3 Keys to Creating a 4-Star Website-Featured.jpg

3 Keys to Creating a Four-Star Website

Some websites work like service stations.

People who stop off pick a safe-looking place to buy fuel and snacks — maybe some beer. They grab what they need and get back on the road.

Then there are websites that are like four-star hotels. People come to stay. They settle in, explore, enjoy the experience of just being there. They tell their friends and come back again and again because they love the personable concierge, luxurious spa and decadent food.

Which place comes closest to describing your website? Is it a basic template where people come primarily to get your contact information? Or is it an aesthetically pleasing, multi-layered hub that gives visitors a thorough experience of your brand?

The latter may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few things you can do to make your website more inviting.

How to build a 4-star website


1. Get beautiful images

Whether this means hiring your cousin’s daughter who has a great camera and an eye for design or shelling out the big bucks for a real pro, getting high-quality original photos of yourself, your team and your work is one of the best ways to reduce bounce rate and increase conversion (i.e., get people to stay longer and buy more).

Stock photos will do in a pinch, but nothing compares to having your own beautiful, professional images.


2. Add quality content

Filling your website with plenty of copy lets search engines find you and drive traffic your way. It's also an important part of informing visitors about who you are and what you offer.

Not a writer, you say? We’ll actually write your website content for you and tailor it to your tone and purpose. Just ask.


3. Streamline the navigation

Have you ever walked into a truck stop and had to hunt for the bathroom, or tried to track down a pack of gum only to find it between the lightbulbs and Boone’s Farm? It’s enough to make you wish you’d chosen the place across the highway.

Make sure your users don’t have this experience when they come to your website. One way to do this is by keeping your top navigation as simple as possible — five to seven tabs is ideal. Give them meaningful names that accurately communicate what visitors will find when they click.

Awesome photos, great content and user-friendly navigation — these three things alone will start your website down the road to becoming a destination your customers and their friends want to visit again and again.

Start building an effective, professional small business website today.

Originally published 7/26/12