“You can visit our website online. It has lots of cool stuff on there and you can place your order directly on there. You can also pay for your order online.” Does this sound familiar? It’s one of the most common statements made by a business or an employee of one directed towards a consumer such as yourself. In general nowadays if you walk into a retail store to make a purchase in some form or another you’ll find out about that particular business website. Usually in response to a certain inquiry about a product or service that’s currently unavailable in-store (typical Wal Mart stuff j/k). Now you’re all excited that you’ll get to do some comparison shopping before even pulling the trigger.
Shuffling Thru a Messy Website
Here’s when things get ugly and you simply want to pull your hair out (not literally so please don’t do this at home). The moment you hit the domain of that website in your favorite browser’s address bar you’re completely shocked and your jaw drops to the floor. You’re thinking, “Who designed this website? How am I suppose to find anything on here? This is a waste of time and headache.” You’re right! It IS a waste of your time as a consumer to have to dig thru the pile of junk and clutter of a business website only to find out that you didn’t exactly see what you were looking for. Sound familiar? As a business owner of that retail website you should be asking yourself “Where’s my web guy/company so I can strangle them?” Please, don’t do that for the sake of everyone! Although one thing you should realize and hope to learn thus far from a poor website performance is that you just lost business. That’s right! You better believe it. With over 70% of U.S. Consumers performing online shopping and comparison…..Can you afford to have a poorly structured website?
Top 5 Things Your Website Should Have
Save yourself the headaches and lost business. Consider looking into and researching more into the “new media” that can help optimize your website, generate more web traffic, & help you acquire qualified leads. There are Top 5 Things Your Website Should Have in order to establish proper visibility usability, & conversions. While there are various other ways that you can help improve the overall performance of your website these particular 5 things should be a must have for any website or blog.
- Visuals – this is perhaps one of the most important things that your website should have. A clean, elegant, & professional look and feel that segments you from the competition and lets the visitor know you mean ‘business’. Escape the usage of templates from those sites that aim to reel you in by offering you a bargain when you purchase one of their templates. While some may work usually there is some sort of modifications needed to be made. All-in-all you want to ensure that your website displays the true image of your company by delivering clarity and an easy-to-navigate user experience.
- Content – the days of static websites that consist of 10 pages are long over. The demand for valuable content, the ability to automate it, & on-the-fly management is what’s in right now. Our ‘new media’ generation requires the continues flow of fresh information, new products, and competitive pricing. Content on your website should provide valuable information about products and services that you’re currently selling or offering to consumers. Your website should also utilize a Content Management System such as Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal to help you manage your content more efficiently while giving you the opportunity of multi-user support, security from hackers, and much more. Organic visibility in Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo, & Bing are extremely important in order for your future customers be able to find you and interact with your website. Organic Search Engine Optimization has been one of the best hidden strategies for many years and remains a technique used by websites all over the web. Present your visitors with clear Call To Action text and engage them to take action on your products or services. Also a hidden best strategy commonly used.
- Navigation – make sure that the user doesn’t get lost on your website. Offer clear structural representation of sections and categories on your website. Think in Layman’s Terms and ensure that your navigation on your website is built with readable text that will serve of value organically and from an overall usability standpoint. Use keyword rich titles for individual links within your navigation to maximize potential and user friendliness. A top (header) and bottom (footer) navigation are a must for every website that has usability on their mind.
- Social Media – there are 500 million users now floating on Facebook. Twitter has recently reached 1 billion tweets from its entire user database. What does this tell you? That’s 500 million reasons to get noticed on Facebook and one too many ways to create buzz via Twitter by connecting and acquiring new followers. LinkedIN was recently valued at $2 billion dollars with over 50 million active business users. How does this all tie in and create business for your company? Ensure that all content from your website receives proper exposure in these particular social media channels. In most cases this can be done with the proper Content Management System. You simply can’t afford not to have a Facebook Profile/Fan Page, Twitter Account, or a LinkedIN Business Profile.
- Search Engine Marketing – a cost effective way that can jump start the visibility of your website, drive targeted traffic, and convert with qualified leads. Target your market by advertising only to those interested in your products or services. Pay Per Click Marketing platforms such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions, or Microsoft Advertising area a great start for driving targeted traffic to your new website. With features such as Conversion Tracking, Daily Budget Adjustment, Web Traffic Analysis, Reports, & More you’re bound to get a handle on your search marketing performance. I would recommend that you find an experienced specialist (such as myself 🙂 that can guide you thru the initial setup process and onto the actual management of your own account. In most cases you can start a new account with as little as a $500.00 USD budget.
There isn’t a website out there on the web that can be considered the Perfect 10 from all angles and points mentioned above. It takes time sometimes even years before your individual website will be optimized in such fashion that it will perform for your business day-in and day-out.