It’s no secret that in order to keep your business current and relevant in today’s world, you are going to need a website. What most people don’t understand, however, is that having a website just to have one is a waste of a useful tool that can drive sales, raise awareness, and build relationships with your visitors.

All too often we see business sites that just seem to lie there as a passive placeholder. If your business website does not benefit your business, or you are not seeing the results you were hoping for, it’s time to rethink your website and rebuild. This may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry, we will be here along the way and we have broken down the steps for you so that you can do this all by yourself!

What is the purpose of your site?

This question may seem simple, but it requires a lot of thinking. You have to think about what your business needs. Do you want your website to attract people to your brick and mortar store or do you want to use the website for e-commerce and sell things directly on the site? Do you want your site to be a source of information for those who use your products or do you want your site to be a place where you can build relationships with your customers?

Keep in mind that your site can have multiple purposes, but it is best to prioritize them because you will be making a lot of design and content choices based on the purpose of your site.

Now that you have a purpose, you can start building your site. Always keep in mind the purpose of your site for every page you build out.

6 Essential Characteristics of a Good Business Site:

1. Easy Navigation is a must-have on any website. Visitors should be able to easily find the information they are looking for, and fast. Think about your own experience. How many times have you been to a website, took a few seconds to look around, couldn’t figure out what the purpose of the website was, and just left? Put important information on multiple pages, clearly label links, and organize your site. Put yourself in a visitor’s shoes and try to think about what information they would want and where they would look for it.

2. A Call to Action takes the purpose of your site to the next level. For example, if you want to use your site to drive sales, encourage people to check out your web store by placing links to the store’s page in eye catching places, or maybe even offer them a discount. Or is your goal to build relationships with your customers? Try giving them an incentive to become a member on your site or to sign up for a free newsletter. Giving freebies is a great way to get a visitor’s attention and to get them to take action according to your purpose.

3. Attractive Design is a no brainer. Visitors won’t bother with your site if they can’t make heads or tails of it. Make sure your site includes a great header that captures a user’s attention and some eye-catching graphics. Don’t overdo it, though! Having too many graphics or animations may distract the visitor from your content. You also don’t want your site to seem too uncoordinated and “overdone”. Another design note: make sure your content is easy to read. Visitors get turned off when the font colors and size are too hard to read. Make sure that when you write your content, you format it for readability, too. Make use of line breaks, bold words, and bullet points to make sure your visitors can skim through easily.

4. Sticky Content is the meat of your website. The content on your web pages determines the quality of your website. So what do we mean by “sticky content”? This is a phrase that describes great content that gets visitors to spend more time on the website or gets them to return. So how do you get your content to become “sticky”? You want to make sure that the content on your site holds value for your visitors. Try to provide useful information or interesting points of view. Plainly stated, if you have genuinely interesting and valuable information on your site, people will value your site and come back again.

5. Credibility is the key to doing business online. The internet can be a dangerous place full of scams, viruses, and shady dealings. A visitor will not do business with you if they do not feel that they can trust your site. So how do some sites seem more credible than others? For the most part, along with site design, it is the attention to detail. Scammers are often looking for a quick buck, so they do they put very little effort into their sites. There are small signs that visitors look for when they determine credibility. Some of these signs include a unique domain name (ex: www.thisbiz.com), an email address that coincides with that domain name (ex: john@thisbiz.com), and maybe even a toll free number. All of these things show that the business is invested in what it does, and makes the visitor feel more comfortable about doing business with it. You can obtain all of these credibility boosters easily through Webs!

6. Mobility is becoming more and more essential as time goes on. Some experts say that mobile internet browsing will be bigger than desktop internet browsing by as soon as 2015. Mobile browsing and mobile online shopping are some of the biggest online trends, so needless to say, it is important to be ahead of the curve and have a website that can be easily accessed on a mobile device. It’s okay if you don’t have the know-how to do this because Webs has a Mobile App that makes it easy: just activate it on the app page, make a few design selections, and you are good to go. Our mobile app was just updated with a bunch of new features, making it a must-have on any site.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Webs’ Social Media Marketing Manager. Get more from Irina on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

37 Responses

  1. Reply
    Sahil Sachdeva
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:44 AM

    Great Post! I find that many people have a too simple design on webs. Or they add to many graphics and colors and overdue it. This post will help people avoid making mistakes like those!

  2. Reply
    pascal
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:53 AM

    i wanna know how to put videos,photos in my web site

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Mar 21, 2011 - 09:11 AM

      @Pascal: You can install photo and video gallery to your site via the Webs App store. You can find this information through your control panel: http://members.webs.com/s/panel/

  3. Reply
    FriendUs
    Mar 18, 2011 - 03:03 PM

    Great article webs! nice to see these articles again!

  4. Reply
    MAKE Waves
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:15 PM

    hahahah we were just discussing using our site http://www.computerzombies.webs.com as a place to sell things and voilla this shows up i love it

    -the MAKE Waves team

  5. Reply
    InnerNet Diva
    Mar 19, 2011 - 11:43 AM

    Thank you for this concise & informative article!

  6. Reply
    Mathieu
    Mar 19, 2011 - 05:00 PM

    Arcticle tres pertinent!

  7. Reply
    Sky Thomas
    Mar 20, 2011 - 12:30 AM

    Thank you for this useful information…

  8. Reply
    Michael
    Mar 27, 2011 - 04:25 AM

    This is a great article! We are putting together an effort to make sure that our website utilizes all six for the essential characteristics of a business website.

  9. Reply
    SimplySims
    Apr 01, 2011 - 03:20 AM

    LOL… kudos on the great article. This was a win-win 4 everyone, i must say. Very useful information, plus you found a way to promote yourself here at webs.com.

    If blogs like this is what i hav2 look forward2, then this sounds like the right place 4 me :) …regardless of the few reviews i read about that “work from home job” rummor. I think I will give webs.com a whirl, see you soon :D

  10. Reply
    Ray
    Apr 01, 2011 - 01:29 PM

    Thx. Awesome tips. Since Ive been building my webs website it is way much better than my last provider (VP) and I love it. But a work in progress and good to read all the helpful advice, tricks and tips. Thank you ‘webs’.

  11. Reply
    Nem Thapa
    Apr 01, 2011 - 03:54 PM

    I’m still in the FREE package and my website now looks better than ever. I’m loving it. Thank you WEBS.

  12. Reply
    X-ray
    Apr 04, 2011 - 07:19 AM

    Thanks for this wonderful tip I’ll try that! well done

  13. Reply
    Ian
    Apr 05, 2011 - 06:08 PM

    Great tips and an excellent Bog post – well done.

    The Mobile App looks great will have to set it up – thanks again Webs, keep up the good work.. :-)

  14. Reply
    Joseph Wabwire
    Apr 06, 2011 - 05:09 AM

    Great tips will give it a try. Thanks

  15. Reply
    damibless
    Apr 09, 2011 - 02:55 AM

    Thank’s that is good

  16. Reply
    social anxiety
    Apr 11, 2011 - 05:39 PM

    Design, at least for me, matters most. I have an SEO business and my website ranks number one in Columbus,Ohio. However, since the design is very dull, my biz has suffered.

    So what I’m doing is redesigning my website so that it will be more attractive to visitors. Hopefully, I’ll attract a lot more customers in the future.

  17. Reply
    Crystal
    Apr 12, 2011 - 12:55 PM

    Love the article. I was wondering, is there a way I can put a scroll bar in the main body of my home page!? Also, there are lines on my website that aren’t apart of the design * they were in the intial design but Ive tried changing them in the advanced CSS form and everything and they wont go away! They are these blue thin lines that dont match the design and I dont know how to get rid of them! PLEASE HELP ME! I built this site for a company and they have asked me to get rid of these lines and place a scroll bar, hoping you can help me out because Im not that advanced in code!

  18. Reply
    Annaliz McGuire
    Apr 13, 2011 - 05:38 PM

    Thanks for the great tips and straightforward presentation. I’ve been needing to tidy up my site and this has given me the pointers I need. Way to go Webs!

  19. Reply
    Jeff
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:39 PM

    Just the info I needed for my new webs business website! I wa stranded but now am good to go,thanx webs for great work! KUDOS!!!

  20. Reply
    Apostle S.A.Angami
    Apr 18, 2011 - 06:55 AM

    That really effective and powerful ,

  21. Reply
    Romeo Kern
    Apr 18, 2011 - 07:02 AM

    why can I NOT add a PayPal button to my Site without upgrading, thats a ripoff

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Apr 18, 2011 - 08:46 AM

      @Romeo: You do not have to upgrade your account to add PayPal option to the Web Store App. If you need assistance adding PayPal, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team.

  22. Reply
    Mudassir Sidiqi
    Apr 18, 2011 - 10:48 PM

    I want to thanks webs from the deapest core of my heart for providing such an effective service and it is 100% free.
    thanks so much

  23. Reply
    Gopal ji Srivastava
    Apr 19, 2011 - 08:33 PM

    Thank you for help.
    we want to increse our web site to add photo and Text matter.

  24. Reply
    Thomas Muscarella
    Apr 20, 2011 - 04:58 PM

    My comment is more a question. I think I have done many of the things in this article to make a good web site, but my site is very local to the area in which I live. How can I let people in my area know about my web site. Would it be good to use print ads or can I do something else.

  25. Reply
    kjforce
    Apr 20, 2011 - 08:53 PM

    I am an author and never thought I could build a website I was very apprehensive..but..I did it with the help from the support team. Anytime I needed them they were there and trust me sometimes I felt so overwhelmed, again they were there walking me through. They are still there and helping us to improve even more.
    Thank you WEBS for being there and not leaving us hang..I have had many compliments on my site by others who had website designers do theirs and they paid alot of money..Kudos WEBS..

  26. Reply
    kroffiMedia
    Apr 21, 2011 - 04:53 AM

    Fantastic and great web tools on the market..thanx webs !!

  27. Reply
    markamoment
    Apr 21, 2011 - 05:55 AM

    I would also like to add that it is very important to be Genuine, genuine in your desire to make impact, genuine in your desire to make a difference, genuine in your desire to help, genuine in your desire to make it big and then follow it up with hardwork and never ever give up. Best of Luck
    Mark A Moment
    http://www.markamoment.com (daily thought for the day)

  28. Reply
    Sue Robson
    Apr 23, 2011 - 09:14 AM

    Hello,
    I have created my own website for free, it has been quite a challenge to do it, yet very rewarding.
    I chose to create my website for free, as I feel it challenged me more to explore creatively how I could do this, market and network my website, it has taken over a year to reach this place.
    I am at the point now I need some assistance to expand further, as my life path is changing direction and career path.
    Information like this is valuable and the support is appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    Sue

  29. Reply
    Dr. M Raj Sharma
    Apr 29, 2011 - 10:54 AM

    1. Website should be absolutely informative, problem solver and able to provide help & guidelines one is looking for.
    2. Visitor should be able to contribute , buy the art for charity may be able to donate for the cause if one prefered.
    3. It should also include the blogs for suggestion & improvements & comments for criticizing if something should go wrong.

    Dr. Raj Sharma

  30. Reply
    kishwar ali khan
    May 07, 2011 - 05:36 AM

    i like your webs compny and like to anjy more

  31. Reply
    Lauren
    May 08, 2011 - 02:36 PM

    Very helpful Webs!

  32. Reply
    safdar hayat
    May 12, 2011 - 07:55 AM

    oh great info…………….thnx

  33. Reply
    SMD
    May 13, 2011 - 06:30 PM

    Question. How do we add new stuff to our websites? I just made one over 4 weeks ago and I still haven’t found out. Please help.

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      May 16, 2011 - 02:10 PM

      @SMD: You can edit your website by clicking the “Edit Website” Tab located in the top right-hand corner.

  34. Reply
    K.Singh - Web Designer
    Feb 08, 2013 - 11:23 AM

    I also think that good interactive features that allow business and customers to engage with each other are also very important on small business website.

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