A small business website is one of the handiest marketing tools any owner can invest in. It allows your target consumers to interact with your business, and you to market yourself to them. However, for your small business website to be most effective, there are certain key secret ingredients you must inculcate in the design of the website.
1. Know your audience
Is your audience mobile or desktop based? This is one of the most fundamental questions to ask when building a small business website. The answer is regardless of who your audience is; a mobile friendly website is key to being effective. Content consumption on the internet is increasingly being done through mobile devices. From smart phones to tablets and other forms of computing, mobile is now the way to go. Knowing your audience helps influence the design choices you make when building. If your target is an older, more conservative generation, then focus on conservative design elements, and vice versa.
2. Know your business
Understanding the nature of your business is essential to understanding what your website is intended to do. For example, if you are service oriented a product gallery may not be appropriate to have on your website. In fact, this tip can be surmised as follows – knowing what your business is and does- tells you what your website should be and do.
Someone once said ‘true genius lies in simplicity’. Nowhere else is this statement going to ring truer than in the design of your website. Small businesses have a tendency of confusing features with content. Features are design elements and components of the website you are building. Content, on the other hand, is the value you provide to the consumer. Simple design allows your viewer to interact with more of your actual content. Complicated design is frustrating and distracts the person viewing the website.
4. Easy navigation
Your small business website is not a maze, puzzle, treasure hunt, or other form of a complex game. The idea is not to frustrate your viewer and make him/her expend a lot of effort getting around. Ease the navigation of the website by using a simple layout of key links. Use breadcrumbs to help the viewer remember where they are in the grand scheme of things. Easy navigation allows the viewer to interact with a higher percentage of your content. Highlight the main pages with easy links; these are usually the home, about us, contact us, products and services pages.
5. Useful content
Your content must be relevant, useful, and up to date at all times. The content speaks to the character of your business. This means that if your content has not changed since Pluto was still a planet, you are telling the person viewing that your business is stale. You have to provide the viewer with something that has value and is fresh. Remember, when it comes to websites, yours is but one among billions, the viewer must have some reason if they are to develop some preference for it.
An avid blogger, Sandy Pardal leads the team of creative people at WebStartToday, which is a website builder that helps small businesses to make free websites. Website design and Online marketing come to him as a deep passion. He likes to experiment with websites, track their performances and share his insights with readers.