Now that we’re in the 21st century, creating a terrific website that’s easy to use is the cornerstone of any successful business. If you’re just entering the digital age or starting up a new business and you don’t have a website or the one you do have isn’t up to snuff, you’re endeavor is almost guaranteed to fail. It doesn’t matter if you’re a web wizard who can design the most spectacular website or an internet imbecile who has to hire an Einstein of E-commerce to get a website up and running … there are a few features that are a “must have” for any successful business website.
Before You Start
Even though your new venture needs the website “yesterday”, you still need to determine a few things before you even consider contacting a web designer. For instance, you’ll need to:
- Secure a URL or uniform resource identifier. This is the name all your customers will type into the browser. Make sure it’s something catchy, easy to remember, and right for your business.
- Develop a clear navigation strategy. Without clear navigation, a website is practically useless. Decide what the primary purpose of your website is. Do you want users to become a member, purchase a product or visit your location. Use clear and logical names for your web pages and make it easy for customers to do what they came to your website to do.
- Make a mock up. Map out how you’d like the website to look. Focus on organization and content. Organize the content in a logical way. Diagram each web page on paper to ensure your priorities are correct. Don’t be overly creative, 76% of users prefer a website that’s easy to navigate over one that’s too flashy.
- Use a Good Web Host. Don’t pinch pennies here because it will cost you. Use a mainstream provider because a slow site or one that fails to load will be of no benefit to your company
What Every Business Website Really Needs
Today, a great website must feature a number of options. Think of your website as a well run department store and include all or a combination of these traditional business features:
- Brochure – you need product images and they need to be GOOD pictures with well written descriptions.
- Showroom – to showcase the items your firm specializes in.
- Front office – to provide basic information. Keep it brief. We all have short attention spans. Don’t forget to include precise contact information like phone number, email and an address with a map.
- Sales associate – ensure there is a page where frequently asked questions are listed. Be sure that each has a clear and precise answer. Don’t forget to spell out your cancellation or return policies.
- Public relations – to promote your business on the social media platforms, because social networking is critical part of business marketing in today’s world.
- Security guard – if you’re selling something, you need to secure your site and have an SSL certificate to prove it.
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