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A Business Website – Your Gateway to a New Audience

Not having a website for your business in this day and age is considered a major disadvantage. You are losing out on potential customers, not to mention a chance to gain brand visibility. An online presence is very important not only for growth but for long-term survival.  When you are getting a website made for your business, be sure to balance the creative aspects with the functional ones.

Here are some of the many indicators of a good business website. You can also checkout 5 reasons why your business needs a professional website.

Design Matters

A shoddy or dated website will give site visitors a bad first impression of the business and their expectations are immediately lowered. Attractive themes are essential as the visual experience is the key to engaging customers. It should also be simple and crisp. Think of the website as your online real estate. Do you want potential customers entering a maze of a building where they won’t be able to find what they are looking for with ease?

The website design should facilitate easy navigation and strategic placement of content. The website should also be optimized for phone users. We all have visited regular non-optimized websites on a mobile screen. The constant zooming in and out is not a great experience and makes the website seem very archaic. Some things are laid in stone. Keep the navigation bar at the top so it is easily visible and the customer can explore conveniently. Remember, you don’t want to drive away visitors. User experience is crucial.

Simple and Relevant Content

Content comprises of all the textual information that your site visitors will read. It is ok to write with an intention to impress but the main focus should be on providing information in a brief and easy-to-understand manner. Too much industry jargon can lead to customers missing important info. The language of the website should reflect the nature of the business. Corporate-style talk will be a little absurd if you are offering plumbing services and common slang will be inappropriate for a financial business.

The messaging should include call-to-actions. You want the customer to do something – whether it is asking for a quotation or catalogue, signing up for updates, or making a purchase. Think of the website content as a Christmas tree, with a ‘sale button’ on top. The different pages comprise the different branches of the tree. Your ultimate intention is to get the visitor to climb up to the top of the tree and make a transaction.

Your content will also need to include certain terms and phrases that are used by your target audience. These keywords cannot be forced into the prose but should fit within the natural language of the site. This will be important when you start optimizing the site to improve search engine ranks – more on that later.

Choose Images Well

This next point is tied in with good website design. Images are processed faster than text which is why they are invaluable to your site. If possible get original images of the business taken by a professional. You can also use high-resolution stock photos if they represent the service or product well. Avoid clichés like poses. Candid captures in bright lighting are best.

Optimize your Website

Now that your website is up and running, it is time to give it some visibility. This is where things will get technical. You will need to optimize your website so it gets traffic, in other words, your business needs to start showing up on search engines. Many business owners handle their own Search Engine Optimization. A complete SEO strategy, however, will require more time and expertise, therefore outsourcing it is never a bad idea. Content is integral to SEO and having a blog page on the website allows you to add new content without disturbing the core website.

A Connection to the Store

When you have a website, make sure you share your physical business address, be it a store or an office. Add phone numbers and email addresses. This may seem like a minor detail but extra contact information adds more legitimacy to the website and the business in general. Throw in some testimonials and reviews if possible. Evidence of past happy customers will help visitors warm up to your business.

E-commerce is growing and you need to join the party. Setting up a business website is not as complicated as it may sound but unlike recreational and hobby-related websites, a lot more communication and transactions are expected. Sudden crashes and bugs can severely affect your business. Therefore it is important that you take expert help.

Charles Y.

Charles has been working as a webmaster since 1998. Since then, he has had his hands in thousands of websites and has helped millions get online through a company he partially owns called Web Host Pro.

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