Thoughts about Small Business and Web2.0

28 10 2009

 With the addition of Webmaster John to our team, that got us thinking about web development and small business.  “I got one, but now what do I do with it?“

 Some thought provoking statistics from Nielson Net Ratings and Foresee Result groups:

  • When shopping for a product or service, 73% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses from which to buy.
  • Search engines are the first source to which consumers turn to find local businesses (31%), ahead of even print yellow pages (30%).
  • Over 77% of people said they were more likely to make a purchase from an unfamiliar business with a quality Web site than a poor Web site from a known business
  • Nearly 40% of multi-channel shoppers prefer to use the web for browsing and researching their purchases. Of this group, 71% complete their purchase in the store.
  • On every key measure driving satisfaction, retailers’ websites are better at producing satisfied customers than traditional stores are.

Thought 1:  Poorly designed websites perform badly in search engines.  If 73% of potential customers are using search engines to find you, can your website be found?  Was SEO/SEM a consideration when the website was first conceived?

 Thought 2:  Is your site easily navigable.  Are your visitors vexed by unorganized pages and unfindable information?

  • Is the layout organized well?
  • Do pages load quickly?
  • Is the color scheme appealing, and does it suit your target market?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Are customers’ potential questions answered for them on the site?
  • Is your ordering process simple enough?
  • Can customers find your site with a simple keyword search?

Thought 3:  Who’s watching the “store”?   You’ve spent the time and money on your website.  Don’t leave it alone.  You need to understand your return on investment and understand if it was worth it.  Statistics help you understand your customers experience on your site.  Do your visitors look at a couple of pages, then get to “x” page and leave?  What does that mean to you?  Are they finding out that you aren’t offering what they need, or maybe there just isn’t enough information to push them further.  Watch for trends, and make changes as needed.  Keep track and keep your eye on the stats.

 A properly laid out web design plan that incorporates design and SEM is key to answering the thoughts above.


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