When you start your own business, having a website is just as important as having an “open” sign on your door. Without one, no one will know your business exists, or if they cannot find you online, they’ll simply look to do business with someone else. Owning a business today without a website is merely futile, and you’re constructing your own failure if you don’t produce one.

When a business has a reliable, good looking website, it works as a positive digital marketing tool that can help customers to find the information they need, make purchases, and share it with friends. It also has the potential to reach more clients on the other side of the world. However, simply having a website isn’t enough; it has to be attractive, user-friendly, and have a good SEO strategy – discover this SEO agency in Birmingham if you want to be found online. When your website has all these things and more, potential clients are more likely to stay on your website for longer and then go on to make a purchase.

So, how else can you make your website attractive to users? Read on to find out more.

Keep it short

The average time a new visitor spends on a website is around 8 seconds. That means you have just 8 seconds to get your message across, show that your business can provide exactly what they’re looking for and look good whilst you do it. Therefore, keep your website free of large clunky images, videos that take too long, boring animations or too much “clutter”. Make the search bar easy to navigate, include a small description of your company. Include attractive images that are relevant to your business and make sure they can easily link back to your social media pages. Even if they don’t hang around for longer than 8 seconds, they’re more likely to return if your website is attractive, easy to navigate and simplistic.

Share and follow

Social media traffic is what you need to keep people heading to your website and to be able to share your great content. Maybe you’ve posted a thoughtful update in your company blog, or you’re selling a great product that’s creating a lot of excitement. If people don’t have the opportunity to share these moments with their friends on social media, then how will anyone else know about them? Make sure you’re adding social sharing buttons on all your webpages and features.

Images are key

When we see websites filled with stock images, it can evoke a sense of distrust. And even make the company appear a little unprofessional. Opt for real images on your website and help potential customers to see that you’re a genuine company filled with real people, just like them. Photograph your office, your employees, etc. When you create a sense of trust and realism, you’re more likely to gain the trust of your customers and therefore get more sales.

Mobile optimization

In short, your website must be optimized for mobile devices. Otherwise, people won’t be able to use them properly, will get frustrated and simply look elsewhere. Your goal is to create a seamless experience for all your users so that they’re more likely to invest in your services.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.