7 keys to guarantee small business websites stand out right away

Bigger Pie Strategies home pageThe need for a website to click instantly with its users has never been more acute. To expect people to find the value on a page isn’t going to cut it.

More than half the people who are watching TV – 56%, according to a recent study – also are also surfing the Internet at the same time.

In other words, they are distracted, big time distracted, like not paying much attention at all to either medium. So the need to make sure a small business website gets the most attention it can is more important than ever. To fail at this task is to lose business.

 

Home pages are the first page most people visit on a website. The page must help people determine if the information they want or need is available on this website. This self-selection process benefits the business as much as the visitor. If the information about the products or services being marketed on the site doesn’t appeal to a visitor, it’s best if they leave. They won’t buy.

A successful home page usually means a more successful website, which ultimately means more business. Bad websites, especially with bad home pages, hurt small businesses in many ways, many of which the owner may never know or understand. A lack of visitors usually means a lack of business.

Here are my suggestions for making sure a home page resonates:

Is what makes your company special (there better be something!) near the top of the page? In newspapers, they talk about above the fold, that area on the page above where the fold is. That’s where the best news goes.

The computer equivalent is in the first screen, meaning before someone has to scroll down.

Make sure it speaks to the people who are your best customers. If you are struggling with it, then contact a small business marketing expert.

Is that unique value proposition simple and clear? Less is more. Say it in one sentence, maybe two. No more. People will respect your respect of them, and they will scroll down if they are interested. It can’t all be at the top. Allow them to digest and click around.

Is there a strong photo or logo or other image near the top of the home page? We are talking about a photo or a logo. On the Bigger Pie Strategies’ website, visitors see a huge chart, showing the growth in their revenue by working with me. Down lower on the page is a photo of me. That’s intentional. There’s no need to see me at the top. I don’t resonate with people who don’t know me and many of the people going to my website don’t know me. The chart is arresting and immediately sends a message about my company.

Does the telephone number stand out? Lowell Sheets, who bills himself as the SEO Magician, suggested at a recent networking event that the increased use of smartphones necessitates placing the telephone number near the top of the page, where it can be found quickly and easily. Most smartphones allow the person to hit one button and make a call to the number. Why make them search for it.

Is there a copyright on the page? All content on the Internet has a value. A copyright doesn’t guarantee that someone won’t steal your words, but it does give some protection if you find it’s been done to you. While I am no lawyer (nor do I play one on TV), but I do know that a copyright should include, based on an example using my company, the following:

 

© 2012 Bigger Pie Strategies LLC All Rights Reserved.

Are there links to other pages on the site? The beauty of web pages, as opposed to newspapers or books, is that they can be linked easily, allowing people dig deeper or wander as they wish. Provide them with opportunities. Link text every few paragraphs to pages where more information is available. Not only is it helpful, but it also is Google friendly. Don’t go crazy, but a few links within the text (see how I linked a few spots in this post) help visitors and search engine rankings. I help many of my clients accomplish this task effectively.

Is the information accurate and up-to-date? While this concern is important for all pages on a website, on no page is it more important than on the home page. 

 

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