Just a quick scan of the internet will yield pages of tips on how to improve a website in general, some of these suggestions are great, but a lot are pointing you in the wrong direction entirely. This is particularly true if you are a small business. Despite some of the discrepancy from one “suggestion” site to another, in fact what makes a good website in general in most instances is precisely what can help you create a more efficient, more useful business website that will improve your brand and increase sales ultimately. You won’t find any one-size-fits all solution to creating an efficient website for every small business, there are a few general guidelines that can help any website though, and we will go over these.
- Content is King… Again – Content had been ignored for a long time, and sites began outsourcing the writing part, trading quality for quantity opting for endless article and blog backlinks instead of a few, albeit more expensive, quality pieces of content. While backlinks are important, even more important is great content on your site. Even for your backlinks, one quality, well-written backlink is worth hundreds of spun rubbish articles outsourced to a non-English speaking country. So go for quality. Your content needs to be professional, have proper grammar, syntax, spelling, etc. It also has to be compelling sales copy, highlighting your benefits, persuasive tags and a compelling call to action.
- Keep it Easy – Surveys and polls of consumers always come back with the same basic results, the number one thing most people are looking for from a website is simplicity. This comes way before fancy design or clever content. A clean design with quality content that gets to the heart of what you are trying to say, simple navigation and no clutter is what people want.
- A Sexy Site – Just because simplicity comes first doesn’t mean you can’t have an attractive looking site. In fact it is estimated you have less than a second to convince someone who clicked on your link to stay there. They don’t even have time to read your headline. Your design and images have to attract you potential customer immediately. Next, your images and design must “herd” the visitor’s eye to the most important pieces of content. Their eye should be drawn immediately to your benefits and your call to action.
- Easy to Navigate – Finding specific pages within your site should not be difficult, and pages should not take a long time to load. Keep your navigation simple, don’t overdue the number of links you have on any given page, and make sure all of your main page links are easily accessed at the top or along the side of the page.
- Bells and Whistles – There are a lot of really, really cool things you can do with a website these days. Just because you can do these things does not mean you should though. Determine whether these things, like flash, audio and videos, are really increasing sales. While cool, these design features can slow a site down significantly and may not be compatible with every browser. Stick to HTML as much as possible and avoid too much extra stuff on your page.