Whether you're just starting a small business or looking to upgrade your brand as an established business, a great website is key to getting found and needs these 5 things to be successful. You could be a restaurant or a clothing store, a photographer or a yard care service. No matter what your business, having a great website will help to brand your business and add legitimacy to potential customers.
1. Keep It Simple
You should always strive to have a website and brand image that reaches for the clients you want, not only the clients you might already have. A clean and simple website with professional photography and graphics helps clients navigate your site, and doesn't leave them feeling frustrated that they couldn't find information about your business. Simple and consistent professional photography that speaks to your brand, graphics that are more than just clip art, no more than 2-3 fonts on the whole website and easily navigation to your contact info or any other information you would like to promote.
The more simple and user friendly your website, the longer people will stay, the more interested they will be and the more comfortable they will be contacting you or coming into your store. You also don't need to show everything you have. If you have a storefront, show some main photos of things that will get people to come into your store, then they will be pleasantly surprised when you have more than what they expected. Connect with your potential clients instead of just showing them all of your products.
2. Access From Anywhere
Keep in mind that people will be accessing your website from potentially anywhere on the globe. Talk to people through your website as if they aren't from your local area. It will make it appear as if you are helping friends and neighbors as well as out of town guests and tourists. Having professional photography will also add legitimacy to people from out of town. Sure, if you are a local coffee shop, you may always get regulars, but if you have some photos that are inviting and professional looking, others will feel more comfortable stopping by to grab a cup of Joe.
3. Strategic SEO To Get Noticed
If you don't already know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and simply stated is a way to get your website noticed through search engines such as Google and Bing. These Search Engines "crawl" your website looking for text. The text you put on your site in SEO areas and written in blogs on your website work to help get you found. Using keywords that the normal person would use to potentially find you is where you should start. Do a few searches looking for your competitors to see how they are found and what keywords you should think about using to get found among them. Now, when you are adding a page description, you want to try and make it sound like an actual paragraph that describes your business. Just putting in key words will work against you, although you can incorporate some of your key words into your paragraph. You can also use a keyword or two in your page title, but again, try to make it sound more like an actual sentence.
4. Professional Photography
As I mentioned, professional photography is key to making your website look professional and welcoming. It adds legitimacy to your business while making people feel like they could see themselves buying your products or using your services. Commercial photography can be expensive, but if you get the right photographer who understands how to create branded and marketing photography for businesses, you will not be disappointed with the professional quality your website will have. Plan to pay for good photography, you will see a big difference.
Do a Google or Bing image search sometime, ever wonder how these photos are found on the Search Engines? It all starts with a name. Naming your photos with keywords can help searches to find your website. These photos can also be keyworded on the back end to help with your SEO. Adding keywords to each image and incorporating a keyword or two into the name of the photo will help the Search Engines to find your website. Once your page starts getting traffic, and your images get found, the image will start coming up in these image searches as well.
Connect, connect, connect! When you link to another website and they link back to you, it adds a connection that will be very important for search companies like Google to find your website and will help grow your searchability. A simple idea is to link your new photos to a Pinterest account. This will link the two sites and start directing people back to your website at the same time.