July 26, 2012


Small business owners face numerous challenges. In short, you must do it all: manage employees, serve customers, deal with suppliers, pay the bills on time, and you have to do all of that with a smile on your face.

On top of everything you must have a beautiful, fully functioning website. Most small businesses can’t afford to hire an expensive web development company. Some aspects of your website are more important that others. Below is a checklist of areas where you should concentrate your effort in order to have a successful online presence.

Navigation

When a visitor arrives at your website, her or she should meet with seamless process for making their way around and locating what they want. It’s standard for navigation links to run across the top of the screen and for there to be a search box. In naming your links, don’t try to be clever. Use standard terms, such as “About,” “Products,” and “Cart.”

Contact Information

There are two ways that you will establish contact with your customers through your website: a contact form and your contact page. A contact form will allow a visitor to enter his or her name and contact information (don’t ask for personal information, such as birthdates) and submit it to you, which then allows you to get in touch with them via text or email. This is an invaluable marketing tool. Add it to your site and you’ll be glad you did. Also, be sure that your own contact information is easy for visitors to find on your site. Typically, the contact link appears at the top-right of the home page and at the bottom of every page, and the link takes visitors directly to a page that provides this information.

About

Pay special attention to developing a good “About” page. First-time visitors often go there to learn more about a company, and if your “About” page is lacking, you may lose out on a valuable customer. At a minimum, this page should include your background, your credentials, one or more photos, and a few details about what makes your business unique. This is your chance to introduce yourself, so make the most of it.

Reviews

Online shoppers pay a great deal of attention to what other people who have bought a product they’re interested in say about the product. Honest feedback from previous customers is an invaluable resource in your online marketing efforts. Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and solicit feedback from satisfied customers by sending them an email request with a link to the feedback form.

Of course, you want a website that looks good and functions well, too, but it’s important to at least have the basics covered. By paying attention to these four simple areas, you will help your website to flourish and you’ll ensure that your online presence reflects your business goals. Do you have a website success story? Share it in the comments section.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 (Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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