- Make sure the site design is appealing and follows good usability standards.
A web site can be optimized for good performance and even rank well in search engine results but no conversions result. If the site is too cluttered, has bad design or is just basically unappealing, site visitors will not find what they are looking for and will give up using the site. Usability tells us web sites have 4-6 seconds to grab a first-time visitors attention - so be sure the design & layout of the site is effective.
- Utilize keywords visitors would use to find the site.
Turn your focus to the site visitor. The actual purpose of the site is not necessarily self promotion, it is to serve the site visitor. So build your site around keywords that Internet users would type in a search to find your products or services. Then help them find that information quickly and easily on your site.
- Get the right people doing the right jobs.
With the ease of web site builders and content management systems offered by hosting companies, many small businesses develop their own web sites. Their are literally thousands of new sites created every day. Many site owners believe they can administer the technical, content and search optimization aspects of their site, not to mention the Internet marketing of the site. I suggest that using a professional in those areas can make all the difference in your site performance. It is very unlikely small business owners know all the ins-and-outs of web site development. The ROI for using professionals in at least one those areas far outweighs the cost to get it right.
- Make quality a goal of your site.
Don't settle for a pieced-together, half-hearted web site - it won't attract many site visitors, it won't rank well in search engines and it certainly won't have many conversions. A small business would never think of creating other marketing materials of poor quality - so why should they settle for a poor quality web site, which has the potential to reach significantly more people? They should do what it takes to create a high quality site, even if that means hiring a consultant or designer.
Just like many other aspects of doing business, what is put into a site is likely what will come out of it. So I suggest small businesses take the steps necessary to achieve better web site performance and enjoy the significant results of doing things right!