How can my small business have a successful website?
Having a successful website isn't as hard as many companies believe. Here's what you should keep in mind.
Pick a platform that's easy for you to use
We recommend either Squarespace or Wordpress. The latter one, in particular, is an excellent choice for most small businesses. You don't need a heavily customized website in order for it to be successful, but you do need something you can easily tweak and improve. This is doubly true when you're trying to make an impact on your customers.
Decide what your key message to your audience is
Who are you actually talking to? You might be surprised how often companies tell me that they don't really know who they're advertising to - and that's one of the things that holds them back.
Essentially, you need to figure out why somebody would want to visit your website in the first place. In most cases, it's because they want something from you - maybe they're looking to buy a product, find directions to your physical location, or compare you to your competitors. It could be all of these - or none of them.
Once you know why people are coming to your website - or why they would if you made one - it's a lot easier to settle on a key message that your site will be supporting.
Find a way to visually communicate
Photos, graphics, and other visual aids are much better than walls of text. The only people who can get away with massive amounts of text are in education (think Wikipedia) or journalism (any news site). Businesses, though? We want art.
(Tip: Pick a style and color scheme, and stick with it throughout your site.)
Successful websites do these four things:
1) Visually Engage People
There's a reason I told you to visually communicate with your customers. Becaus, as humans, we process images faster than we process text. Showing people your best side, rather than simply telling them about it, is the best way to engage and connect with them.
Take cars, for example. If you want to know whether or not it looks good, you're not going to pull out a list detailing the specifications of its design - you're just going to look at it and make an opinion.
2) Clearly Communicate The Messages
People should know what kind of product or service you offer as soon as they land on your website. This is a form of self-selection among customers, and a successful website leverages this to its advantage - if people aren't interested, they're going to leave, and that's a good thing.
The real value here is in analytics. You see, if people who won't become customers immediately leave your site, they won't throw off your analytics reports and you won't spend any time trying to capture visitors who behave in that way.
3) Show Visitors What to Do
Once the site has communicated its core message, it's time to move on to the next step - clearly communicating what visitors should do. If visitors don't have any further direction, there's a good chance they're going to leave - and even if they stick around, they won't have the kind of smooth experience they should.
Essentially, every time visitors finish doing something, there should be a prompt for them to move deeper into your sales funnel. Note that this doesn't explicitly have to be about making a sale - it can be signing up for newsletters, scheduling appointments, ordering a product, calling your company, or whatever else is appropriate for the business you're running.
4) Provide Tangible Value
Finally, a successful website for a small business will provide some sort of tangible value to visitors. This can be information, tips, directions, or even content that makes them laugh.
This works because truly valuable content is the core of an inbound marketing strategy. This is what attracts people to your website in the first place, so you'll want to provide as much of it as you can.
Looking for more advice on building a successful website? Take a look at Web Design - What to Look for in Your Next Website.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company that specializes in developing engaging and optiized web sites for clients in Vermont and throughout the United States. We work with our clients to understand the key concepts for Vermont web design and inbound marketing. The websites we develop are focused on meeting the needs of our client’s unique target audience.