What do you want to accomplish when buying or building a website? For small businesses, your main objectives should be to build your brand’s reputation and generate leads and sales. You can accomplish these through good content, functionality, and design. Focus on them equally because if one of them lags behind, your site won’t deliver on its potential.
Create Fresh and Original Content
Before worrying about your themes and graphics, you must first make sure that your website is visible to consumers. Google statistics on Search Engine Watch show that over 90% of its search traffic goes to sites on page 1 so you must produce content that adheres to search engines’ algorithms.
As stated in Social Media Today, relevant and well-written articles that are backed by research and statistics are more likely to be noticed and linked to by other respected websites. Consistently posting seasonal promotions, customer reviews, and helpful tips that address problems will increase your site’s ranking and make your brand more engaging to clients.
Balance Design with Function
Even if users can find your site, they will only stay or revisit if it has visually-appealing features. However, if you overdo it, you might drive people away. For example, while Flash or bright marquees and flashing letters for your heading may be attractive, too many can slow your site down and make it unresponsive. Moreover, the content contained in them is generally ignored by search engines.
The goal of site design is to entice visitors, but the user experience shouldn’t be diminished. Decorate your site the way you want but it should stay convenient and practical for users. One important detail you should concentrate on is optimizing images to make them load faster. We have another blog post that talks about how to do that without reducing their quality.
Keep Up with the Latest Trends
Today’s Internet users are absorbed with sharing and giving feedback. In fact, people spend more time on social networking sites than on any other type of online activity. Take advantage of this by including tools such as social media sharing buttons and comment boxes so that users can link back to your content on their personal Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts.
A key point to consider is that mobile Internet usage is surging; thus, your website must have an optimized version for portable devices like smart phones and tablets. According to Social Media Examiner, you should plan your layout to be as simple as possible. Since the amount of screen space is very limited, you ought to focus only on the essentials. Make navigation easier by reducing text entry, removing unnecessary pages, and deleting lengthy paragraphs.
Trends and requirements may change over time, but the things you need to make your website successful will always remain constant. While the things mentioned in this post will always be important for your website, they don’t mean much if you don’t regularly connect with your customers and stay active online.