When we’re talking about small business websites, it’s useful to remember that usually, less is more.
Customers aren’t coming to your website for any other reason than to find the things that they want. It’s really that simple.
Whether they want directions to your shop, a printable lunch menu, or the monthly calendar of company events, it’s important that they can find it without hassle or confusion. Customers will look elsewhere if they can’t find what they are looking for, and they will also remember that it took 15 clicks to find the lunch menu and 3 more clicks to download the pdf file.
Give customers choices, but not all at once.
People like choices, but they don’t want to think too much.
A choice between a ham sandwich and a turkey sandwich is great. I’ll have the turkey on rye. But when presented with too many choices, people often decide not to make one at all. Apple figured this out. Do you want an ipod or an iphone? A macbook or an imac?
Apple understands that intuitive design, simple choices, and familiarity create a user-experience that achieves results.
Set goals for your small business website.
Having clear and simple goals for your website goes a long way in achieving real business results.
Before the website is designed and developed, a short mission statement should be drawn up. Set just a few goals for the site. For example, one goal might be to increase the number of customers that request an estimate. Another goal might be to increase the number of people who recommend your company to friends and neighbors.
Make it easy for customers to do these things and you’ll see that they often react in very positive ways.
Allow visitors to find your content.
When there is less text, less graphics, less clutter, and less confusion, customers can focus on the things that are important.
When we allow them to find the things they need, rather than present them with walls of text or mountains of choices, they explore, interact, and use the website in order to do business with our company.
The goal of any small business website should be to satisfy the needs of customers. After all, if we don’t, someone else will.