by unnoticed, posting on pockets around the web. In 2014, you can keep track of all of it with a social monitoring app we love called Perch.