If you own a small business and want to build a strong online presence, a well-thought-out website is the most powerful marketing vehicle available to you. Since your site will often be the first of your web properties that a visitor comes in contact with, making a good impression is vital. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to ensure that you’re building your site effectively.
Consider a Platform-Based Solution
Some companies choose to build websites that consist of static pages. However, you may be better served by using a platform like WordPress to create your site. WordPress is versatile blogging software that offers many attractive features to web developers. Some of its most useful features include:
- the ability to publish and edit content without altering code or reuploading files
- a wide range of plugins that allow for easy customization and SEO
- ease of installation
Make your Site Mobile Friendly
Another key to success will be making sure that your site is mobile ready. More and more people are now doing the bulk of their Internet browsing on smartphones and tablets. For this reason, you need to ensure that your site works well when viewed on such devices. Things like pop-up windows and flash-based pages may function seamlessly in a regular web browser, but they frequently don’t work as well on mobile devices.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to make sure that you’re prepared for mobile traffic. If you’re using WordPress you’ll find plugins like WPtouch, which automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your site for visitors who are viewing it on a handheld device. You can find the best WordPress Mobile Plugin and a range of similar plugins at http://www.WordPress.org.
If you don’t wish to use WordPress, you should still check how your pages look on a mobile device and make any changes necessary to ensure that functionality is retained. Ask your coworkers and friends to verify that your website is fully functional on their devices and make changes as needed.
Make it Easy for your Visitors to Contact You
Many website owners fall into the trap of making it difficult for their visitors get in touch with them. As a small-business owner operating online, it’s particularly important that your visitors are able to reach you. You definitely want to have your business address and a phone number listed in plain view on your main page. Not only will this be helpful to potential customers but there is also evidence that it’s a ranking factor that search engines use to determine where business sites appear in their results.
Implement a Mailing List
Another important step to take when building a small business website is to start an e-mail list. There are numerous autoresponder packages available that will allow you to place a simple form on your site to collect e-mail addresses from your visitors. You’ll then be able to market to your list, inform them of new website content, and advise them of other changes and details.
Keep your Pages Focused
When building out your site, you’ll also want to ensure that your pages remain focused. If you’ve got an important article that you want your visitors to read, make sure that the article content is the most prominent thing on the page. Don’t clutter things up with a lot of text ads or banners. You need to keep in mind that every time you add something to a page, you’re giving your visitors another opportunity to click away without taking the action you really want them to take.
Follow these five tips, and you’ll greatly increase the effectiveness of your site.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren