The website for your small business is a powerful marketing tool. If you want to attract more traffic and encourage your visitors to make a purchase or contact you, you’ll need to make sure your website contains certain elements and features. Making sure your site gets indexed on the major search engines and is easy to navigate are some of the top priorities when designing your small business website.
Whether you’re launching a new business or setting up a site for an existing business, use these ten tips when designing your small business website:
1. Keep the design clean and simple. Don’t assault your site visitors with flashy banner ads, too much information and a collage of pictures. Keep the design and layout as clean and simple as possible so that you make the best first impression.
2. Make sure contact information is visible on every page. Whether you include your phone number, e-mail address or a mini contact form, make it easy for a site visitor to get in touch with you. Neglecting to include contact information can make the visitor hesitate when they are ready to make a purchase or call for a consultation.
3. Be consistent. Make sure the site’s design, logos, buttons and colors are consistent across all web pages and are easy on the eyes. Avoid using a different theme on every page, or littering each page with too many colorful pictures and buttons. You want your site visitors to enjoy the experience and not be turned off by too much “clutter” or inconsistencies.
4. Include high-quality content. Fresh and current content will help your small business website climb to the top spots on the major search engines. Search engines will also index your pages faster when you publish new content. Make sure you include relevant articles and keyword-rich copy throughout your website so that the major search engines will take note.
5. Set up analytics on your landing pages. Keep track of what your visitors are doing when they reach your main landing pages with an analytics program. Learning where your visitors are clicking – and not clicking – can help you create a better site.
6. Use headings, bullet points and bolded text to organize content. Make it easy for site visitors to get the core message by formatting text appropriately. Make use of headings, bullet points, bolded and italicized text to highlight important words and messages.
7. Keep site load times in mind. Every visitor will have a different experience based on their Internet connection. If your site contains a lot of graphics or video content, it can take a very long time for the site to load. Lighten up your site if it takes too long to load on certain browsers or over a slow Internet connection.
8. Make it easy to find your products and services. Make sure you are presenting exactly what you have to offer clearly. Your core products and services need to be visible on the home page, and the main navigation needs to include a direct link to a list of all of your products and services.
9. Use creative and engaging marketing copy. Entice and guide your site visitors with creative and engaging copy. Avoid using cliché marketing and advertising copy that most visitors will just skim over. High-impact words and phrases can help convert visitors into customers.
10. Interlink your pages. Make sure each page contains at least one link out to another section of the site. This enhances the user experience and also has a search engine optimization benefit.