Your small business website should be the place where prospects go to learn more about how you can help them solve their current problem, obstacle or frustration. Unfortunately, most service professional’s websites are plagued with cluttered design, meaningless graphics, confusing navigation, poor writing and too much focus on the business rather than the prospect’s problems. Here are 6 small business website tips for creating a powerful online presence that successfully generates leads for your business.
- Use a clean design – Businesses don’t need to use Flash or fancy graphics for visitors to find your site valuable. Your users want a simple, intuitive design that allows them to access the content they need quickly. Your site navigation should be logical. Your page should be easy to skim. Downloads and newsletter sign ups should be prominently featured.
- Focus on prospect’s concerns – Your small business website should demonstrate your expertise by providing free information such as articles, free reports, podcasts, video, and other media. When prospects first come to your site, they are focused on their problems – and how to solve them right now. Your “about” and “services” pages won’t interest them initially. First, they want to know if they are in the right place and whether they can find the information they need. They want to know “what’s in it for me?” so make your content valuable.
- Add new content regularly – Keeping your website up-to-date can be time-consuming, but to build credibility with visitors, you should be adding new articles and updates regularly. Take off any outdated information and add new content about upcoming speaking engagements, media mentions and publications to be released. If visitors see that your upcoming events were for 2007, they will wonder if you are still in business.
- Use calls to action – What do you want prospects to do on your website? Each page should have a purpose – is it to convey information, to highlight a recent event, to get them to register for a seminar you are holding, to purchase your book, or to hire you? Guide visitors through your site.
- Don’t collect too much information – If you capture leads with online forms, keep them short and simple. You only need a name and email address for people to sign up for your newsletter. If you ask for more, you will get far less subscribers. For mailed products, ask for the minimum like their name and shipping address, but don’t make them answer a full questionnaire about their business. Keep it simple.
- Test your site – Make sure all features and links work properly and that you aren’t missing content. Then, ask a few clients to look over your site – can they find the information they need? Is your navigation intuitive? Would they know where to look to find your articles, events, or services?
To create an effective small business website, your site must contain more information than your firm’s name, contact information, and a sales pitch for your services. It must be more interactive than your corporate brochure. When prospects visit your website, they want to know what your firm actually does, see proof that your firm is credible, and understand why you are uniquely qualified to help them solve their problems.