Our awesome Graphic Design team at NetBiz has taken time to share with you some of the things that small-business owners need to know about their websites.
Five things business owners do wrong:
1. Attempting to do it all yourself. Hire someone to do things you are not an expert in or have time for (i.e. SEO, SEP or Web design). Yes, it does require a bit of an investment but you save time and many a headache in the long run. After all, you’re in business because someone has hired you to do something they’re not good at, right?
2. Not defining the purpose of your website. Are you online to sell a product? Are you there to share valuable information? Are you there to socialize? A great design is important! However, without a clear purpose, visitors soon forget why they are at your site. They won’t take action and most likely won’t come back for a second look.
3. Not measuring the results of your Web traffic. With the inclusion of an analytics program, like Google Analytics™ you can easily track who’s visiting, the amount of traffic you’re receiving, what pages they’re lingering on, etc. Something as simple as this can help in determining if your site is fulfilling its purpose or not.
4. Promoting features over benefits. People typically view websites with a “What’s in it for me” attitude. By creating content that allows the reader to clearly see how your products and/or services would make their life easier you create incentive for them to do business with you.
5. No motivation for visitors to give their contact information. By offering the viewer a reason for leaving contact info (e.g. free information, a mini course, something of value) you encourage them to give their contact info.
Things to do with your website:
1. Offering a “Free Report” creates an image of expertise in your specific field and is a simple way to attract new leads.
2. Write professional, concise and interesting content. Get your message across quickly. If you are unable to write quality copy that can grab your viewer’s attention and motivate them to take action, then you should hire someone who can.
3. Give up-to-date testimonials. An old adage says, “Facts tell but testimonials sell.” When it comes to your online business, what other people say about you is almost more important than what you say about yourself.
4. Being perceived as the Authority on the Web is powerful. You may have the knowledge and credentials but if it isn’t made evident on your site, no one will know. By continually posting valuable information about your industry or products via articles or a blog, you will eventually be perceived as authoritative and trustworthy. Just make sure your posts are accurate and useful.
1. A picture is worth a thousand words so make sure they are of high quality. Poor quality imagery can kill any hope of making a good first impression.
2. There are many “Stock Photo” sites out there providing amazing imagery in every conceivable area. The prices can be as little as $1 per image for Web quality.
3. Clearly visible navigation using live text, if at all possible. Avoid using “mystery meat” links which are images or icons without accompanying text that indicates where you’ll be directed.
4. Limit the use of motion graphics. A good rule is one per page. Any more than that and they compete with each other and become a distraction from your message.
5. Long load times are a nuisance. Fewer page graphics means your page will appear faster.
6. Fight the need to fill every bit of space on your website with text or graphics. Margins and “white space” give the viewer’s eyes a place to rest.
7. Keep your contact information visible on every page and if you can’t, at least make it easily accessible.
8. When it comes to your content, try to limit your font usage to two browser-friendly fonts.
9. Make your site cross-browser friendly (IE, Firefox, Safari) so that the majority of people can view your site the way it was intended to be seen.