We've compiled a list of 6 essential principles that will help you do business effectively.
There are a lot of awful sites on the Web, and we're not just talking about bad design. Customers aren't just interested in how your website looks, but also what inspires them to do business with you.
Whether it's comprehensive contact information or customer testimonials, every small business website must have these essentials for it to be effective.
The first principle. Your personal statement should be clear and concise
The person who stumbles upon your website shouldn't have to do any research to find out what you do. The homepage should clearly state your company's name and briefly summarize your products or services, says John Zhuang of Winning Interactive, a Web-design and SEO optimization firm
Tell people that this is the right website they have been searching for. Within 2-3 seconds, a clear description will grab the visitor's attention and keep them on your website."
2. The second principle. A simple web address
"Your domain name is part of your brand. A user should find it easy to type it into a Web browser or an e-mail address. We would also suggest to avoid adding dashes (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can cause confusion for customers).
3. The third principle. An easy to navigate Site Map and Section Organization
We recommend to use clear call to action links to the most important pages of your website. The site map and the way you organize your copy and sections have a critical impact on how visitors view your brand and guide new visitors to the information they are looking for and engage a wider audience.
4. The fourth principle. Easy to find contact information
The main idea is to create a clear call to action for the visitor to contact you in some way, shape or form. The last thing you'd want is to loose a potential lead or new client to a competitor because they couldn't find a way to contact you. Make sure you add multiple ways they can contact you! Don't just add a contact form and say we'll contact you soon! That is a big turn off for most visitors, they want to be able to chat with someone as soon as possible. Adding a live chat to your website is highly recommended.
5. The fifth principle. Customer testimonials
Honest and recent testimonials help visitors connect with the experience and wonderful service and products you offer, making them more tangible. In addition, it will help visitors and potential new clients build trust with your brand, products and services.
6. The sixth principle. A friendly and engaging design for online readers
As Forbes puts it, "Web surfers have the attention spans of drunken gnats."
In our many years of building online websites, we have found that visitors often scan through a web page to sample content first before they decide to slow down and read the full story. In order to enhance the user's eperience we highly recommend to organize the content for fast scanning.
Break things down into short paragraphs, with headers if necessary- Long Stories and information overload are not always best! Keep it short and sweet
Use bullet points
Highlight important words or phrases.