Thursday, September 8, 2011

10 Things Your Small Business Website Needs

  1. Logical Navigation
    Perhaps the most important aspect of a website is the movement of traffic through it. If a website visitor does not know where to click to get to the most important information on the site, they are most likely to click the back button and look for the next option on the search results. And if you aren't concerned about how your visitors travel through your site, consider how the google robots will find the other pages on your site if the navigation is not clear and logical.
  2. Clean & Simple Design
    One of the things I have always been a proponent for is a clean web design. Back when the thing to do was animated details filling all the white space, I was fighting for clean designs and adequate whitespace. Fortunately, the world of the web has turned around and whitespace is all the rage now. But beyond the current trend, you need to be able to draw attention to the important focal points of the site and without a clean design this becomes difficult.
  3. Branding
    I once had a client that had a number of different domains that were keyword rich but none contained the name of the company. When you got to the site it was not clear what the name of the company was. While this is just the beginning of branding, it is very important that when a visitor gets to your website they know exactly who you are. they should be able to look at any quadrant of your website blindly and know what company they are looking at. From your logo, to your colors, images, and wording, this is your opportunity to define your brand.
  4. Analytics
    Google Analytics takes what used to cost a good chunk of change and made it free. Kind of an ongoing theme for Google. If you have a website then there is no reason not to set up a free Google Analytics account, insert the code into your website, and have a good picture of your website traffic. With this in place you can track ROI for all of your marketing ventures, whether it be adwords, mailers, newsletters, coupons, etc.
  5. Social Media Links
    Though there is something to be said for keeping it simple, one thing that certainly brings some free marketing in is social media links. As Marketing Pilgrim shows, Share buttons increase link mentions by a multitude of 7. So make sure you include them, but make them unobtrusive.
  6. Call To Action
    Your small business website has a purpose. Whether you are selling widgets, your accounting services, or promoting a musician, you are trying to coerce your site visitor into doing something. One of the critical things many sites fail to successfully implement is a clear call to action. If I am buying your widget, I do not want to hunt around for an "add to cart" button. If I am interested in you becoming my accountant, I do not want to spend my precious time looking for your phone number or I might as well do my own taxes in that time. If I want to buy tickets to your concert, I don't want to follow a series of navigations and links before I get to the point of seeing where I can purchase them. If the entire point of your website is to sell your widget, make the purchase of the widget as simple and obvious as possible. Big bright buttons that draw attention, while keeping branding, simplicity, and whitespace in mind, are key. 
  7. Testimonials
    Everyone has been taken at some point in time. Whether you have been conned into paying more for less, or paid someone to do something they never did, we have all been a victim in some form. Knowing that your website visitors are skeptical, hurt, cautious people is key to understanding the trust you must gain before they do what you want. Particularly older generations are skeptical of purchasing online or who the people behind the website they are visiting really are. Keep this in mind and ask your existing customers to write some notes about what it is like to work with you. Then post it on your website somewhere. You need to earn your website visitor's trust, they aren't going to just open their purse for anyone. Giving them a taste of other's opinions of you is critical in helping to gain that trust.
  8. Examples of Your Work
    If you are able, in any way, to share examples of your work and accomplishments then you should take heed to do that on your website. If you make widgets, there should be pictures of your widgets on your website, highlighting what makes your widgets better than Joe's Gidgets. If your product is not an item but a service, then perhaps you can highlight companies that you sell to, with their permission. If your website visitor does not know you from the next guy, you need to give them something that they can be familiar with and hang on to for trust purposes, and chances are you have a client or piece of work that they may be familiar with in some way.
  9. Contact Information
    While this may be obvious, I can't begin to tell you how many websites I have visited that did not have any contact information on them. While this may be by design, a contact form alone, with no address, phone number, or even an email (HELLO PEOPLE THEY COME FREE WITH YOUR HOSTING) is a red flag to most people that you do not want to be contacted, or that communication with you will be difficult. While this may open you to a certain level of spam, it will also open you to more potential clients.
  10. Content
    While it has been said over and over, it truly is the most important aspect to SEO, content truly is king. You can backlink til your eyes bleed, but if all the links are going to a bland website with no original content, you are working against yourself. A blog that is regularly updated is a good way to keep fresh content flowing to the site, but you truly need to make sure that both your customers and google see your website as a value to the internet, and without text-rich keyword-rich content, that is hopeless.
While we are happy to provide you with advice when we can, if you would like for someone to handle your website development needs for your business, give us a call today at 813-406-0366 or email us at info at so that we can give you a quote for getting the website off your back and onto our appreciative and hard working hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Web Design & Marketing - Click and get an instant quote on your project