[This article was written by Aiza C..]
Online first is the motto of successful businesses today. A step further would be mobile-first for all websites and apps.
Your website is your window to the world, a one stop shop for anyone looking to discover your brand — be it business or personal — and get acquainted with your offer.
The first website (info.cern.ch) was created in 1991 and by 2014 the number of websites exceeded 1 billion. On Internet Live Stats you can track new websites being created every second and other interesting stats about the use of Internet.
As the web space gets busier, businesses are struggling to keep up with the fast pace and emerging trends in web development. The main goals of your small business website, however, are not so much to set new trends as to keep up with them, stay relevant to your audience, and satisfy your customers’ needs.
When creating or redesigning your website think about these:
- Is the content on my website addressing directly the main questions my customers have about my offer?
- How easy is it for my customers to find relevant information and make desired action on my website?
In this article, we’re hacking five easy improvements for more attractive and user friendly websites. Ultimately, this will bring higher engagement, brand recognition and conversions.
1) Glorify the content
Aside from the SEO value which is priceless for the ranking of your website as Google appreciates unique and valuable content — quality content is the number one reason why people come to your website. It is also the main reason why they come back, if they do.
This doesn’t mean that you should overload your small business website with text. On the contrary! True art lies in less words more meaning. Try to be as concise as possible and explain concepts in clear and simple words which flow naturally and read easily.
Use visuals that add up to the meaning. Visuals for the sake of beauty are generally less useful.
Think about the mental images that you want to strike in the minds of your readers when they land on your website. Make words and images work together for that goal.
Remember that you only have a few seconds to suck these passers-by into your world!
2) Do your blogging
The place for elaborate texts and showing off your knowledge is your blog. Here you can talk wide and large about the subject matter related to your industry and establish your authority in the field.
Once your readership recognizes the value of information you share relentlessly on your blog, they will follow you, share your thoughts, and come back for more.
On top of that, having a blog will boost your ranking in the search results. Search engines crave fresh content and give a lot of credit to the websites that manage to produce the content loved by their readership. The more the merrier! Spare no words and pour your brain out to the world.
3) Flesh out testimonials
People trust people. A single well-written testimonial that strikes the right strings is worth more than a thousand words of advertising self-praise.
The psychology of social proof is important in business. Nothing more convincing than a friend’s recommendation. In virtual reality, a friend is substituted by an influencer who can exert strong authority and be a thought leader for your customers.
For small businesses, this doesn’t have to be a large-scale influencer, but rather someone your audience can relate to. A person with high social status recognized for their success in the field of your customers’ interest.
Wondering where to place testimonials on your website?
Most web marketers would advise placing them high up on your page. Sometimes even just below the fold or in the central part of your homepage.
Bear in mind that testimonials are not reserved for your homepage only. Use reviews, comments, and testimonials wherever they can help paint a true picture about your products or services.
Try to incorporate all formats — case studies, success stories, audio and video interviews.
If you’re stuck and don’t know how or where to ask for feedback, read these creative ideas on how to get testimonials.
4) Organize navigation
Decide what the main sections of your website should be. Think thoroughly about the division.
What are the most meaningful units for easy navigation?
How to best guide your users through your story and sales funnels?
The standard is 5 to 7 main navigation tabs. If you have a lot of different pages and sections, think about main and sub-navigation, dropdown and hamburger menus, footer and side bars.
5) Call-to-action (contact, request, checkout)
The ultimate goal of a website is to prompt action. If this is not true for your website, then you’re doing something or everything wrong.
Even if it’s just a company presentation, you’d still want to have a simple contact form through which people can reach you. However, most websites are designed to do more than just that.
Why not use the space you have to promote and sell?
To collect data like feedback, contact information, requests, registrations, orders, payments, reviews, testimonials, and more — you need web forms and a secure database.
To avoid the costs of web developer and database hosting, use an online DIY form builder. You can create your forms using pre-made form fields or edit existing templates. These forms can be embedded on your website or linked to your call-to-action button to open in a new page.
If you’re on a budget, looking for a cost-effective solution that is reliable, easy to set up and use — EmailMeForm is among the oldest and most trusted free solutions. It supports more than a million small business web forms worldwide.
When redesigning your website, bear in mind that simple and clean-looking design is a win. You don’t need flashy content and top-notch technology to impress and wow.
Stick to the tried and proven methods and don’t be afraid of white space. It lets your texts breathe and stand out.
Also, don’t try to mimic big brands that sound cool and appeal to millennials if you can’t pull off that voice. There’s a whole science behind this seemingly breezy tone with teams of copywriters working on such a style.
All you really need is for your website to be sleek and digestible with clear presentation of your offer and visible call to action. Keep refining and testing it until you get the best results. What works for your niche might not be true for all.
Aiza C. is a content developer for EmailMeForm, an online form and survey builder. Educating users on how online forms impact business growth and productivity keeps her motivated.