These days, many consumers tend to visit the website of just about any company – or otherwise research it – before they patronize it, as a means of making sure they know what they're getting into. As a consequence, it may be wise for many small businesses in particular to start thinking about the ways in which their site can be improved, as a means of more directly and immediately appealing to consumers and letting them know that their enterprise is both legitimate and well-respected.
The ultimate point of a business having a website is, essentially, to turn visitors into customers. Thus, doing all a company can to present its best possible image to the world in this way is vital, according to a report from Business 2 Community. Fortunately, there are a number of things companies can do to reassure consumers that the site they're visiting is very legitimate, and potentially convert them into patrons.
Perhaps chief among these is that if a small business has clients – regardless of how well-known they are – their logos should be presented on the site as a means of showing just how trustworthy and respected the enterprise is in its given industry, the report said. Of course, the better-known the brand name, the more likely a company will be to appear attractive, but nonetheless, even a decent-sized stable of lesser-known or even local companies may go a long way toward letting potential future clients know they'd be in good hands. Further, it should be noted that any local awards won by a company should be listed with logos on the front page for the same reasons.
Along similar lines, it might also be wise to let consumers know their transactions are safe by listing the logos of companies a small business uses to handle them, the report said. These likewise could help consumers to feel as though they're making the right choice in selecting a small business for their needs.
Get creative, but don't go overboard
Every website should be designed to stand out from the crowd. This can be done in a number of ways, but it's certainly not always easy, the report said. The more any small business can do to make its website look great, work well and entice visitors to become customers is obviously great, but making things overly complicated – such as by jumbling too much information on one page, and having the home page contain lots of words or pictures – is usually not a good idea. The simpler a user's introduction to a site is, the better they might feel about it, and if they want to dig a little deeper, all the necessary information being tucked away on other pages is just the kind of resource they'll be able to tap.
Further, having a simple front page helps things load more quickly for users, which is becoming increasingly vital these days, the report said. Where people 10 years ago might have been content to wait three, five, or seven seconds to let a page load fully, if it's taking anywhere near that long these days, that's probably going to be a big turnoff. The simpler a site is, the more quickly it loads, and companies can avoid significant viewer frustration that leads them to close out windows.
Of course, a great website isn't always cheap, and owners may want to make sure they can afford one. A great way they can do this is to cut their small business insurance expenses. Reducing costs for coverage like errors and omission insurance, or liability insurance, can save companies thousands of dollars annually, which can then be allocated elsewhere.