In the age of social media and forums, having a brick-and-mortar business just isn’t enough. If you wish to stay ahead of the competition, or even keep up with the pack, it’s necessary to have your own business website. And when we say business Internet, we do not mean just a page customers can find if they look hard enough that has your address and telephone number.

Remember that your website represents the “front” of your business, just like your glass display presents your physical storefront. With today’s tech-savvy generation, this makes it all the more critical that your homepage be as slick, snazzy and up-to-date as possible. Just as a customer helpline and good customer relationship management is critical to retaining clients, having a professional business internet website is important if you are to attract new ones.

Here are five things you should keep in mind when you’re thinking about your business website.

Appeal

The importance of an attractive website cannot be overstated. You should make your website professional and polished if you want customers to choose you over the other guy.
The quality of your business website design tells your market that your products are high quality as well. Would you a car, computer or even sneakers from a website that looks like it was created by a twelve year old down the road?

User-friendliness

The internet is a competitive place. Very rarely do people spend hours online; for most users, they log on, go look at all the sites they wish to see, and log off to do their daily routine.
That said, people won’t spend much time on your website if it’s cluttered, an eyesore or contain so many links and confusing pages that they won’t know where to go. So make sure your website is streamlined and user-friendly. The adage KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) applies very well on your business Internet design.

Content should clearly point out benefits

When doing the content, keep the customer in mind. Highlight your products and how those products or services benefit them with clear and concise descriptions. Do not use complicated terms or old-world language as if you are selling a Jaguar; depending on your target segment, most users would appreciate clear and natural language as to why they should go for your business.
For truly compelling content on your business Internet website, you might want to hire the services of a professional copywriter or marketing communications specialist. After all, a pretty website with poor copy is a site with all flair but no substance.

Make your font readable

When choosing a font, go for readability over form. If your website has cursive writing that’s hard to read like a doctor’s, very few people will take the time to bother reading it at all save for the truly desperate. Same goes for font size. As for color, avoid using gray. In terms of readability, black is still the best and stands out amidst all lightly colored backgrounds.

A professional layout matters

After all that hard work, don’t make your business internet website look cluttered and disorganized by having text and graphics in awkward places, out of alignment, or spilling over the browser. This is where the polish part comes in. After creating the site, get a few people and ask their opinion on the layout. Strive for a look that’s clean, refreshing and easy on the eyes.

Dr. Eric Cornelison has been an top-level executive in a Fortune 500 company and has been writing about entrepreneurship for 20 years. This article was brought to you by Woosh, a business internet provider in New Zealand.

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