It's easy to forget about our visitors and focus on what we want in our website: perhaps a pretty design, a robust online catalog, or a flashy animation. Let's look at your site from your audience's perspective.
I think these are the 3 most important things your visitors are looking for:
Generally, a website visitor wants to do the following:
- Find your contact information: This is often overlooked. The web is the new phone book. When people are looking for a company's contact information, they'll head to your website. For most businesses, this means you should have your phone number, email or address right on your homepage. This has an added benefit for mobile users: they can click on your address and get directions, or click on your phone number and call you immediately. Your "contact page" should also be easy to find, and prominently featured on your main menu.
- Find out who you are, and what you stand for: what's your story? Who are your staff people? Why are you in business? Cut the corporate-speak and use your relational voice to describe your business. Use 1-3 paragraphs to describe your business, and your history. After that, introduce yourself and your staff with a short bio.
- Hear your expertise in your industry: this is where blogging comes in. One of the greatest gifts you can give your visitors is good information. Share your expertise in your field. Answer questions like: "what are common mistakes consumers make?", or "what to look for in a service provider." The owners of 37signals have this axiom: people trust those that teach them. The best way to do this is to start a blog, and post between 1-4 times a month.