Small business owners struggle to identify the role that a website plays in their business. Your website is a valuable tool that represents your products and services. It should have a distinct purpose and should inspire a desired action in visitors. No matter if your business sells a product or a service or provides useful content as its main purpose, your website should have clear and attractive content, be well designed and smartly organized.
Reading on the web is too much work! People read 25% more slowly on the web than they read print material so web content must be clear and attractive. Since web visitors scan web pages, you only have ten seconds or less to grab the reader’s attention. According to a study by usability expert Jacob Nielson, 79% of readers on the Web tend to scan or skim text rather than read word for word. There are millions of alternative websites available and readers will move on quickly if the information they are wanting is not easily found.
If your website is content based, the goal is for you to gain the trust of your visitors with your content. Provide important and relevant information at the top of the web page and establish a reputation for providing good content. Bulleted lists and highlighted text help readers get the information they want quickly. Invite visitors to stay in touch with you by joining your mailing list.
E-commerce sites sell products and services and have a clear purpose. The site should present the products and services professionally and the site should have a clear pathway to purchase. The sales process should be as simple as possible and should provide details about shipping, returns and payment options.
A well designed website is one that is visually interesting and user-friendly. The design of the website should be in keeping with the mission and image of the organization. A serious corporation is not going to have cartoons on its site. The following suggestions should help guide you in the right direction to a well designed and smartly organized website:
Consistency: Each page in the website should look as if it belongs to the same website.
Easy navigation: Navigation bars can be anywhere but you don’t want your visitors to have to hunt for them. The most standard position for navigational buttons are at the top or the left.
Clear contact information: You WANT people to find you. Your contact information should be easy to find and on every page.
Limit the bells and whistles: Flash, animated graphics, and the like are fun, but one can overload on them. As an example, how many times have you clicked “Skip intro”?
If your website has been put together correctly, it provides value for your business. If business owners never changed their store presentation, customers would have no interest in coming back to see what is new. A website is no different. You must make your site worth the time of a repeat visit.
Wendy Woodrum (2011, February 9th). Is your website a valuable tool in your business?. Business in Savannah.