Regardless of whether you have an ecommerce site that represents 100% of your revenue or if you have a modest website to raise awareness of your offline business, there are certain fundamentals that one must adhere to have a great business website. Your website represents your brand just as much as the quality of your products or the professionalism of your customer service and sales personnel. For this reason, it is absolutely crucial you get it right, or you could be turning away potential customers and damaging your brand without even knowing it! Here are the core fundamentals of a great business website:
One of the biggest flaws of most websites is a lack of a clear message. If a new user isn’t able to clearly discern what kind of business you are and what kinds of products or services you offer in a matter of seconds, then you might have just lost yourself a potential customer! You have approximately five seconds to catch a user’s interest before they click away from your site, so make the most of it or your potential customer might find themselves on the website of one of your competitors shortly after! Your homepage message should be clear and concise – this is not the time to showcase your extensive vocabulary or go into vast details about the complexity of your business. Just state your purpose, possibly using some simple marketing tips to clarify your message. Once the user understands what your business is about, then they choose to explore the rest of your site, learn more and hopefully make a purchase.
Easily navigable and aesthetically pleasing
With so many competing websites and sources of information instantaneously available online, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. If your site is slow to load, poor to navigate or just looks unprofessional, users are going to look elsewhere. Remember that your site design is a crucial element in the marketing of your brand – if the website doesn’t make a good impression, it doesn’t matter how fabulous or groundbreaking your products are, you’ve already shot yourself in the foot (so to speak)!
Designed with your audience in mind
Your audience are likely to have all kinds of questions when heading to your site, so try to put yourself in their shoes and present them with all the relevant information they could want. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to have a FAQ section. Likewise, all contact information as well as products and services should be clearly labelled on your site. Whatever you can do to make the user’s experience as easy as possible will pay dividends, both economically and in terms of your reputation.
No matter how great you actually are or how you present yourself, people are not going to part with their hard earned cash unless they have verifiable evidence that your claims are legitimate. For this reason, having testimonials clearly perceivable on your website is a great way to demonstrate social proof to new customers. A selection of positive feedback testimonials from individuals and businesses (the more high-profile the better) will give tentative potential customers the confidence they need to make a purchase or want to connect with you.
All things being equal – the more relevant traffic you have to your website, the more revenue you will be able to generate. To ensure that your website comes up in search engine results and that new customers find you, it is recommended that you have a regularly updated blog, full of valuable content that people will love to read. Likewise, your blog should be integrated with social media buttons so that you and your audience can share your content. Being active on social media not only helps you to promote your products and services, but it’s also a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche and contribute to relevant discussions to help raise your reputation.
A great business website would try to give users exactly what they need and provide them incentives to revisit often, make a purchase or get in touch with you. Make the content clear and concise, with a user-friendly design that caters to your users requirements. Your website should never be a hard-selling tool, but it should give all the necessary information required to successfully facilitate a monetary transaction, whether through the website itself or indirectly by presenting yourself as a reputable brand which people will be confident in purchasing from.