Why Your Basic Website Isn't Enough

What does it take to make sure your website is
sufficient for potential customers searching for your services?

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One of the first things new businesses consider is what type of website they need. It's very tempting to throw up a basic page through a site that uses cookie-cutter templates, and that certainly is better than not having a website at all. However, if you want to engage your site visitors and convert browsers into buyers, you need far more than a basic page or two.

Building a website is an expensive, time-consuming endeavor for most small businesses, which is why 46 percent don't have a site and 35 percent feel their business is too small for a website. No matter how small your business, though, a website allows consumers to do some preliminary research or share information about your company with family and friends.

There are several reasons a basic website isn’t enough in the global economy all businesses face today — here are nine ways you can avoid falling into that category:

1. Offer Thorough Information

Have you ever visited a company website to find information on a business, only to be met with blank pages? This aggravates the consumer and may create the impression that you lack transparency. Your website needs to be large enough to cover your history, your philosophy as a business and your privacy and return policies.

2. Reach Local Consumers

If you want to reach local consumers, you need a mobile-friendly website, since 68 percent of them search on their smartphones before ever entering a brick-and-mortar store or choosing to do business with a company. If you want to gain an edge over your competition, having an online presence is a must.

Website Design | TRex Technologies LLC

Dittmann Insurance Agency specializes in offering insurance for local businesses, such as farms and other small businesses in the area. They also provide personal insurance and umbrella policies. Note how the website clearly shows what hours the agency is open for business and where they're located. However, they go a step further and provide a form where you can request a free quote, as well.

3. Create Consistency

Consumers appreciate consistency across all the platforms you use for marketing your business. Whether your brand is on social media, has a website or produces a print ad, consumers should easily recognize it as your brand. If you don’t create a custom site, then it may not match the rest of your branding efforts. This confuses consumers.

4. Add Visual Interest

The first impression you make on site visitors can make or break your relationship with them. It takes the average site visitor 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website. If your site is not visually pleasing, you risk losing that person rather than converting them into a customer.

About 94 percent of those surveyed indicated a poor design would make them click away from a website. This is where graphic designers come into the equation. A professional designer brings a level of professionalism to your images you won’t get from stock photos.

Adding Visual Interest | TRex Technologies LLC

Aiia is a company that sells personalized promotional products to businesses. They use unique images to show how their promotional products stand apart from the competition. If you click or mouse over one of the interesting photos, a full description appears.

5. Allow Handicap Accessibility

There are many ways to make your website accessible to those with special needs. For example, there are people with visual impairments, color blindness or physical limitations that make it more challenging to navigate a site. With a basic website, you don't have the option to add plugins or features that improve accessibility.

6. Integrate Social Media

More than 77 percent of small businesses use social media as part of their marketing strategy. Your website should make it simple for site visitors to follow you on social media and see what you've been up to. Integrate social media buttons on your site or install a feed to show what you've recently posted. This also allows you to use the same content across a few different mediums.

Integrate Social Media | TRex Technologies LLC

Blake Envelopes does several things well on their far-from-basic website. They use beautiful images as a backdrop, include unique graphics and make it easy for site visitors to follow them on social media. Just under the fold, the site offers links to social media. When you click on a link, the site redirects you to the company’s profile on that specific platform.

7. Mobile Responsiveness

More than 50 percent of website traffic in the United States is via mobile devices. If your site isn’t already mobile-friendly, now is the time to make it so. While a basic website seems like a promising idea, if the site doesn’t adapt well to smaller screens, you’ll lose those mobile visitors who land on your page. Spend the extra time and money to create a site that’s responsive on all devices.

8. Feature Unique Content

Content is 62 percent cheaper and gets three times as many leads as outbound marketing. Developing strong content that attracts your target audience won’t happen overnight, but putting consistent effort into developing a website rich in content will pay off in site traffic and visitors who stick around your site once landing there.

Feature Unique Content | TRex Technologies LLC

Secureworks offers cybersecurity for businesses. To engage those looking for these services, they offer videos and case studies to show how powerful their services are. You can search these resources by type, such as case studies, data sheets, white papers and videos. Or, you can browse a variety of featured topics.

9. Leave Breadcrumbs

Have you ever visited a site and found yourself at a dead end? If you don’t want to relentlessly hit your back button or waste a lot of time going back to where you started, breadcrumbs are an excellent navigational tool.

A basic website doesn’t allow for unique features, such as filtering or breadcrumb navigation. However, as a small business, you’ll want these features on your site to keep visitors happy and make the entire customer experience better.

Go Beyond Basic

A basic website gets your business online, but if you want to engage your site visitors, you'll need additional features and increased focus on the functionality of your site. Whether you add all the elements listed above, add a few new ones or use only a couple, your website will better convert your site visitors into customers by utilizing these elements.

Lexie | TRex Technologies LLC

Lexie is a web designer and blogger. She owns and manages Design Roast, a design blog. To find out more about Lexie (or to say “hello”) follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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