The fundamentals – why we, as business owners and marketers – do what we do doesn’t change much when we move from brick-and-mortar to the virtual, digital space in which so many of us do business nowadays. That’s why we explain to our clients that their website really is their virtual “flagship storefront.” While everything changes, it really all stays the same.
In this blog post we’ve put together ten considerations for developing a website for your cannabis business.
1. customer acquisition
A fresh new website is one of the best marketing tools and vehicles to acquire new patients. A well designed, mobile friendly website that is fast will help convert a potential new patient. The website also represents the company and the brand. An old website sends the wrong message to potential patients.
2. mobile compatibility
More and more patients are using mobile devices to get information about the clinic. Recent statistics indicate mobile internet traffic (smartphones, tablets) accounts for around 50% of all internet traffic globally and continues to grow at double digit rates. In the US, mobile usage is even higher. Mobile users have notoriously short attention spans so if the website isn’t mobile friendly users will go somewhere else
Usability on the current site is very challenging. Users can search on non-existent information and end up with blank results making patient acquisition much harder. A new site will address this by focusing on usability of the site and making sure that patients can find the information they need as quickly as possible.
The current site’s organization and navigation are overwhelming and confusing. Navigations are both on the left and the top which is not best practice. The new site will greatly improve the user experience by consolidating the navigation to the top and allowing the menus to be mobile friendly as well.
5. modern design
The current website’s design is old and outdated. The new site’s design will leverage the latest design best practices and conform to responsive design for smartphones and tablets. Since the website is such an important part of an organization’s marketing efforts, it’s important to project to your target audience that your brand is up to date and up to the latest standards and technology. An old, outdated website may not give that impression to current and potential customers or clients.
6. modern technology
Your current site uses outdated technology that is no longer widely supported. Outdated technologies are typically harder to support, more costly to support and can be vulnerable to the latest security threats.
7. smart use of information
Visitors will be able to easily find product or service information, hours, phone numbers and contact information. Customer testimonials can displayed on pages with other trust marks to gain confidence of site visitors.
When a website is controlled by a vendor it is much more difficult to make any customizations and integrations. A new site needs to allow easy integration with current technologies that enable and foster a better user experience or collection of data for use in other systems.
A site that is very slow to load is a poor user experience and will be downgraded by Google in search results making your site harder for searchers to find. Internet users nowadays expect up to date, fast and mobile friendly sites. Google prefers sites that load fast as this is part of the user experience they provide their users. So all else being equal, Google will rank faster loading sites higher than the slow poke. An old, outdated site sends a bad message to patients and potential patients.
10. site management
New content management system technologies enhance site management functionality allowing your IT or marketing department to easily make updates and changes to the site and SEO elements. An up to date CMS will allow for the easy management by leveraging new technologies that result in greater efficiencies.
Some questions to consider:
- Is the current website a help or hindrance to marketing efforts?
- Does the current website represent what the brand stands for?
- Does the current website allow visitors to learn about products and services easily and quickly from any device they are using?
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