5 Elements of a Successful Business Website
Wed, 06/25/2014 - 11:23am | by jennaleesmith1
A well-done business website is an extremely valuable asset
A business website gives a business the ability to share valuable information, and a place to begin building an online community. Through the website a business can increase leads, handle customer support, and gain an edge over the competition.
Here are some tips to ensure your business website is functional and reaches the goals you have set.
A Professional Design
The approach many business owners take when it comes to building a website is short-sighted at best. The owner may not see the inherent value of the website, which causes him or her to set a very low budget, which then turns the website into a simplistic virtual “business card”. This accomplishes little more than sharing a profile and contact options, which visitors can find through other informational source.
Website development costs aren’t nearly as expensive as one would imagine especially with the growing market for website templates.
A professional design will give the business website full flexibility to implement new content, products, services, and features. Addition of these types of pages will increase the chances of the business being found within search engines. Each page then becomes a lead generation source which, if optimized, can turn visitors into customers.
The elements you should focus on when seeking a professional design include:
- An easy-to-use navigation that takes SEO into consideration
- Proper website structure in an A-B-C manner that brings people from broad to specific content
- A look that touts professionalism through the use of graphics and effects
- Contact forms that are flexible and allow for multiple forms and fields to be submitted
- A blog module so you can update the community with news and fresh content
- Landing pages that are used for lead generation and visitor qualification
- A logical structure to inter-linking pages on your site (and remember to make sure you have no broken links).
A website needs to be fast otherwise people finding the domain will quickly turn around and go elsewhere. Additionally, a slow website is less likely to rank well in search engines which in turn lower the chances of it becoming a successful asset for the business.
The decision to subscribe to website hosting should be approach with an appropriate budget, in mind.
A business that expects to grow can start off with the smaller packages and then make their way to dedicated hosting which will give them the best bang for their buck.
Customer Support and Feedback Channels
The business website’s function doesn’t stop at trying to sell a product or service to the visitor – it also needs to act as a channel for leads and customers to get in touch for support and feedback.
Excellent website customer support will leave great impressions with a customer which will increase their chances of returning for repeat business; it also gives them a story to tell to friends and family which is a form of word-of-mouth marketing.
Feedback, gained from site users can help inform decisions on how to approach the business and its offers; it gives the business an insight how to market.
There’s no beating around the bush: social media is here to stay and every day a business doesn’t hop in and begin participating is another day they’re missing opportunities to interact with interested parties.
Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube, are all free which should immediately remove any doubt on whether they’re worth investing time and energy.
Once situated on any of these platforms a business will have access to a wide-range of users that are asking questions, leaving feedback, and discussing the types of products and services the business offers – getting in touch, at the right time, or by providing customer support, can turn one of these social interactions into a customer acquisition.
Social elements can also become integrated into the website through the tools and resources provided by the social websites and through the help of developers. Plugins, scripts, and other code get added to the site which gives it the ability for visitors to easily share the content, leave comments, subscribe to a mailing list, and much more! Each time a visitor interacts through one of these social elements is a moment when the business can extend its reach across the social channels.
A Plan for Digital Marketing
Digital marketing, and the techniques involved, will give the business the chance to increase search presence, social media participation, content delivery, customer support, and so much more. The result of digital marketing translates to a greater amount of lead generation and community interaction.
A plan should be set in place for any business operating online.
The plan should include the type of content that will be created for the site, what is shared on social networks, the parties involved with conducting these activities, and a process for measuring the ROI which, in turn, can be used to improve campaigns.
There are many different formulas, blueprints, and strategies for conducting digital marketing and each has their own benefit to specific business types; choose one that fits the direction and vision of the business, and its site, and start the process, learn from mistakes, and optimize the efforts.