There are plenty of things you can do while online. Maybe you are shopping for a gift, or maybe you are looking for a place to have dinner. You might also be trying to network and establish professional connections. For each reason, you will have different expectations of how your search should go.
For business visitors in particular, research has shown that they know what they are looking for and want to find it quickly without any clutter. The business website that helps them efficiently do this will earn their trust, and often their repeat business and recommendations as well.
The Case for Fancy
Your website needs to stand out from your competitor’s, so you need the services of a custom website builder, not one that provides a one-size-fits-all approach. For certain businesses, having a fancier website complete with Flash and interactive displays makes sense. If your company makes children’s toys, technology products or couture fashion, for instance, your customers may be unable to make a connection with your products without some level of engaging visual “show and tell.” Before you decide that a functional business website is the best choice for you, examine your most successful competitors’ websites, and your products and services.
The Case for Functional
For most companies, there is a strong case for presenting a more functional online presence. At one end of this spectrum are finance and consumer goods products. For the former, a basic presentation can convey a sense of corporate priorities — as in the focus is on managing their customer’s funds, not on building a flashy website that increases overhead costs. For the latter, since these products are viewed as necessities, customers typically want to get in, locate what they need, buy it and move on. Once you determine where your company sits on the fancy-to-functional spectrum, you will have a clearer picture of what your customers want and need before they choose to shop with you online.
How to Build Your Own Website
Increasingly, companies are choosing to build their own websites rather than hire a designer. Web-builder tools are affordable and easy to use, plus creating a simpler website reduces website maintenance and lowers IT costs as well. If you plan to design and build your own business website using a builder tool, you can select a design that allows you to display your company logo to best advantage. From here, you can set up a website map that helps your customers navigate your site quickly and easily. There are many ways to customize and brand your business website without going to the expense of fancy extras that, for most business websites, can irritate your potential customers. Another benefit of building a simpler website is that there is a lower possibility of display errors for customers using less popular browsers or older browser software.
What to Include in Your Website
Whether your goal is a fancy or functional site, at the beginning of the process you want to focus on including all of the basics. For instance, you need a Web version and a mobile version of your website. You also want to be sure each page is optimized for search engines and that you have a Google Analytics account set up to see how your site is performing. You want to integrate your site with social media so you have multiple outlets for communication with your customers. You need to add copyrights, permissions, privacy statements and other necessary legal information as well. Finally, you want your customers to be able to get from your home page to the other pages quickly and easily.
If you create a simple, functional business website that is visitor-friendly, then from day one you will establish a healthy online Web presence that does your marketing for you.