Every web site is different.
Some exist only to deliver information. Others try to get sales. And still others have absolutely no idea what they’re trying to do.
However, here are some things that all successful small business web sites have in common:
1. They have a compelling headline. The reader should know within about 2 seconds what the web site is selling – or what its purpose is, if it’s not trying to make a sale.
2. They are not boring. A boring web site spells certain doom – as it takes only a nanosecond for a customer to click away to another site.
3. They showcase the credibility of the business. This can be done using testimonials, fact sheets, news stories about the company, before-and-after pictures, Better Business Bureau seals, etc.
4. They have their contact information in a prominent location. If the contact information is hidden, people might give up on the site even though they would otherwise have made a purchase.
5. They are not too busy. People have short attention spans, so if a home page has 17 different links, 9 different fonts types and sizes, and every color under the rainbow – most people won’t even bother trying to figure out what the site is all about.
6. They are easy to read. If a site has red type on a hot pink background, 90% of the people who visit literally won’t be able to read it. The same goes for reverse type (white letters on black), abnormally small type, or strange font styles.
7. They don’t have too many graphics. Graphics make a web site slower to load – and in this day and age, few things bother web site visitors than having to wait 30 seconds for a page to load.
8. They have a compelling “call to action. ” Rather than just looking pretty, an effective web site asks for the visitor to buy – that day! If it leads people directly to a product, many of them will buy. If it is assumed that people will buy without being asked to, the site will make far fewer sales.
If you have a business web site, look at it again with fresh eyes. And if it falls short on any of these counts, fix them quickly and watch your sales skyrocket.
Jim Gratiot is a professional copywriter and marketing strategist. He is conducting a VERY limited number of web site critiques this year. But his plate is filling up quickly… so if you’re ready to take your web site – and your business – to the next level, click on http://www.ultimatewebsitecritique.com today. (And make sure to sign up for his free “Up All Night” marketing newsletter on that site as well. )