This article is inspired by a recent post on the Business Insider and

When a small business ventures out to find new business, one of the first things they usually will do is have a website built. Here is a list of the top 10 things to follow when either building a website yourself, or having a web designer build one for you:

  1. Clear Description Of Your Business:
    Who you are, what you do, and the services that you offer should be extremely clear to the end user from the minute they enter your website. Stay away from distractions that have nothing to do with your actual business. For example, if you’re a doctor’s office, it wouldn’t make sense to have a photo slideshow featuring different animals, or city shots. Keep all images and wording relevant.
  2. A simple, sensible and easy web address:
    One of the most effective things you can do for your website presence is picking a domain name that incorporates your business or service. Also, it’s smart not to get too carried away with long domain names. The goal is to have customers remember your name, so the shorter the better. Many web design and hosting companies offer a free domain name registration.
  3. Incorporate an easy to navigate sitemap
    Especially useful for larger sites over 10 pages, a sitemap is a page that lists all of the pages on your sites with links to each. This is a simple and useful guide for visitors to find which pages to navigate to. There’s also another type of sitemap that you submit to search engines in .xml format, which I won’t bore you with. You can read more here about SEO services.
  4. Contact Information
    The ability for potential customers to find your contact information on your site is apparent. In fact, your contact information should be very easy to find and not confusing. Failure to provide an easy “contact us” link or obvious path, could very well make someone exit your site out of annoyance.
  5. Customer Testimonials
    Probably one of the most important things that you can include in your website is customer and client testimonials. Nothing says ” Your business is the business to choose” than actual real-life accounts and testimonials from your past and existing clients. Use the hype of your clients to help find you more.
  6. Call To Action
    A call to action is something that you try to get your online visitors to accomplish on your site. This is getting your viewer to look somewhere, do something, etc.. If you want your “call to action” be contacting you, then you should be including directions visibly for them to reach that information. If there’s no “call to action” then the viewer will tend not to stay or know where to focus his/her attention next.
  7. Basic SEO
    Knowing basic SEO is very important. Basic SEO would include things like using page titles, using links on all of your pages that link to other pages within your site, etc.. SEO can get very advanced, although before I talk about it until your eyeballs roll back, just know that doing these simple tasks will get you off to a good start until you’re ready for more  advanced search engine optimization.
  8. Fresh, Relevant Content
    In the world of the web, content is King and always will be. Keeping your website updated with fresh content, or content that is consistently added to is very important for search engines and your website rankings. Also, for business sites, content is what will drive your customer towards buying something. Afterall, if you can’t read about it, it’s useless.
  9. Use secure Web Hosting
    Web Hosting is available in all shapes and sizes. Make sure you go with a reputable web hosting company that offers fair pricing, fast and reliable up-time, as well as an easy to navigate interface. When hosting with Thrive, we take care of all of this for you, eliminating the hassle for you.
  10. Friendly Design
    This should go without saying. Creating a website that is visually appealing is more likely to yield you business, rather than designing an amateur looking layout. Just like the window to a clothing store portrays the style of the store, so does the front page of your website. Use simple but intuitive design and make sure it ties in with your industry and what you’re trying to come across as a small business.

Until Next Time!

Josh Olswanger
Thrive Web Designs, A Boise web design company.