In the digital age, an effective business website is vital, even for non-e-commerce stores. Prioritize mobile responsiveness, SEO, and easy access to contact information. Streamline navigation, maintain accuracy, and optimize site speed. Use clear calls to action and a simple design for focused engagement. Continue reading to learn more about building an effective business website.
These days, an online presence is vital for any business, even for brick-and-mortar stores that don’t conduct e-commerce. Creating a website isn’t especially difficult with the many website creation tools available. Whatever software you choose, keep these design principles in mind.
1. Make your site mobile responsive.
Mobile responsiveness is critical for a website to be effective. American adults spend more than five hours on their mobile phones every day, while more than one-third do all of their shopping online via mobile device. Needless to say, your business’s mobile website must offer a positive user experience.
If potential customers land on your site but find it difficult to read or navigate on a mobile device, they may simply abandon you in favor of a competitor. Furthermore, a negative mobile user experience affects your website in search engine rankings, making it harder for users to find through a Google search – which brings us to our next point.
2. Make it easy to find.
You need a domain name that either matches your company name or describes your business in some way. You can even have multiple domains that point to the website. This means incorporating technical SEO best practices, keyword research, content marketing and paid advertisement campaigns to drive traffic to your website.
3. Place your contact information above the fold.
If your business depends on people being able to contact you or call your sales team, put that information where they can find it easily.
“Your contact information should be visible, preferably at the top of the homepage, so that visitors don’t have to search for a phone number or address if they want to contact the business,” said David Brown, CEO of Web.com.
If you use social media to connect with customers, put your social links in the website header or footer, where they are easily found.
4. Make it easy to navigate.
Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advises limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs, with related pages organized under them. You should also offer a clear way to get back to the homepage no matter where your readers land. Very often, a Google search may take your reader to a page on your website other than the homepage.
5. Keep your pages uncluttered.
Paul Bolls, associate professor of strategic communication at the Missouri School of Journalism, said that readers need to be able to put information in context. If a site has too much information, it overloads the mind, making it unable to retain the new information. Be sure to use a good balance of text and graphics that presents a clean page.
One way to keep it simple is to cut the social widgets, such as a Twitter feed on your site. Ask yourself if you are adding information your reader cares about, advised Michael LaVista, CEO of Caxy Interactive. If your widget content does not support the purpose of the page, remove it.
6. Make sure it’s accurate.
It should go without saying that inaccurate information will turn off consumers, whether it’s a wrong number, outdated product information or simple grammatical errors. You should not only proofread each page before it goes live, but also periodically check each page, especially after making updates anywhere else.