Walt Disney’s success is solidly based on his belief in imagination. In the same manner, in the Internet, you have to have the vision or foresight how to succeed in a virtual environment.
Since we have chosen to start a business in a virtual environment, we have to think of a way that everyone will know about our presence in this virtual community. Here are some elements that will help you get noticed. The common characteristics of successful business websites are:
The success of your business website is determined by its ability to provide value to your visitors. Does it answer the user’s questions? Does it satisfy users? What sets your website above its competitors, and why should users come to you? What’s in it for them? Your website must clearly convey your value proposition and state why customers should make a purchase or use your website. Improve your user experience by clearly explaining who you are and what your competitive advantage is.
Looking for web pages in the Internet is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To keep your site on top of the hay and visible, use a variety of online marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, publicity and a host of other techniques to promote your online business.
How do you feel when you see this on the web site you clicked on -“last updated August 1998”? You immediately feel an eerie atmosphere that send out signs that the website has been “abandoned” or, worse, “dead”. Remarkably successful sites always look fresh with new pages added, old pages updated, which keeps viewers that urge to come back to watch or see new features every time.
Gold Mine of Information
The successful site contains powerful, relevant and useful information. Search engines such as Google now even takes into account the quality of content in terms of ranking, and sites with low quality content could be filtered out of the search results. Your goal should be to create a website that a visitor cannot absorb in one visit to compel them to return again.
There should be consistency of arrows, icons to guide the visitor where to go—providing the “guided tour” facility but giving them the feeling that they are on their own.
Keep Visitors “Fenced-in”
Strive to keep your users coming back again and again to your site — or at least view several pages before leaving the site. After all, you spent a lot of effort, time and resources getting them into your site. Rethink how you present your content and entice users to visit other pages of the site. Get them to subscribe to your newsletter so they can know keep track of what your business is doing.
Quick Response to Queries
How fast you respond to inquiries and feedback from site visitors show how well you care for your customers. Inquiries should be attended to as quickly as possible. It is best to respond to queries within a day.
Portability Across Devices
As usage of mobile and tablet devices increase, it is important that your website must offer the same experience across all devices and not just for desktops. It is important to design your website across various platforms, including desktop, mobile and tablet devices, even Internet-enabled TVs and others. Make sure that your content can be displayed properly everywhere.
The site must have a budget and personnel support and should not be dependent on dole outs. Active participation of everyone involved and everyone knows what is going on. It emotes the professional atmosphere when a visitor comes in to visit.
Gathering Visitor Data and Feedbacks
Who are your visitors? Where do they come from? What are they looking at your website? These are but some of the questions that a successful website needs to be able to answer. Install web analytics such as the free Google Analytics or the paid WebTrends and understand your website’s traffic patterns. Your website should also make use of other tools to gather information about your users, normally done through surveys, newsletter subscriptions, contests, etc. to give you the idea about who your visitors are, their preferences and reactions.
Make use of other tools such as file transfer protocol, and e-mail supported programs. Also, make sure that your website is secured and protected from hackers and nefarious entities on the Web.
A good design correlates with appropriate choice of text and images, interplay of imagery with the content of the pages. There should be proper choice of graphics and colors.
Recommended Books on Successful Business Website:
- Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design
- Best Website: Simple Steps to Successful Websites
- Create a Successful Website
- The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Business Website – The Non-Technical Person’s Handbook on How to Hire a Web Designer and Manage the Creation, Design and Marketing of a Successful Business Website