In this technological age, websites are an integral part of your daily life. You probably interact with at least one website each day.
If you own a small business, you must have a website. Why? 90% of buyers get their information online.
If you already have a website for your small business, your challenge is to make your site stand out among the millions of sites out there.
This will get you the visitor attention you need to build your business.
Here are three common mistakes you can avoid during the design process to help you attract a large number of high potential visitors to your site.
1. Choosing a difficult URL.
What makes your URL “difficult”? A URL that’s longer than four words will be hard to remember. A URL that has nothing to do with your business creates a barrier for visitors to find you.
One of the most appealing things to your visitors is convenience and ease of use. So make your URL easy, relevant, and memorable.
If your URL is too long or difficult to type in correctly the first time, visitors will not try or simply give up trying to find you.
They will not work hard to find your URL and to visit your site unless it is essential to their life.
Pick a URL that is consistent with your brand name. For example, if you own a store that is called “Lamp World”, it would be in your best interest to make your website www.lampworld.com.
If that URL is taken, personalize the URL to distinguish your site from your competition such as “www.lampworldnyc.com” or “www.johnslampworld.com”.
If people are looking to visit your site, they will probably be able to find it without having to do a lot of research. This is the goal.
It’s also a great idea to purchase your name as a URL. For example, Frances Liscio is a great designer. We encouraged her to purchase the URL, “francesliscio.com”, in case she ever wanted to build a website around her name.
2. Use a clean layout.
Everyone has A.D.D. online. If your site visitors can’t find what they need in two seconds, they bounce off your site.
Minimalism is key when it comes to your internet presence. With every design change that you make, ask yourself: “Am I streamlining my information?”
By simplifying your site, your visitors will not be overwhelmed. It will also make it easier to showcase the important information that you want people to see and that they are looking for.
This means making sure that the menu is well organized and minimized. Make sure there is a lack of clutter and disorganization.
Do you want to direct your visitors to a particular part of your site? Make that clear. Don’t provide too many choices. More is not better. More is confusing.
3. Make use of social media to create back links.
Social media websites have provided platforms for your potential visitors to create community. Wherever your target audience is, your website URL needs to be “planted” there.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the big social media sites. LinkedIn is great for reaching out business to business. LinkedIn groups help you target potential visitors easily.
Facebook has fan pages that also help you target potential visitors.
It is important to be present on these sites no matter what your line of business you’re in. You can use this to reach more potential viewers but also for more technical reasons.
When you leave a live link on Twitter or LinkedIn for example, this creates a back link to your website. Back links are essentially an invitation for social media visitors to go to your site and check it out.
How do you create a backlink?
- Tweet about an article you just published.
- Send an announcement on linkedin about a new client you just closed.
- Publish a photograph on Facebook showing the smile of a happy customer or a photograph of your new product. Always include a backlink to your site.
This improves the SEO, or Search Engine Optimization for your website. The search engines will read these backlinks and give your website greater importance when visitors search for content you provide.
The more links you have on social media sites pointing to your website, the more available your website will be to potential viewers on search engines.
Social Media platforms give you access to communities of people to invite them to see your site.
This will draw more attention to the information that you provide. More attention means more visitors. Be sure you always link your social media to your website.
Author Pam Johnson is a web designer who obtained her degree from one of the Top 10 Best Online Web Design Schools and Degrees