You have only seconds to grab the attention of
your Web site visitor. How are you using your time?
You've spent money and time creating a logo,
letterhead, and brochures for your business. You care about your
company message, and you want customers to know you care about
quality. You've hired professional graphic artists, designers, and
printers to do the job.
But what have you done about your small business
Web site design? Does it match the quality and look of your other
marketing materials? Since the Web has more reach than the rest of
your marketing materials, it should demonstrate the highest quality.
And yet so many business owners have hired amateurs, relatives,
teenagers, or created McWeb (fast setup, cookie-cutter) sites
An important distinction about the Web is the
amount of time you have to create interest for your Web site
visitor. You have only seconds to make a great impression. How are
you using yours? Now is the perfect time to see if your small
business Web site design needs some tweaking to make that great
impression. Visit your own Web site and check out our three-step
approach below to see if it's time for you to consider a change.
click to review your Web site home page, ask yourself what your
current business goals are. Do you want to sell product? Do you
want to sell services? Do you want to provide information for
prospective buyers? What do you want to accomplish? Your goals
and your business may have changed since you first put up your
small business Web site. Deciding on your current business goals
will help you to decide on the main focus for your small
business Web site.
your firm's largest strengths are. This can be done through
customer focus groups, surveys, interviews, or informal
processes. The result should be something similar to your unique
selling proposition or how customers benefit from doing business
Now, visit the
home page of your Web site. What is the first item that you see?
Put one and two together, and shouldn't your small business Web
site home page immediately feature your biggest strengths or a
means to your goal (or preferably both?)
The Web is filled with what not to do. Yesterday,
I saw a consulting Web site that I couldn't tell was an accounting
Web site until I clicked through three pages. A speaker's Web site
had a huge picture of the speaker that took forever to download and
was not by any means Mr. America. And a photographer's Web site had
a long, irrelevant Flash movie about the creator's dog. I don't know
of any customer who is going to sit there and try to guess what
business you're in. They'll just go to other Web sites and do
business with the small business Web site that has a clear message
If you want to make money on the Web, use your
Since 1995, Sandi Smith of San Jose, CA has helped small business
owners and solo-preneurs make money online through Web site design
and development. Her Web sites have paid back in as little as a week
for some clients.
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