For small business owners of the modern era, there may be nothing more important than an informative, easy-to-navigate, engaging, and good-looking website. For most people, a business’ website is the first — and often only — interaction that can lead to a sale. It’s a potential customer’s main portal through which to view your entire business, and you need to know how to make it great. Here are some tips.
Function Matters Way More Than Form
You don’t want to have an ugly website. That’s a given. However, in the battle of what matters most, function will win over form every single time. If a website does not present all the right information in an easy-to-navigate fashion, it doesn’t matter how snazzy it looks. It’s going to turn potential customers off and will not lead to sales (your number one goal).
“Good looks don’t bring in sales. A great tour guide does, though – and that’s your website’s job. It presents your business to visitors and welcomes them,” says entrepreneur Neil Patel.
You Need to Prioritize Visibility
If you don’t focus on website promotion, it won’t matter how great it is. You need to get eyes on your site as quickly as possible, and in doing so, ensure that it stays at the top of search results. Website promotion strategies that help you do this include active social media marketing, press releases, blog posts, backlinking, and other search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.
Busy Isn’t Beautiful
Having said that, looks do matter. A busy website is unattractive, even if all the individual elements are attractive on their own. Your website’s best tool is negative space or, as Entrepreneur mag calls it, “white space.” This allows you to highlight the important elements of your website and direct customers to travel the routes you want them to. Beyond that, negative space simply gives the appearance of sophistication in a website.
Every Visitor Has a Short Attention Span
The average website visitor is not going to hang around your website searching for what they’re looking for. If they don’t find it fast they are going to move on. And for those who come to your site without a set agenda, the same rules apply — you need to hook them fast. The three clicks rule applies — nothing important should be more than three clicks away. In other words, don’t bury the lede. Potential customers should have multiple access points to important info, a well-designed search feature, and well-organized navigation options.
Your Website Needs Content
Having great design, organization, and pertinent business info properly displayed isn’t enough. Your website can’t just be a modern-day version of a yellow pages listing. You must use your website to engage with people, and you do that through relevant content. This can be blog posts, videos, photos, and other forms of media. Your first rule of content writing for your website should be to communicate, clearly, what your business does and how the person reading the post would be benefitted by becoming a customer or client.
How much do you need to focus on having a stellar website? Nearly 40 percent of people say they use the internet to shop or find products on a monthly basis. And at least 50 percent of sales are lost when people can’t find the content or info they need on a business website — that should tell you everything you need to know. Whether you outsource the job, hire in-house help, or DIY, making your website a focal point of your online strategy is paramount.