Building a small business website is a challenge due to resource and expertise limitations. Small businesses are forced to prioritize their expenditure towards core activities and this sometimes means they overlook the website aspect of the business. However, a good website can help boost sales and profits of a small business. This is because it is a powerful avenue for brand creation, promotion and marketing. There are several essential ingredients that help make a small business website successful:
This rule applies to all websites that intend to foster business growth. Make a simple website whose purpose is clear. The vision of the business must be the guiding factor. Simple websites are useful because they keep the focus on the businesses image. Simplicity is prime because it makes the website more accessible to the viewer. Page layouts should be eye friendly; this is easy because most website builders provide basic templates to use in building the website. Avoid cluttering the page with information or links as this distracts the viewer rather than inform.
2. Easy navigation within the website
A business website is not a treasure hunt; this means that the information that is relevant to the viewer should be easily accessible. Use page groupings that are relevant; for example, all media content should be housed within the gallery collection. If a catalogue is provided it should be clearly labeled and stocked with real pictures of the products provided. Avoid using stock photos as these create an artificial aura around the business. Use of call to actions creates a rich experience for the viewer because it enables them to interact actively with the website. These are statements that contain leads that guide the user in how best to navigate the website.
3. Informative content
The content on the website must be up to date, relevant, and informative to the website viewer. Information should be presented in an easy to use format. This is not only essential for ensuring that the website attracts high traffic but also ensures that your content can easily be indexed by search engine systems. A good website pushes a brand and lets the brand sell the products; this is critical for small businesses to succeed. The website should push products but as a secondary function; the most important use of a website is to create awareness and following ensuring repeat business. Where you tell the viewer about offers, prices, and stock on the website, keep the information up to date. If customers see that a product is available from the website but cannot get it because it is out of stock they lose faith in the business.
4. Cater for mobile traffic
A large percentage of people consume their data from mobile devices. The structure and design of your website should be mobile friendly and optimised for such devices. Website builders will give you access to tools that enable the user to create such a website. These tools are a necessary investment for a small business website. The formats and content types used should be easily accessible from any device. This means you should avoid web components designed for desktop access only as this limits your traffic.
5. Create responsive tools
A business website is an interaction point implying that the website created should allow for two way communication traffic between the clients and themselves. This requires that you have a mailing address or a forum for feedback. Forums are easy to create as most website builders allow installation of WordPress scripts to serve these functions.
An avid blogger, Sandy Pardal leads the team of creative people at WebStartToday, which is a free website creator. Online marketing comes to him as a deep passion. He likes to experiment with websites, track their performances and share his insights with readers.