When you run a small business, your website serves the same function as a calling card – it provides essential information about your business. It also could be the first point of contact for potential new customers, so it is important you keep your site up to date and that it gives new visitors a good impression. Here are five important tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that you put your best foot forward.
Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information
When potential new customers visit your website, they want to be able to find essential information quickly. If your site loads slowly, they’re not likely to stay very long and will look elsewhere for the goods or services they want. Even if your site loads quickly, visitors will expect a well-organized site that makes it easy to find key information about your company. Therefore, be sure to include your contact information on your homepage. If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, include your street address and operating hours as well. Everyone is in a hurry these days, and most visitors won’t take the time to search through multiple pages to find it.
Use high-quality photographs
You’re trying to make a good impression, so you should use attractive photos of your products to entice customers. Don’t use generic stock photos. If your customer purchases an item that does not match the photo when it arrives, you’ll have a very unhappy customer who probably won’t ever make a purchase from you again. If you are providing professional services, include photos of key staff members to help start building a relationship.
Make your site mobile-friendly
The trend to use mobile devices continues to grow, so you should assume that many, if not most of your customers will at some point access your site on a mobile device. Customers now expect to have the same experience viewing a website on a mobile device as they do on a desktop computer, and you will lose credibility if your site does not meet that expectation. Not only will you provide your customers with a better user experience, but search engines will also reward you with a higher search rank.
Make judicious use of content
If you’re selling products, keep your product descriptions concise and informative. Customers want information that can help them make a purchasing decision and not a lot of fluff that wastes their time. The same advice holds true for any “about us” web pages and staff biographies if you are a professional services firm.
Provide a clear call to action at key decision points
When customers visit your website, what do you want them to do? Do you want then to make an online purchase? Do you want them to visit your brick-and-mortar store? Do you want then to sign up for a newsletter? Do you want them to call or email you to set up an appointment? Whatever you want them to do, be sure you have a clear call to action at the appropriate places on your website that encourages them to do it.
It may be a cliché, but it’s true – you only have one chance to make a good first impression. But more of all, make sure that if you’re sending visitors to your website make sure that not only is your website up, but that it loads quickly before they click away and go to your competitor instead.