The days of using phonebooks to find what you need are long gone. We live in a digital world where people search online for everything. In fact, according to the eCommerce Foundation, 88% of consumers will research product information before they make a purchase online or in the store. Since that’s the way of the world today, you should be sure that your business website stands out from the competition.
An attractive business website is important because your website is often the first impression potential customers are getting of you and your business. If your website is unattractive, cluttered, messy and visitors can’t quickly find what they are looking for, they will leave quickly for another website.
Read on for our 6 Tips for a Strong Business Website.
Make a Strong First Impression
As stated before, your website is your clients first impression. Make the best first impression with these 6 tips:
Simple Navigation: Website visitors should be able to easily get from place to place on your website. One way to do this is by having a navigation menu at the top of the website that helps access the major sections of your website. Consider adding sub-menus, and for larger websites, a more detailed index of pages in the website footer. Be sure to also add internal links (i.e. links from one page of website to another) to help people find more information deeper in website.
Attractive Design: Today’s websites are clean and have a lot of images. Keep text to a minimum, and link to text-heavy pages from other pages. Use a lot of white space so your website does not visually overwhelm visitors. Avoid clutter and of course make sure everything is current, up-to-date and accurate. Be sure to understand that with websites, visitors will make snap decisions. Is it attractive, easy to use and full of good information? Or, is it out-of-date, cluttered with difficult navigation? Guess which website will perform better!
Consistent Branding: Be sure your company branding is clear and consistent across all elements of your website (as well as in all other company materials). Potential customers like seeing examples of past work, past clients and client testimonials. This is because they are starting to form an impression in their mind as to whether or not your company is a good match for them, and they are a good fit for your company.
Include Calls to Action (CTA): Once you have built some enthusiasm or interest, you can capitalize on this using a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA encourages website visitors to take some sort of action to move beyond mere interest to actual action. This action might be to fill out a form, request a meeting, purchase a product, get a deal (perhaps a coupon or discount), join an email list or something else. As marketers know, these CTAs serve another purpose, which is to help us measure interest and demand.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Since we know that everybody uses search engines (e.g. Google) to find everything, we should be intentional about how we position our website so that it can be found by search engines at the most appropriate times (and in response to the most appropriate searches). There are many ways to influence how well our websites and specific pages get found by search engines. The first step in this process is getting an understanding of what website visitors are interested and which pages they visit. A great tool for this is Google Analytics. Google Analytics, which is a free service, is a powerful data platform which provides extensive data about website visitors and their behavior. This includes pages visited, where they came from and how long they stayed on your site. There is also demographic and other useful data.
Easy Conversion/Fast Page Load Speeds: Make it easy for visitors to get from page to page, especially if they are trying to purchase something from you. It should be easy for customers to leave a page and return to it, such as your checkout page. Visitors will not tolerate a slow loading website or individual page. They will quickly navigate to another website to finish their purchase.
Pay Special Attention to Two Key Pages
Two of the most trafficked pages on any website are the “About Us” and “Our Team/Leadership” pages. Website visitors are interested in learning about your company and they are interested in seeing the people running it.
With this knowledge, take this opportunity to share your story and vision. Especially for smaller businesses and professional services firms, tell your story. Introduce your leaders and include profile photos. Where did you and the company come from? What is your unique experience, and how does this experience (and vision) uniquely serve your customers?
Take this opportunity to use video to provide more insight and useful information to your visitors. Include links to other useful parts of your website, to help lead visitors through the information you would like them to learn about your firm and how you help your customers.
Good News & Bad News
The good news is there is a tremendous amount of people on the Internet and potential customers for you to grab. The bad news is there is also a significant amount of competition, for every industry, across the Internet. To succeed in today’s highly-competitive environment, you will have an advantage with a website that is well-developed and takes advantage of all these tips for a strong business website.