By Susan Solovic
My husband joined me on a business trip recently, and on one of my free evenings we decided to venture out from the conference hotel and find a fun restaurant to try. As I searched the Internet, I was amazed by how many establishments either didn't have a website, or had websites that were really unprofessional. Creating and maintaining a web presence is critical in today's market, but just being online isn't enough anymore. You need a website that offers an engaging customer experience consistent with your brand, no matter what type of business you're in.
Here are a few of the basics to help you build a web presence that will resonate with your customer base.
- Information. This is pretty obvious, yet I often see websites that fail to provide contact information. In some cases, even if the information is on the site, it's wrong. When my husband and I were searching for a restaurant, I called one of the numbers listed on a site, only to find it was no longer in service. Either someone had made a mistake or the number had changed and no one had updated the website. If potential customers can't find you, then they'll move on to your competitor.
- Fresh Content. Keep the content on your site current. “Season’s greetings” in July is going to leave a negative impression with your visitors. Also, update your content regularly. Give visitors a reason to return to your site. Personally, I update my site daily with a success tip from The Small Business Expert. Then I broadcast the update via social media to increase traffic to my site.
- Mobile Friendly. Your customers want to reach you using their mobile devices. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're losing business. Look at the statistics. Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Pew Research says 85 percent of millennials, 79 percent of the 30-49 age range and 27 percent of Americans 65+ are smartphone owners.* Additionally, many smartphone owners say they are “mobile only” users and have no other computer or telephone.
- Ease of Use. Your visitors don't want to have to waste time figuring out how to get the information they need. Make your website easy to read and navigate. When it's confusing, they'll move on to another source. Most people have short attention spans, so you only have a few seconds to grab their attention.
Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.