Making a User Friendly Website

Every business should have an online presence. If nothing else, just one static page with contact and product or service information will save time, because there will be fewer calls or emails from customers asking for this information. The result is literally money in the bank because employees will be able to use that saved time more productively.

With so many free and easy to use website platforms, however, there is no reason not to have a fully functioning website. It is one of the most cost effective and profitable moves a business can make. Every single thing that can be automated is one less thing employees need to spend time doing. Even more important, your website can generate revenue for you. Here is how you can help make that happen.

Information

Contact information, clear descriptions of products or services, and their prices are all things customers are looking for as soon as they get to your website. Make it easy for them to find all of these things. If there are many different products or services, then the website should be further divided into categories, using tabs or drop down menus.

Do not try to put too much text on any one page, because users will not wade through it. There should be plenty of white space on a page, to keep it from looking cluttered. An order form should be reached with a click, and a button provided for secure payment. Many web hosts make all of these options easily available and provide help to make sure everything works as intended.

A search box is an excellent way for users to quickly find what they are looking for on your website. Placing one prominently on every page will allow users to quickly navigate your site. Another tool for finding information is a site map. This index of the website’s contents allows users to go straight to what they are looking for by simply clicking on one link.

Go Mobile

The website should be optimized for mobile platforms. More people are using phones and tablets to do business these days than actual computers. So if a website is too difficult to navigate with those devices, a company could lose business to competitors who make it easier. Again, web hosts often provide this as an option, so there is actually very little a business owner is required to do in order provide customers with mobile access. This means no company should have to suffer loss of revenue due to websites that don’t work on smaller screens.

Don’t be a slowpoke

Users do not have a lot of tolerance for slow loading websites, so close attention should be paid to media content. Videos should be kept to a minimum and photo files should not be too large. The goal is to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for and then be able to pay for it.

Go where your customers are

In addition to a website, the online presence for a company should include social media accounts. Facebook is a good way to keep customers up to date on what the business is offering. Twitter is a great platform for customers to ask quick questions, or for companies to announce flash sales and similar events. Icons for these social media platforms should be on the main website, so that customers can quickly and easily follow a business. This, too, is usually an easy option offered by webhosts. So it is not a difficult feature to provide on the website.

AVOID!!!

Those are some of the things you will want to make sure your website has. Here are some which you want to avoid at all costs.

First, every link on the website should work.

If you are directing clients to more information, you want them to find it. A “Page Not Found” error could easily result in a lost sale. This is of utmost importance. If you move a page, make sure you adjust any links to it.

Next, do not require customers to register before they do business with you.

This has been proven more than once to cause lost sales. Do not put any obstacles in the way of a customer trying to give you money. If they are satisfied customers, they will very likely register eventually. Until that time, allow them to make purchases as guests.

The goal for any business is to have a website that:

1. Provides whatever information a customer is likely to require.
2. Makes that information easy to find with a search box and/or site map.
3. Is quick to load, easy to read and navigate
4. Allows a customer to purchase goods and services in a smooth, secure manner, without registration.
5. Can be accessed just as well from mobile devices as well as computers.

Get Help if You Need It

The technical features are usually made easy by web hosting providers. But the content is provided by an individual business. If a website is not returning the results one might reasonably expect, then it may be necessary to have specialists take a look at it.

Perhaps a copy writer could make the text more appealing, both in content and appearance. The support team at the web hosting company may have suggestions if the website is sluggish or not performing efficiently in any area. If most of the website is up and running, which should be easy these days with so many templates available, then having someone make minor tweaks should not be expensive. Depending on your web hosting package, at least some support is probably free.

There is really no reason these days for a business not to have an effective online presence, especially since it can be such a simple and inexpensive process these days. Not only will it save time and money, but it could generate revenue much more effortlessly than employees limited to a bricks and mortar store or office. The handful of tips mentioned above will provide a solid foundation in building a website that will work hard for you

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SMB Reviews
SMB Reviews 473 posts

SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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