If you are a small business owner, you are acutely aware of the resources required to construct and maintain your company’s website. Because your website is often a visitor’s first impression of your business, you know how important it is to get it right. Potential customers visit your website with the expectation that they will easily find what they are looking for and have no interest in investing extra time to find it.
To ensure your website is a positive representation of your brand, positioned to generate business, consider the following website essentials.
Clear Brand Messaging
What you do and who you do it for must be immediately obvious with your value proposition communicated in just a few sentences. This could be your visitor’s first interaction with you, so in a matter of seconds, your visitor needs to know that they are in the right place. A website with clear brand messaging allows you to control how visitors perceive your business and will help you stand out from the competition.
A Distinct Call To Action
What do you want your visitors to do once they arrive? Make your call to action clear so potential customers will understand what you are inviting them to do. To be immediately seen, your call to action must be on the homepage above the fold, meaning the part of the page that is visible without scrolling. To make sure it stands out, avoid surrounding it with a bunch of text.
Adherence to Your Style Guide
Your website should give off the same vibe and emotion as your company and be designed with the customer experience in mind. Because your website must be an accurate representation of your brand, adhering to your company’s font and color pallet is critical. Always follow your company’s brand standards listed in your style guide, and if your SMB does not have a style guide – create one!
Your visitors will not spend time to figure out where you are storing information on your website, so easy navigation with a customer centered design is key. Your website should also be built with responsive design, so that it renders properly on every device. This is where simplicity really benefits you and the user. If your website is lacking in this area, visitors are sure to become frustrated and move on to the next alternative.
Easy to Find Contact Information
As simple as this sounds, I’ve visited many websites where the company’s contact information was buried behind a series of clicks. A best practice is to put your address and phone number in the footer of every page on your website or include a “contact us” link on your main menu. If a visitor is on your website looking for this information, don’t make them work for it. Ensure that this information can be found quickly and reliably.
Whether you are designing a new website or updating an existing one, don’t let your efforts fall short. A well-designed website can be a great source of referrals for your business. However, a poorly designed site can have a negative impact on your brand and cause users to swiftly hit the back button.
This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Allison Stephanouk.