What should a website do? (A few specifics for small businesses)

It’s 2013 and most small business owners have a website of some sort. However, that doesn’t mean they all know their site’s real purpose. Out of all the things a website CAN do, there are really only a handful of things it SHOULD do – all of which revolve around unique business goals. There are, though, three things that are common among successful sites:

 1. Build Credibility

Consider the process you take when buying a product or deciding to do business with someone. More often than not, the first thing you’ll do is search online. You check to make sure you understand who that business owner is, if he offers what you’re looking for, and make an opinion about whether or not you trust him. If your site does nothing else, it has to present your company in such a way that users believe you are who you say you are and you can do what you say you do. 

 2. Explain Your Offering

Less is more when designing for the web and most modern-web users aren’t looking to learn everything about you – they just need to know enough to make an informed decision. It’s important to keep this in mind so you create an easily-digestible website that isn’t overflowing with text and images. We like to use icons, imagery and small bits of copy to explain products and services. An aesthetically pleasing design and readable copy is a lot more effective when converting new users. 

 3. Get Users to Do Something

The “call to action” is nothing new, but so often misused or ignored completely. The action users actually take (Visit Our Store Today, Call Us for More Information, Sign Up for a Free Consultation) is a vital part of your website’s purpose. Keep in mind that providing information is great, but clearly understanding how to use it is better. 

 Wrapping It Up

Does your website validate you in the eyes of your users? Can it concisely explain your value over competitors? Will your users know what to do and how to get your services? If not, it may be time to rethink your website’s design.