- Think about how people browse the web when they're looking for a product or service. They're looking for information that helps them compare their options and make a decision. What products will fit their needs? What price will they have to pay? What size, color, weight, or other dimiensions does the item have? How is it used? What accessories does it have? Can they trust this company to sell it to them? How will they get their questions answered? What kind of guarantee is there? This list of questions is made up of product and company attributes.
This is the important information that people who are researching products or services online need to know. Most of the other stuff that you put on your site is likely to get in the way of people's research and slow them down. And that's the key point. When it comes to business websites, people aren't looking to be entertained. They're just interested in doing research to find the best option for their needs. Autoplaying welcome videos, stock photography images, and fluffy text with no real facts and figures are all likely to frustrate your visitors and make them go elsewhere.
Failing to provide relevant information or hiding it in long marketing messages will frustrate people. There's almost always another website giving people a similar product or service, and people will go there rather than battle with a site that doesn't give them what they need. That doesn't mean you have to just show people a boring list of your inventory. It's fine to let your brand personality show through on the site and, in fact, that can really help distinguish you from your competitors. But anything you do to entertain people should be secondary to the information they've come to find.
Join Chris Nodder, as he reviews the key components of an effective small business website, whether you maintain your website or hire someone else. He provides guidelines to optimize the content, design, and information architecture of the site and to provide customers and prospective customers with incentives to trust your business—and buy from it.
- Keeping the homepage simple
- Providing news and links
- Using pictures and testimonials to establish trust
- Creating clear product descriptions
- Showing expertise with a blog or tips page
- Soliciting ongoing feedback