The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Five Strategies for Building the Perfect Small Business Website
Published on Jun 9, 2013
If you own a small business and want to build a strong online presence, a well-thought-out website is the most powerful marketing vehicle available to you.
If you own a small business and want to build a strong online presence, a well-thought-out website is the most powerful marketing vehicle available to you. Building your company’s website doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, but because your website will often be the first point of contact a potential customer has with your company, making a good impression is vital. Design, function, content and SEO play a pivotal role when starting an online business. It may seem daunting, but luckily there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your site is built effectively.
Consider a Platform-Based Solution
Some companies choose to build websites that consist of static pages. However, you may be better served by using a platform like WordPress to create your site. WordPress is versatile blogging software that offers many attractive features to web developers. Some of its most useful features include:
the ability to publish and edit content without altering code or re-uploading files
a wide range of plugins that allow for easy customization and SEO
Make your Site Mobile Friendly
Another key to success will be making sure that your site is mobile ready. According to recent research, 44% of tablet and smartphone users say they would never return to a site if it wasn’t mobile optimized. Conversely, 76% of smartphone users – and 78% of tablet users – return often to websites that are easy to use and look good on mobile devices. As Internet browsing on smartphones and tablets increases in popularity, your site must be functional and viewable on such devices. Consumers have come to expect an in-store experience on mobile websites – 85% of smartphone owners use their mobile device to research and compare products and prices before making a purchase decision. Pop-up windows and Flash-based pages may function seamlessly in a regular web browser, but they frequently don’t work as well on mobile devices.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to prepare a website for mobile traffic. If you’re using WordPress, you can utilize plugins like WPtouch, which automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your site for visitors viewing it on a handheld device. Explore the plugins at http://www.WordPress.org.
If you don’t want to use WordPress, it’s still crucial to make certain all website functionality is retained on a mobile device. Ask coworkers and friends to verify that your website is fully functional on their devices and make changes as needed.
Make it Easy for your Visitors to Contact You
Many website owners make it too difficult for their visitors to contact them. As a small business owner operating online, it’s particularly important that your visitors are able to reach you via email, business address or phone – all of which should be listed in plain view on your website. Not only will this help potential customers, but there’s also evidence that it’s a ranking factor used by search engines to determine where business sites appear in their results.
Implement a Mailing List
When starting an online business, building an e-mail list is essential. There are numerous autoresponder packages available that allow you to place a simple form on your site to collect e-mail addresses from your visitors. You’ll then be able to market to your list, inform them of new website content, and advise them of other changes and details.
Keep your Pages Focused
When developing an online corporation, pages must remain focused. What does that mean? If you have an important article you want your visitors to read, make sure the article content is the most prominent thing on the page. Don’t clutter the page with multiple text ads or banners. You need to keep in mind that every time you add something to a page, you’re giving your visitors another opportunity to click away without reading your content, learning more about your company, or making a purchase on your website.
By following the aforementioned tips, you’ll greatly increase the effectiveness of your website.