By Deborah Mitchell | Entrepreneur.com
You’ve all experienced it: Every once in a while you Google the name of a business or person and can't find a website, or nearly as bad, one that barely functions.
Whether you're building a website or you just want to make some improvements, let’s take a look at what can entice your audience to not only visit your online home, but give you their business as well.
1. Make the website easy to navigate. I've heard it said that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google search results. Your audience should never have to struggle to find you. Contact pages must be placed in an obvious location, and should be visible from every page.
If you want specific sections of your content to shine, then they need to stand out in the menu. To achieve this, place a link to that content in the main navigation bar or twice on the website under different categories, maybe once under “About Us,” and then under the appropriate category.
2. Guide your audience with color. You don’t have to be an expert in graphic design to spot a pleasant, inviting website from an unappealing one. Colors have a meaning, a symbolism and a connotation. You want the visual content of your website to guide your audience towards an emotion, and eventually a call to action.
If you are trying to portray a young, energetic, friendly business, then orange is your color. Are you wise, deep and want to establish sentimental connections? Try purple! Red makes a hard to miss statement, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to drown in the crowd.
3. Share your message with the world. You have spent a lot of money, time and energy on your products, so why not make them all shareable? Buttons that link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms (you've set up accounts, right?) should all be placed at the top of the page, or on the sidebar, and open in a new tab.
Your audience is eager to know you, but often needs to be led to the next step: “Like,” “Join,” “Share,” “Pin” and “Post” are calls to action that are as important as “Buy” in today’s market, so use them liberally.
4. Make sure all the parts work. Once they are engaged, an online audience tends to spend a long time on a website, so make sure all the parts work. Check all the buttons, double check for broken links, and clarify unclear menu items and services. Have a call to action on each page. You always want people to leave your website impressed with your brand.
When it comes to marketing your business, a website is a key component. It's the face of your product and often one of the reasons a potential client decides to do business with you.
Now, with all these tips in mind, take a look at your website objectively. When you are done, ask yourself: "Am I giving my business the best face it deserves?" If not, it's time for changes.