People search the internet for businesses, products and services and the days of relying on phone books are long gone. If someone needs to find information, they are turning to the internet to find it. When they search for something you offer or specifically for your business, you want to show up- and not just show up- but show up and look good.
Looking good is important because your website is often your first impression you give potential customers. If they found you through a search or through a link a friend gave them, your website will be your first point of contact with them. Before they even see your store or talk to your staff, they will see your website. You want that first impression to be a good one.
Your storefront or showroom need to look good, right? Why do you need them to look good? Because you know customers will see them and form an opinion about the business based on them (in addition to factors such as customer service, quality, price, etc. of course). Think of your website as your digital storefront or showroom. People are looking at it and are forming an opinion about the business based on it. So, make it look good!
So, what makes up a quality website?
A quality website is clean, well-organized, easy to navigate, clear/concise, modern (in terms of style and layout), functional, branded, and motivates the visitor to do business with you. Information such as your services, products, hours of operation, location, and contact info should be extremely easy to find. If you have social media profiles, buttons linked to these profiles should be present. People want a quick solution to their problem or a quick answer to their question. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. They want to look at something that is visually appealing. Give them that with a quality website.
A quality website looks good on all devices, Desktop, Mobile and Tablet and in all browsers. You should browser test your website to make sure it looks right and functions properly across all browsers and makes sure it works across all devices particularly mobile !!! The current trend of increasing mobile use to access the internet means your website needs to be properly built and designed for optimal mobile viewing. In many cases this will actually mean building a purpose built mobile Home page that may have less content than the desktop version to avoid having a long scroll.
A quality website is also well-polished. This means it has no spelling or grammatical errors, no lame clip art or stock images, no 1995 web design traits, no blurry images, no loose ends. Your content is complete and visually appealing. Fonts match across the entire website and font colour and size choices have been properly made (yes, this means no lime green size 18 font on a white backdrop with a flashing clip art graphic underneath it). Colour psychology is also very important because they can have a profound effect on whether the site appeals to that particular audience.
Your website is potentially you most important tool. Make that tool work for you from the start. Then use it and take good care of it.