Often people say to me, "My business Web site isn't working. I'm not getting anything out of it." Are you one of these people?
Before you can get something out of your business Web site, you have to put in the work to build a Web site that will attract the visitors you want and encourage them to do what you want.
Use this checklist to ensure that you're building a Web site that will be a business asset.
1) Does your business Web site have a professional appearance?
In most cases, cookie-cutter site templates and/or home-made Web sites stand out like sore thumbs, and do nothing to encourage anyone to do business with you. Unless you are an experienced Web site designer, you should hire one to design a business Web site for your company.
2) Does your business Web site provide "real" content?
The "scroll through the endless sales pitch" approach is vastly overdone, to the point that it's become an instant turn-off for visitors. Pictures of your latest trip don't cut it either.
Your visitors want to see information about your business, and your products and/or services. If it's relevant, they will also expect additional information on your topic. For instance, if you offer bookkeeping services, additional information on keeping records or tax tips are great value-added content. No content = no return on the visitor's part.
3) Does your business Web site make it easy for people to do business with you?
Somewhere on your business Web site, you need to have a page that has your full contact information, including your mailing address and your phone number(s). It's not good enough to just have an e-mail address, especially one that starts "webmaster@". Carrying contact information on every page is even better.
4) If you have an e-commerce site, do you provide adequate online payment options for your customers?
If you want people to buy your product, you have to make it easy for them. Invest in a good shopping cart, and make sure that you offer payment options such as credit cards and other online payment options, such as Paypal. People don't want to have to bother to print off and mail in a form and a cheque - nor should they have to. ( For more on Canadian online payment options, see my article on Canadian E-Commerce Solutions.)
5) If you're selling a product or service online, does your business Web site adequately address your visitor's security concerns?
Customers are concerned about transmitting personal information, such as credit card numbers, over the Web. You need to not only have the appropriate technology (such as SSL) in place, but let your potential customers know about it, by putting your "Secure Site" certificates in prominent locations, and having a page that addresses your visitor's concerns, such as a FAQ.
Tags: E - commerce Computers