If you’re a small business, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra money lying around to spend on a big time marketing and branding campaign. In this digital age, having a viable website and active social media pages are vital to the success of your business. A professional looking website tells your clients (and potential clients) that you are a strong leader in your field and are fully capable of handling their business needs. But more often than not, small businesses don’t understand how to make their website and social media work for them.
It’s easier than you think. Keep these best practices in mind as you create an online presence in order to help your followers and customers have the best user experience they can with your company.
Don’t Bog It Down With Unnecessary Fodder
Most of the time, small businesses don’t need to tweet or blog several times per day to build the right kind of audience. Think about it. Do you care if your accountant uses Twitter or blogs 3 times per day? Probably not. You want them to do your taxes. So, if you’re the accountant, publish less often and keep the content high quality.
Don’t Make Me Think!
Also the title of a book by Steve Krug, it perfectly explains how you should be designing your user experience online. Basically, the premise is that a good website should let users accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. Customers who have a hard time searching, navigating, or finding information will be more likely to give up and leave your site much more quickly.
*Bonus: Don’t Make Me Think is actually a great book that can give you guidance as you step into the world of customer usability.
Include Calls-to-Action On Your Website
A call to action is another level of interaction between you and potential customers that tempts them to engage further. Want customers to contact you? Show them where they can do it. Want them to buy your product? Make it easy to purchase. Overall, inviting people to call or buy your products is important. Some people may not even realize it’s an option unless you specifically tell them that it is an option.
Use Visuals… Strategically
A picture is worth a thousand words right? Using visuals effectively can enhance readability when they replace or reinforce long blocks of textual content. In fact, an eye-tracking study conducted by Nielsen suggests that users pay “close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information.” However, that doesn’t mean that you should bombard your page with photos at every possible opportunity. Be wise. Choose images that simplify or enhance the point you’re trying to make.
What it boils down to these days is creating something simple, concise, and effective. Making a website that’s easy to understand with information that is easily accessible will help ensure that customers not only have a good user experience, but that they see you as a reputable service that can fulfill their professional needs.