The major question on many business owner’s minds is how to grow from a small startup to major force in the marketplace. Success in business is all about filling a gap – meeting a need that people have by providing a service that people want. Knowing your clients & their needs is crucial, and trying your best to meet those needs should be foremost in your mind. Once you’ve got a handle on which of those needs your business will attempt to meet you can focus your website on achieving those ends.
The most effective and crucial part of and business in the twenty first century is the website. It is vital to have a website that is functional, well run and maintained to help you increase your sales and client base. This is because many people have embraced convenience of shopping and researching from the comfort of their homes. So how do you make it easy for them and profitable for you?
The Wrong Colors
Color says a lot about your company and the spirit of your management. Many online businesses fail because the colors on their websites are not friendly or don’t appeal to the customer demographic. Image consultants advise choosing neutral colors for the basic elements of the site and using brighter colors to draw visitors attention to the elements you want them to focus on – like “Book Now” and “Buy Now” buttons.
You already know more about color theory and how people react to certain hues than you probably realize. Bright shades of red mean “stop” or “danger” to most people, whereas greens are inviting and inspire one to proceed – or “go”. Darker blues lend an air of durability and trust, while lighter blues and blue-greens are very soothing and calming. Colors work on people unconsciously. They may not be able to tell you why they like certain websites – they may tell you that they “just do”. But odds are, they’re connecting to the color scheme in some way.
The information you choose to display on your website must be relevant to what you sell and in line with the mission and values of your business. Keep the main pages of your site light on “copy”, or text and heavy on graphics and photography – use “read more” links to allow people who are interested to drill down deeper and read more. The top-level pages of your website are like the ads on a storefront window – they’re intended to grab your attention and encourage you to come inside and look around.
Be sure that all the information on your website is up to date and relevant. A blog that hasn’t been updated in 6 months or a year will seem stale even if the content is interesting and well written. Make a point to have areas of your site that you update weekly, or at the very least monthly so that returning visitors can see that they’re dealing with a vibrant, active company.
Do all the links on your site actually work? What about your forms? When’s the last time you checked? Performing regular maintenance on your website is just as important as it is on your car. Things do tend to break. Content and pages get added, menu items get renamed, photos get changed. Check all the clickable elements on your site once and a while – a full site “audit” will keep the online face of your business blemish-free and will show your visitors your attention to detail.