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Build a better website

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Tips on how to stand out from the crowd.

Some 71 percent of business purchase decisions in the U.S. begin with an Internet search. Make sure to capture potential customers with a professional website. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd:

  1. Hire a Web designer. Your website is your first contact with a customer. Make sure that it appears professional, but not overdone. Web designers have the experience and expertise that come with being in the business.
  2. Make navigation easy. Let your customer access as much information as they can with as few mouse clicks as possible. Pictures of previous projects, product reviews and business contacts are a few examples of at-the-ready information customers want and need.
  3. Create excitement on your home page—that’s your storefront display. Use pictures, special offers and videos to make customers want to learn more.
  4. Keep things fresh. It isn’t enough to create an exciting storefront—you need to update it. Show customers how you’re leading the industry through product announcements, links to articles, technology news, blogs—anything that positions you as the current expert.
  5. Check your work. Nothing screams “amateur” louder than misspelled words, dead links, obsolete information and pictures that don’t load (or that are so small it takes a magnifying glass to see them). If you’re going to take the time to create a website, take the time to do it right.
  6. Put your talented staff on the site with direct contact information for specific types of questions—a generic email address doesn’t inspire much response.

Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer based in Plymouth, Minn.

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