How to Build a Website That Draws More VisitorsOf all the resources available for small business marketing, few are as effective and potentially revenue generating as a well built website.  In today’s global economy, it’s often the first place customers encounter your business.

A website’s visual appeal should be a key strategy in your marketing plan, says Michael Samson, co-founder of crowdSPRING. In this article, he offers some great tips on how to design and build a website with the broadest appeal to visitors.

Six Tips to Build a Website That Draws More Visitors

Keep things simple. In the vast majority of cases, a site’s home page is the first thing potential customers experience. This is why it’s so important to address three critical questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What type of business do you run?
  • What can visitors do on your website?

Answer these questions in your homepage content, but don’t overdo it. “The trick is not to overload your homepage, which can be distracting and confusing for customers,” Samson notes. “Keep it to no more than 120 words of text.”

Consider the device visitors may use. Your website has to be optimal for visitors using laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Web pages requiring complex features such as flash animation or navigation aren’t reliable across the spectrum of devices available to consumers.

Highlight your products or services. What good is a website if it fails to dramatically showcase what you have to offer? Your site may look great, Samson says, “but if your product photos look terrible, your prospective customers will think twice about buying your products.” Professional or stock photographs (or videos) help display your offerings in a clean, crisp way.

Monitor site load times. We all get impatient when a website takes too long to load text and images. One slow-running feature can make the difference between a visitor’s impulse purchase and her decision to move on to your competitor. Samson advises you conduct regular audits of your site’s performance. Check load times and site speed. Make sure formatting is always correct.

Set up the site for skimming. In general, visitors skim for specific information, and rarely pause to read entire pages. “A well-structured site that presents information in an orderly and organized way will be much more successful than one that appears chaotic or that is not intuitively arranged.”

Create strong, current content. A compelling headline will draw a visitor to read more, while one that is sloppy or confusing can drive him off for good. The same goes for the rest of the content on your site—news about product updates, contact information, changes in price, etc. Everything should be relevant, current, and strongly written.

It may seem that simply launching a website is enough to get business going. But without careful cultivation and attention, this key marketing resource won’t produce repeat customers or generate new ones.

What’s the secret behind your business website design?