In a digital landscape, your website is the lifeblood of your company. Modern consumers use the internet to research brands, learn about products and services, and make purchases. If your website isn’t cutting it, you can be sure that potential customers and clients are going to move along to your competitors. Fortunately, there are easy and economical steps you can take to improve the look and functionality of your small business website.
A straightforward website that’s intuitive is much better than a convoluted site with all the bells and whistles. In most cases, a minimal, tasteful approach is ideal, but that doesn’t mean your website has to be boring. Get rid of any fluff and filler, leaving only relevant content. Make sure your menus, buttons and links are clearly visible, and place them in locations where you would expect them to be. Unless you’re going for a very innovative approach, most small businesses don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to website design.
One of the main reasons why people visit your website is to find your contact information. Make sure your phone number and an address, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, are immediately visible. Provide an email form for easy correspondence, and include links to your social media pages. In addition to providing contact information on the front page, you may also want a dedicated contact page where visitors can easily find all of your contact information in one place. Put your full business name and address on the footer of each page. This boosts your company’s chances of being included on local search engine results pages.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a massive market. Many smartphone users do the majority of their online shopping and web browsing from their mobile devices, and if your website isn’t properly optimized, you’re going to lose business. When a potential customer visits your website on a smartphone and sees it’s improperly sized, slow or glitchy, he’s immediately going to lose trust in your company. Your online presence plays a major role in how your company is viewed, which directly affects its success. That means your website must be responsive across all devices.
Upgrade Your Content
Even the most beautiful website is worthless if the content isn’t engaging. Use high-definition photos and videos to sell your product or service, and hire a professional writer to create attention-grabbing copy. Put out new content on a regular basis. A website is an ever-evolving entity, so don’t let it get stale. If you’re not able to create high-quality content on your own, consider hiring people with that skill.
Optimize for Search Engines
What good is an attractive website if nobody can find it? When it comes to designing an effective business website, sometimes what you don’t see is as important as what you do see. Search engine optimization helps your website rise to the top of search engine results pages, ensuring that people who search for relevant keywords find your site first. There are many different SEO methods, but the most basic involves including relevant keywords throughout your site’s content. Spend some time learning how to optimize your website yourself, or hire an SEO agency to do it for you.
You may love your website, but that doesn’t mean your users love it too. Getting feedback from others can really help you to understand what people want from a website. Ask your friends, family members and other associates what they think about your site and what they would improve. You can talk to a web design consultant for advice; some web designers even provide a free consultation. You might also want to look at competitor websites for inspiration. Once you know what’s out there, it’s easier to keep up.