What's the secret of a great website?
Belsimpel's great success is due partly to the quality of its website. But what makes a website really good? The Netherlands has more than 2.5 million websites, but only a small proportion really stand out. Here are five tips for a great website:
Get yourself a distinctive (domain) name
It all begins with a distinctive name. A name that stands out and makes it clear what you do. A name that also sounds good and is easy to say. Because then you can use other media to tell people about your site, and you're ready for the boom in spoken search commands. It's a good idea to register the .com version of your .nl domain name as well. That way you reduce the risk of your name being abused by scammers. To check whether the domain name you want is available, visit sidn.nl or a hosting service provider's site.
Make sure people can find you
No matter how good your website is, it's likely to flop if it's hard to find. And there's more to being found than simply advertising on Google. Content that's relevant to your target audience, a presence in appropriate social media and a valid SSL certificate are all part of the mix. Google is modifying its search algorithms all the time, so you need to keep abreast of developments. Your hosting service provider or web agency can probably advise you.
One of the biggest challenges for an on-line start-up is winning the trust of the target audience. People are naturally more wary of a remote seller than of a physical storekeeper. On-line businesses therefore need to invest enough time and money in things that boost consumer confidence. With Google's Chrome browser starting to show a warning whenever a website doesn't have an SSL certificate, certification is now vital for all websites and webshops.
Use a good, fast hosting service
A slow website means a low conversion rate, makes a poor impression and gets a low ranking from Google. Yet many businesses underestimate the importance of good hosting. All too often, the choice of hosting service provider is based largely on cost. If you're confused about hosting, don't worry. The Ecommerce Wiki has an extensive Q&A section on webshop hosting, which will certainly help you find a hosting service that meets your needs.
Follow the rules
An on-line business needs to do things by the book. Many start-ups get into difficulty with things such as consumer law, which allows the buyer a fourteen-day 'cooling off period' in most cases. Or they underestimate what's required in terms of data security. For example,
Research by SIDN and Dataprovider found that the majority of business websites that invite customers to enter personal data say nothing about how the data will be handled. And, in May 2018, the rules on personal data get even stricter, when the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect.
With all five of the points highlighted above, it's not a question of checking once and then putting them out of your mind. A proactive attitude is required. Having a great website means constantly following developments and investing in enhancements. Remember: overnight success is very rare in e-commerce. In most cases, success is the outcome of continuous development over a period of years.