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Article is submitted on behalf of Charles Preston, who is President of Click Response, a website marketing and design firm where you can get affordable search engine optimization that works.
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Small Business Website Design Strategies

Chrono stock

May 05, 2006

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For a small business a website can have a massive impact on whether that small business thrives or dies out. There are several very important differences between a website built for a large business and a website built for a small business. It’s important that a small business and the website design company who builds the website for that small business are aware of those differences so that the website has the greatest positive impact.

First of all don’t try to look and act like the big boys. If you are a small business please do not plaster your site with platitudes like “family owned since 1642” or “customer service is our specialty” blah blah. IBM and Coke can get away with having pretty sites that blather on and on using all kinds of corporate jargon but a small business cannot do that. Here’s why…

Big companies are already established brands. They can rest on their laurels now; at least they think they can. A small business website needs to grab the visitor by the throat with some hard hitting headlines and copy and get busy proving its case because before visiting that website it’s likely the visitor has never heard of that small business.

Think of it like a courtroom. The small business is on trial it’s products and services are suspect from the get go. That small business needs to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that it can provide the best value over its competitors. What’s worse is that you only have about 8 seconds from the time the visitor hits the homepage to the time they click the back button to hook them into your sales copy.

The number one difference here is the copy. A small business website needs to be a life support unit for its unique selling proposition or USP not a contestant in this year’s flashy foo foo web design award contest. Win customers not awards. Forget the animation and music and go easy on the images. What a small business needs is a lean, mean conversion machine.

Studies show the visitors don’t even consciously register images until after they have absorbed the copy on the page. Makes sense because what they came for was information not the old receptionist at the desk on the phone pictures that we have seen over and over again. They want to know who the heck you are and what you can do for them and make it snappy!

It’s brutal but that’s the way it works. A small business that knows this and applies this to their website has a huge advantage over those who don’t. So if you are a small business owner and need a website keep this article in mind or if you have an existing website take a look at it and reevaluate it’s effectiveness in light of this information. Small changes can have dramatic effects on sales conversion.


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