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Feb 17, 2010

Top 4 Features of a Good Business Website

A good business website is not a luxury. It is your brand identity on the web. It must inspire confidence and invoke the desire to do business. Hence, regardless of whether your do business directly through your website or not, you cannot and must not tolerate a poor business website design.

Here are the top 4 features that go to make an attractive and successful business website.

The Design: OK. It's easy to get carried away here. You want your website to be a reflection of your business. You'd like it to be hi-tech, jazzy and glamorous. You want innovative features, you know, all the bells and whistles, and you can't wait to get your hands on it all.
Sadly, if you build a business website that looks like a video screen, your business will actually suffer, instead of doing well. Here's why.
Your website is not about you. It is more about what your customers want. Ideally, the home page must be simple, attractive and quick to load. It must give away just the right amount of information. It must also have the 'call to action', as in what it is that you want the visitor to do (click a link, visit another page, leave a testimonial etc). The extra features you put in (video, search box, log in box, news ticker and so on) must serve a useful function. Otherwise, it's simply a waste of time. Anything blinking, scrolling or dancing across the screen only distracts attention and gives the visitor a royal headache. According to surveys, the average visitor does not stay on a page for more than 4 seconds!

Navigation: For a visitor, a business website is like a maze. They do not have the time or the inclination to search for information. So, text, menus, images and video should be designed in such a way that the visitor can see whatever they want in a glance. In short, make it supremely easy for your visitors to decipher what your website is all about!

Information: People who visit your website come there for two purposes. First, they want to know more about you and your product; two, if they're still interested, they want to buy from you. In short, your visitor is looking for useful information. So, give it to them.
Include all kinds of important and useful information about your products. The About Us page of your business website must give visitors a clear view of your business philosophy. It must also establish rapport with them at a personal level. The Contact Us page must be complete and concise. It would help to accept comments, suggestions or queries through this page as this helps you keep in touch with your visitors.

Optimization: Your business website is an advertisement in itself. If it is pegged high on search engines like Google, you can expect to get a good web following. You have to do your best to woo search engines. This is done by adopting a number of small but useful measures like using the right keywords on the website, making use of Meta tags properly, using Alt tags for your images and so on. A specialist can guide you with this. Many website design companies offer search engine optimization as a part of their package.
Making your website business friendly is a matter of trial and error. Even so, the above information will help you build a business website that is attractive, helpful and innovative.

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