July 5, 2016
A common saying on the Internet goes like this: If you’re not online, you don’t exist. Businesses know about this and make sure they have a website to show off. Many companies however, unknowingly…
A common saying on the Internet goes like this: If you’re not online, you don’t exist. Businesses know about this and make sure they have a website to show off. Many companies however, unknowingly sabotage their website. The weakest points can already be found on the homepage, but problems don’t end there.
The most basic problem is the homepage doesn’t clearly say why the site was created and what it provides the visitor. On one website we found the following:
“Welcome to our online store xxx. Our company is the exclusive importer of several outstanding products that are not represented in the local market. We hope that by this, you’ll like our offer.“
No mentioning of the actual products forces the customer to search for such information and most of them would probably give up. Simplify your life and save your customer’s time. Have what’s most important to them already on the home page. What would you like to offer on your website? The following table lists examples of different fields, and the ideal content of their landing pages.
|Website type||Goal||Home Page Content|
|E‐shop||Sell||best sellers, banner with a picture of the product leading to an interesting category|
|Blog||Maximum readers||top articles, collection of articles, newsletter sign‐up|
|Business Site e.g., hotel||Maximum reservations||photos to inspire a visit, chance to book a room online|
Today, the “less is more” axiom applies and often spells the difference between a website design that delivers for your small business, and one that doesn’t. Sites should be clean, simple and intuitive, which means visitors should be able to easily see how to get what they need.
A successful site must first pass the usability test. How quickly and easily can someone log onto your site and either find what they need or complete a particular task with the results they expect? If the answer is “not very,” you’ve got a problem and you may not want to delay fixing it, either. E‐commerce sales are increasing rapidly and could double, triple or more over the next five years.
Hit counters displayed on a website are inaccurate and unprofessional looking. Being able to analyze website results is a big part of building your business online. Try using more professional and sophisticated tools like Google Analytics.
Flashing images, scrolling text and blinking buttons are things that may have seemed clever and high‐tech when first introduced, but now they are simply annoying. Solution: Dump them in favor of graphics that enhance your site usability. Background music is one of the most complained about features on a website. The Internet public simply does not want background music to begin to play without warning. If the nature of a site involves music, provide the user with the option to start and stop the player.
Imagine that you get a business card, where there is no address, e‐mail address or telephone number. You’d think it’s a bad joke. The same goes for websites. The address, phone number, e‐mail address (or a completed contact form) are essential. Unfortunately, some companies are still reluctant to add contact information on their sites and still many others have outdated contact information. However, this raises suspicion in those clients who want to inquire about products.
Subdomains are typically free, but they make it difficult for your visitors to find (i.e., www.freeweb.com/mybusinessname). What do you think of the credibility or professionalism this projects to you when you see it? What if it was your web address? How would your visitors feel?
Using a free email address, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail, is never appropriate for your website or for business correspondence. How credible and professional do you look when you reply to a visitor with one of these free email accounts? When you give out your business card, what type of professionalism do you project when it displays a free email address? When it comes to your business, always use an email addresses associated with your business domain.
There are a lot of small businesses make this mistake and what a costly one it is! According to Forrester Research Group, video is 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine. Your online marketing efforts are not complete without video. It is the single fastest growing segment of the Internet and is a great way to add personality to your brand. You can use a promotional video to promote a specific product or service or even an animated video to describe what your business is all about.
Check us again next week to find out if your product or service descriptions are seductive enough!
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