Small business must have a website and strong cyber presence in order to survive in this age. Digital is it, no matter what type of company you have or what industry you are in. There have been major changes in how consumers shop and the World Wide Web as it once was known is the starting point of nearly every purchase outside staples like groceries.
If you want your business to grow, it needs the tools and resources to make it happen. It is important for you or your web designer to incorporate all the business website must haves. Not surprisingly, in a day when Siri is at our beckon call and Google serves as not only a search engine, but a noun, verb and even an adjective, a well put-together functional website is an absolute must.
Why Online Marketing Makes Sense
Have you bought a car in the past few years or rented a retail space? Have you had to fix something around the house and wanted to save the expense of hiring someone? Or, have you had occasion to take up a new hobby or sport?
When you think about it, the Internet is omnipresent in our day-to-day lives. It’s part of our work day, part of our leisure time and the most expansive and inclusive place to find information in an instant.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or thought of a particular circumstances, chances are excellent you got online for something, anything. The consumer behavior trend-line is definitely moving away from what has been commonplace even hundreds of year before Governor Bradford established a commerce system among the Pilgrims.
Ecommerce payment processing sales during the last few months grew at 15-20 % year over year, while bricks and mortar sales were down. An eCommerce site is essential, not only to take payments but also to allow a business to be found online. —Forbes
People look for things online. They do research about products and services online. They book hotel, flight, rental car and dinner reservations online. Consumers use the Internet because it’s the easiest way to find and compare what they want. Of course, consumer purchasing proves it. Online commerce grows big leaps and bounds year over year.
5 Website Essentials
Perhaps your business is just getting started and you don’t yet have a site. Or, maybe you’ve had a cyber property for some time but it doesn’t get any real traffic or the visitors it does capture don’t seem to make the leap from reader to consumer. Whatever the case, here are the 5 most important elements to have for 2013:
- A homepage that clearly defines your products, services, and identity. It’s a statistical fact the homepage is the most visited page on practically any website. Even visitors who land on other pages will click over to the homepage. Your homepage should be a snapshot of the entire site and have a clear path to what visitors want to find most.
- An identity that visitors can relate to your business. This marketing tool is nothing new, but the Internet is a visual medium. Choose a logo that’s memorable and one that stands out on the page. But don’t go crazy with creativity, it has to look professional.
- A well-planned menu bar that’s simple to navigate. Bounce rates skyrocket on poorly constructed sites. Your website has to have a flow that’s easy to follow. The architecture of your site must be intuitive, not just for visitors, but for search engines to crawl. If people can’t find what they’re looking for, they simply move on to other sites. And search engines can’t reason, so if the architecture isn’t right, what those robots can’t find, they can’t crawl and index.
- A ton of quality content. Want to know the most important part of search engine optimization? It’s content. And that’s not just us saying it, it’s Google and Bing. Think about it this way–search engines are machines. They don’t have eyes to see or a brain to interpret things. That leaves content. The content on a site is the most effective way of telling not just visitors, but search engines, what a site is about.
- A call-to-action and contact information. Aesthetics and technical aspects aside, your site should have a call-to-action that’s immediately recognizable and methods of contact front-and-center. Nothing is more frustrating to visitors than not being able to follow-through and/or having to hunt to get in touch.
With these things in place, your website will perform better and help to boost your business. Oh, here’s a couple of things you absolutely do not want: music or anything that auto-plays, flash, and extraneous information and/or media. These are just plain bad.
If you need a web designer or have a business website that’s missing one or more of these elements, contact us for a free consultation. We design sites that are both eye-catching and fully functional.