Here are the elements a business website should have to be most effective. An effective business website should be a win for the visitor and a win for the owner. The visitor wants a solution and the owner wants more business.
When someone visits a website they are looking for information, a solution, or a product or service. They are at a site to satisfy their needs. We call this being tuned into “WII-FM” What’s In It For Me?” The site must immediately begin to provide a “WII-FM” value to the visitor or they will go away.
A lot of websites showcase the company, their mission, their knowledge, client list, their staff, the staff’s experience and then offer a contact us button. Most visitors who find the site through search engines are visiting for “WII-FM”. This disconnect from the audience causes the website to be ineffective. An effective business website connects with its audience because it delivers “WII-FM”.
For a visitor, the effective business website should:
- Have a specific audience or target group to which it appeals.
- Speak directly to the audience with great focused content.
- Anticipate and address the audience’s questions with good advice.
- Help to educate the audience about their problem.
- Provide free premium resources that offer a deeper knowledge about specific solutions.
- Offer the business’ solutions, products and process in a valuable way.
- Offer case studies of the business’ solutions that demonstrate successful outcomes.
- Offer testimonials of clients pleased with the business’ successful solutions.
- Make it easy for the visitor to purchase a product or service.
- Make it easy for the visitor to communicate with the business.
- Make it easy for the visitor to share the site with social networks.
- Be viewable on all web capable devices, including mobile, tablet, laptops and desktops – after all, “the website is the business” on the Internet. This is called a “responsive website”.
For the owner, an effective business website should:
- Be easy for the business owner to update with current information without knowing how to code, using any computer with a web browser.
- Remain the sole property of the business and be hosted on the owner’s hosting account.
- Run on a free content management system that’s reliable and current with todays Internet and is monitored to be free of bugs and hackers. We recommend and use the Joomla CMS and many websites run on Wordpress.
- Be easily expandable as the business grows, with the capability of adding expansion plugins like blogs, ecommerce, memberships, calendars, events, registrations, newsletters, social sharing, videos, galleries, and more.
- Be easily indexed and found on the first page of search engines for their keywords and content. Google has more than 6 billion searches a day!
- Speak clearly to the ideal client through search engines and cause them to take action, visit, learn and connect.
- Capture qualified lead information for the company’s sales team.
- Continue to connect with qualified leads through newsletters and email marketing to offer more knowledge, solutions and offers to help.
- Track visitor information and generate website key performance reports automatically to help the business to focus on the needs of the visitor.
There you have my take on the essential elements of an effective business website. A site that benefits both the visitors and businesses equally well by providing solutions to the visitor and more qualified customers to the business.