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Web DesignSmall Business Website success in 3 steps

When you decide to build a small business website for the first time it can seem daunting. Not only is there the design and build to do, although there are plenty of online resources to help you, and most people overlook the most important things – the things that make the website a success. This is not the colour, or domain name or what font to use, but the core marketing principles of website design that will bring you business.

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. How will they find you?
  3. How will you turn visitors into customers?

This may seem obvious, but so many people don’t even consider these important questions, focusing instead on the web site design.

Figure out who your target audience is

This is focal question that you should give a great deal of thought to. You should imagine your perfect customer and build your website as though you were them. By doing this you will find a design, mood and writing style that fits your target audience and give your website a better chance of converting traffic into sales. Picture them clearly in your mind… and don’t just say “erm…. I want to sell to everybody”. Unless you have an endless budget you will never be able to market to everybody, so don’t try until you’ve got your first billion in the bank.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What area do they live in?
  • Age? Sex?
  • Occupation or interests?
  • Income?
  • Why or when will they need you?

By drilling down into these questions you will discover that you are trying to sell to a particular niche – which is a far cheaper and more effective way of marketing. Now you are ready to go to the second question…

How will they find you?

By targeting a niche market you will find it easier to drive traffic to your site from search engines, because you can figure out what keywords your ideal customers will type in to find you online.

Don’t just guess though, do the searches yourself, and take a look at the competition. Use whats good about them, suss out and discard what’s not and identify how you are unique and better than them. You can then use an online keyword research tool like Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner – free and the best out there – to find the best of them. These tools will tell you both how much traffic you can expect to receive, and also how much competition there is. The best keywords and keyword phrases are the ones with the highest number of monthly searches but only medium or low competition. This low hanging fruit will get you decent amounts of targeted traffic.

How will you get your visitors to buy from you?

Don’t just tell you visitors about you, what you sell or what you do. Don’t just list the features of your goods, but highlight the benefits. Offer loads of incentives to buy like discounts, extras and free stuff. Make your Unique Selling Point (USP) and it’s Benefits clear to your visitors. Let them understand how you are different – and better – than your competition and make the buying process obvious and simple to follow.

By building in some sort of sales funnel – identify your important pages and put clear calls to action on these landing pages – you will help visitors to make clear choices and encourage sales. Make all pages on your website lead to these pages so that the call to action – what you want your visitors to do – is the only conclusion to the information you are giving them. Optimise these pages by calling them by what you are selling, not just ‘products’ and have a separate page for each product. That way search engines will recognise these pages as important and visitors will make that important final step – to become a customer.

By considering these 3 things?you will have taken the first important steps towards?constructing a successful small business website.