Things you have to know before company website

From contact information to customer testimonials, here are the essentials that will effectively help you do business.

The Web is full of horrendous sites, and we’re not just talking about bad design. There are many other elements besides how your website looks that go into making it customer-friendly — not to mention something that inspires them to actually do business with you.

From thorough contact information to customer testimonials, here are the essentials that every small business website should have for it to effectively help you do business.

  1. A clear description of who you are

    Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn’t have to do investigative work to figure out what, exactly, it is that you do. That means clearly stating your name and summing up your products or services right on the homepage, says John Zhuang, of Web-design and SEO-optimization firm Winning Interactive.

“Tell people this is the right website that they have been searching for,” he says. “[A clear description] will attract the visitor’s attention immediately within 2-3 seconds, and encourage them to stay on your website longer.”

  1. A simple, sensible Web address

    Don’t make things complicated.

“Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a Web browser or an e-mail address,” says Ron Wright, the founder of business Web design and online marketing firm Accentix.

He adds: “I always recommend the .com domain as users are conditioned to type that extension when they enter a Web address. For non-profits or organizations, I usually recommend using a .org domain for branding purposes, but also recommend having a .com version of the domain in case a user accidentally types the .com address.”

Wright also suggests avoiding dashes (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can cause confusion for customers).

  1. An easily-navigated site map

    Clear links to the most important pages, and a site map, are crucial for guiding visitors to the information they’re looking for.

“Be sure your navigation is clearly laid out. I always recommend using dropdowns in the navigation menu so the visitor can see the content under every heading from virtually any page. You want to make it very easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for, or what you want them to know,” Wright suggests.

  1. Easy-to-find contact information

    You wouldn’t want to lose a customer to a competitor just because you made it difficult for them to get in touch with you.

“Not every online visitor has the patience to click through every page on your website to find the contact information,” says Zhuang.

“The best place for the contact information is the top left or top right corner of the home page,” he recommends. “It is also a good practice to include contact information in every page of the website in the footer or side bar or even in top right corner, which helps the visitors to find it more easily.”

You should also be sure to include several ways for them to contact you — phone, e-mail, and a standard contact form, are all good options. Forbes also suggests including your address, and even a link to your location in Google maps.

“One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to force only one way to reach them,” says Wright. “The point is to make it very easy for users to communicate with you on their terms.”

  1. Customer testimonials

    Honest words from others help make your products or services more tangible to customers who are visiting you online.

“They help your potential customers to build trust in you, especially if you are new,” Zhuang says. “[And they] help shoppers to confirm whether the product [or] services meet their needs.”

“People love to hear stories from real people,” he adds. “They help people [find out] other things you haven’t said [on] your website.”

  1. An obvious call to action

    “Tell the online visitors literally what you want them to do with clear tones of commend,” says Zhuang. “For instance, you may want them to call you now for free quote, or sign up to your exclusively online coupons, or add products to the online shopping cart, etc.”

And, he adds, call attention to your suggestion — by using special buttons or highlighting the text, for example.

  1. Know the basics of SEO

    Your website won’t do you as much good if no one can stumble upon it. Become familiar with the SEO basics to make it more accessible by search engine.

“You don’t need to employ mysterious, ninja, black hat SEO types to rank well on the search engines. Simply make sure your website is coded correctly,” Wright says.

That means using the correct keywords throughout your text, putting in plenty of links, naming your page titles and URLs correctly, and employing the magic of images and videos.

  1. Fresh, quality content

    For many businesses, your website is your first impression on a customer. You want to give them what they’re looking for, and perhaps even give them a reason to keep coming back.

Wright says, “The user is looking for something. Make sure you give it to them…. [and be] sure your content is original, well written and valuable.”

Fresh content is a goldmine for SEO, as well. You can keep your content from getting stale (and give your company some personality, too) by incorporating a regularly-updated blog or connecting in your social media feeds.

  1. A secure hosting platform

    Having your online information hijacked is a nightmare, and, should it happen to your business, it could cost you customers.

“It is imperative that you have a secure, trustworthy hosting company to keep the bad guys out and your content up and running,” says Wright. “It is also very important to keep your content management system updated in order to stay one step ahead of the hackers.”

  1. A design and style that’s friendly to online readers

Zhuang describes it in more detail: “Online visitors often scan through a Web page to sample the content first when they open a new Web page. If they feel like they are on the right page, they will slow down to read the full story. To enhance user’s experience on your small business website, you need to organize the content for scanning.”

He recommends three style points for online writing to keep in mind:

Break things down into short paragraphs, with headers if necessary

Use bullet points

Highlight important words or phrases.

Wright adds, “In the end, simplicity and basic colors are the best bet. Again, the content is the focus, not dancing clowns at the top of the page.

Do I Need a Website For My Business? Five Reasons Why Your Business Must Have Its Own Website

If your business has gotten this far without a website, you might be wondering: do I need a website for my business? What’s the point if my business is already successful without one?

The short answer is that there has never been a better or more important time to invest in a website for your business. A website offers a wide variety of benefits for small businesses, and most of these benefits increase in value exponentially year over year, just like the Internet itself.

So, why is having a website important? So, why is web design crucial to the success of a website? And how can your business benefit by having a crafted website? Here’s a primer.

1. Your website can help you market and grow your business 24/7

Your competition has an online presence, and so should you. Increase your brand awareness with a purposeful website. Attract targeted traffic to buy your products/services. Having a website allows you to market your business online, 24/7. There are several ways to market your website and business online.

Executing digital marketing strategies will help you reach your target audience. You will be able to connect with your customers, and increase conversion. It’s a good way to build a brand and build a loyal, targeted following.

 

You are also missing out on online traffic if you do not have a website.  And the traffic that captures site visitors’ information is valuable. It can lead to a deeper audience understanding. You can build relationships with prospects, leads, and customers. This is email marketing: a process of conversions.

2. Your website can help your business attract leads

92% of searchers select businesses on the first page of local search results. Every business wants to appear on the first page of Google’s search results. Don’t underrate its importance. The further down the first-page search results, the click-through rate drops. The majority of people click on one of the top three organic results. Google’s desktop search for the first position has a click-through rate of around 35%.

Ranking on Google’s first page for a related keyword is priceless. It will help your business attract leads, without having to pay for it. This is a gold mine. It adds value to your business as an intangible asset.

3. Your website is where potential customers can learn more about your business

Around 90% of website visitors first look for a company’s products/service page. Other sections of the site are then browsed.

This is your space to present your products/services’ points of difference. Build a better connection with your target market. Establish yourself as an expert. Without a website, clients could be going to a competition. It’s vital to position your business as the industry authority.

Business information should be easy to find on your website.  You can reduce support calls and improve customer satisfaction.

4. Your website allows you to own an asset- not lease it

Facebook is “leased” by many businesses to establish an online presence. You’ve bought into their whole platform. You don’t own anything. Your online presence can disappear overnight- along with the followers and likes you’ve grown.

The same notion applies to popular website builders such as Wix. With Wix, you’re “renting” your property, as opposed to owning it. You’ve bought into their platform. If they raise their fees, you can’t take your website elsewhere. Wix offers beautiful templates, but once you choose a template, you can’t change it- not so ideal with the ever-changing demands of the online world.

WordPress is the most popular website builder. 30% of the web uses WordPress. Wix and the likes make less than 1%.  It’s much more valuable to learn and understand WordPress. You can get the help you need with ease. It is open source, which means no one owns WordPress (free software). It has a massive theme (design) and plugin (functionality) ecosystem.

WordPress offers a better sense of security. It’s better for the long term. The options and control are far superior to other website builders. It’s a thorough solution that expands and enhances over time.

5. Your website’s design is critical for usability and user experience

Web design impacts user experience. 38% of people will disengage with a website if the design is unattractive. Google uses user experience signals to understand visitor engagement and interaction with websites.

For example, a visitor clicks on your website. Then presented with unattractive web design. The visitor bounces away from your website. This signals to Google that your website is not what they’re looking for. This can result in a dip in your Google rankings.

Another important user experience factor is a mobile-first design. 63% of all traffic now comes from a mobile device. It is of paramount importance for a website to be mobile optimized (i.e. mobile responsive). It will prime a website to please the users and Google.

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