Let’s start with a question: Why do you want an effective website for your startup?
Well, it’s because you want to create a thriving online business — and, in order to achieve that basic goal you have to get things right.
Once you’re clear on why you want an effective website and understand how a user-friendly website is the best way to sell your product or offer a service, let’s dig into the details of how to create a website that will keep you accountant up at night counting all the money.
5 Ways to Build an Effective Website
1. You need to build a solid foundation.
In the case of a website, a solid foundation starts with getting a reliable web hosting provider that offers high-speed, minimum downtime, ironclad security, flexible features, excellent support, and affordable pricing.
2. Make your website a beautiful place to visit.
Next, you need to choose a website designer with plenty of talent and experience. If you’re on a tight budget, you can always build your own website using a website builder, but when you can afford it, it’s definitely worth hiring someone to build you a professionally-designed website.
3. Recognize that business itself hasn’t changed much.
Although the way business is transacted and products and services have changed a little, the way business works is still the same as it was a hundred years ago. If, for instance, your website makes customized metal signs, signage isn’t a new idea. What’s different is that a customer can get a very good idea of your entire business model in five minutes with a few mouse clicks and make a snap decision to stay or leave. With that in mind, you have to make it easy to win your customer over in the first few minutes after they land on your website. However, you also have to extend the same quality of courtesy and customer service that a customer would expect if they walked into a real store.
4. Aim to educate your customer.
When it comes to website marketing, the traffic you get directly from the search engines is always the highest quality. It’s not only free, but customers who make the effort to find a business like yours by entering a search engine query are more motivated to buy if they see what they like. So aim for high SEO ranking, preferably placing within the top ten listings for your keyword.
The way to optimize search engine traffic is not through any tricks of the trade—Google has sophisticated algorithms now that can detect black hat techniques fast and then ban your website just as quickly from their search engine placements. Instead, you have to consistently create great content and aggressively promote your blog posts on social media.
5. Don’t leave visitors guessing.
The best way to define an effective website is in the negative: an effective website is one that does not leave a visitor guessing about what you can do for them. There are many reasons why a website may be considered poor—bad design, ubiquitous stock image graphics, badly written copy, difficult navigation, cluttered advertising, and so on. However, even if they clean up all these issues, they will still have a poor website if it’s ambiguous and visitors can’t figure out the purpose of the website.
So how do you eliminate ambiguity? Here are 3 suggestions:
- 1. Tell visitors who you are and why you can help them.
- 2. Tell visitors exactly what type of help you can give them.
- 3. Tell visitors how much you charge and how they can pay. If pricing isn’t something you can declare before getting a good idea about their project, then make it clear how they can contact you, explain their project, and get a quotation.
How to Flourish Online
Let’s be realistic. You can’t expect to flourish online on the quality of your product or service alone. The world isn’t going to beat a path to your door because you’ve created a better mousetrap. You need a good “shop” where people can browse around a little before deciding to buy. Although the idea of building a friendly little corner store is only a metaphor, you can certainly build a user-friendly website where visitors can enjoy a virtual tour before making a buying decision.