- Follow best practices for website structure such as making it mobile responsive, easy to navigate, and well organized with lots of white space.
- Focus on customer-centric content and review it periodically to make sure the information is accurate and free of errors.
- Make your website easy to find for potential customers with a custom domain and good search engine optimization (SEO).
- This article is for business owners who want to maximize the effectiveness of their websites to educate and sell online to potential buyers.
These days, an online presence is vital for any business, even for brick-and-mortar stores that do not engage in e-commerce. Building a website isn’t particularly difficult with the many website builder tools available. Whatever software you choose, keep these design principles in mind.
1. Make your mobile site responsive.
Mobile responsiveness is essential for a website to be effective. American adults spend more than five hours a day on their cellphones, while more than a third do all their purchases online via a mobile device. It goes without saying that your business mobile website should provide a positive user experience.
If potential customers land on your site but have trouble reading or browsing on a mobile device, they may simply abandon you in favor of a competitor. Additionally, a negative mobile user experience affects your website in search engine rankings, making it harder to find users through a Google search – which brings us to our next point.
2. Make it easy to find.
You need a domain name that matches your business name or describes your business in some way. You can even have multiple domains that link to the website. This means integrating technical best practices in SEO, keyword research, content marketing, and paid advertising campaigns to drive traffic to your website.
Advice: Consider outsourcing your web development, branding, SEO, and content marketing to professionals who can advise and guide you in building your website and landing pages.
If your business depends on people being able to contact you or call your sales team, put that information where they can easily find it.
“Your contact details should be visible, preferably at the top of the home page, so visitors don’t have to search for a phone number or address if they want to contact the company,” said David Brown, CEO of Web.com.
If you use social media to connect with customers, place your social links in the website header or footer, where they are easily accessible.
4. Make navigation easier.
Dan Veltri, co-founder and product manager of Weebly, advises limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs, with related pages organized under them. You also need to offer a clear way to get back to the homepage no matter where your readers land. Quite often a Google search can take your reader to a page on your website other than the home page.
Did you know? People browse web pages top to bottom, left to right, so put your navigation menu where most people expect it to be: at the top of the page. Use drop-down menus under each top-level category for clean and organized navigation.
5. Keep your pages clean.
Paul Bolls, associate professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism, said readers need to be able to put information into context. If a site contains too much information, it overloads the mind, making it unable to remember new information. Make sure you use a good balance of text and graphics that presents a clean page.
One way to keep it simple is to cut out social widgets, like a Twitter thread on your site. Ask yourself if you are adding information that interests your reader, advised Michael LaVista, CEO of Caxy Interactive. If the content in your widget does not support the purpose of the page, delete it.
6. Make sure it is correct.
It goes without saying that inaccurate information will put consumers off, whether it’s the wrong number, outdated product information, or simple grammatical errors. You should not only proofread each page before it goes live, but also check each page periodically, especially after making updates elsewhere.
Advice: Whenever you update essential information about your business on your website, also be sure to update your social media pages, Google My Business, Yelp, and other sites your business may appear on.
7. Respect the need for speed.
A study by digital marketing company Akamai found that 88.5% of internet users will leave a website if it loads too slowly. In addition, the load time of a web page affects the purchasing decisions of almost 70% of online shoppers.
Make sure your website is running smoothly by keeping software up to date, optimizing videos and images for faster downloads, and using a website host that can handle your bandwidth needs.
8. Have a call to action.
Every page on your website should prompt the reader to do something. In other words, you have to give them a call to action. These landing pages should encourage users to take a certain action, like calling your business, signing up for a service, purchasing a product, downloading a white paper, or doing something else that benefits your business goals. Give them a noticeable invitation to take action: a button, link, or clear verbiage. Keep it above the fold if possible so readers don’t have to scroll before they find the call to action.
9. Keep your design simple.
Limit the use of fonts, colors, and GIFs, which can distract and distract from the focus of the web page. Short paragraphs and bullets also make information more readable and more likely to be read. Ian Lurie, CEO of internet marketing firm Portent Inc., suggests keeping paragraphs shorter than six lines.
This is especially important when it comes to mobile responsiveness, which is a major factor in how Google ranks websites in its algorithm. The higher a website ranks, the higher it appears on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If a competitor is mobile-friendly and your website isn’t, you could end up lower in your customers’ search results.
10. Be personal.
Just as physical businesses invest heavily in their storefronts to represent their brand images, e-commerce retailers need to create high-quality online experiences in line with brand perception, as co-founder Tom Lounibos said. by SOASTA. Daily news.
To this end, your About Us page should not be a dry block of text about your business. Emily Brackett, president of design and branding company Visible Logic, recommends including a good photo of yourself or your team to personalize your customers’ experience.
11. Make sure your website copy is customer oriented.
Potential customers come to your website for information that is useful to them. Sometimes they come looking for educational content on your blog, and other times they focus on researching the products and services that you are selling. Either way, you need to present relevant information that will engage your prospects, give them something of value, and build their confidence in your expertise.
When planning your website content, try to think of it from the customer’s perspective. If you were a potential customer, what information would you find useful? What level of knowledge or expertise would you already have, and what would you need to be explained in more detail? By focusing on your content from the customer’s perspective, you can keep it on your site for longer and are more likely to build a long-term relationship with them that will result in a sale.
Not a writer? No problem; just take it to a professional copywriter.
12. Integrate SEO best practices.
You might have the best website in your industry, but it won’t do you much if people can’t find it. While you can spend money on ads to drive leads to your website, it is more profitable and efficient in the long run to bring free organic search traffic to your site.
When people search for information online, they turn to search engines, especially Google. Usually they find what they are looking for on the first page of search results, so this is where you want your business to appear. Google and other search engines have their own proprietary algorithms that they use to rank sites based on search terms, also known as keywords.
Search engines use three methods to determine where your ad appears: crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawling means they find your site through links from other sites. So make sure that the links to your site appear on as many external websites as possible.
Once your site has been discovered by crawlers, it’s indexed, which means it’s crawled for content including keywords, freshness, relevance, links, and multimedia. Make sure your site has lots of new, relevant content related to the keywords you want to rank for.
Finally, ranking is how search engines determine the best results for a given search. Ranking is based on relevance and authority. Include lots of relevant content, like individual articles on different aspects of a specific topic. Authority is established by the size of your site, its traffic, and the number of other well-respected sites linked to yours. Small business SEO tools make it easy to optimize your site.
The Business News Daily editorial staff contributed to the writing and reporting of this article. Interviews with the sources were conducted for a previous version of this article.