For a small business owner located in the Raleigh-Durham area, Internet Marketing can help advertise and sell products or services over the Internet. Effective Internet marketing requires a strategic web design since your website will ultimately determine a whether or not a visitor takes action. That’s why banner ad campaigns and pay per click campaigns will not work at their potential if your website is not designed with usability in mind.

According to Wikipedia, usability means the ease with which people can employ a particular tool (a website in our case) in order to achieve a particular goal (a call to action in our case).

After many years of using Google Analytics to research how visitors browse websites, I can say that website design and usability is as important as the marketing campaign itself because it greatly affects the number of conversions (successful sales).

The following are some common usability tips that will affect any Internet Marketing campaign.

Do not assume that visitors will get to your site and they will know what you do or what you sell. They don’t. Your landing page has to be as clear as possible stating what your business is about and have a clear call to action. If you do business in Raleigh for example, mention Raleigh somewhere. Potential clients tend to trust local companies more.

Once visitors are interested and they decide to stay on your site, the navigation comes into play. Keep it simple and easy to use to help visitors determine what to do next. Identifying what section of the site they are in, helps guide visitors where they can go next. Most of the potential clients or buyers will want to browse a bit more before making a decision.

Remember, keeping the visitors on the site and guiding them to the call to action is extremely important. Do not bug visitors with unnecessary information hoping they they will remember it and eventually return. They really need a good reason to do that – some kind of special offer, to catch their attention.

Try and keep the contact forms as simple as possible. People do not like to give loads of personal information on the internet. Ask yourself if the information you’re asking for is so important that you’re willing to lose a customer.

Internet Marketing and good rankings are important, but these don’t mean much if you’re turning visitors away as soon as they click on your website. Does your website send the message you intended to send out? Do users enjoy browsing your site? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before starting an Internet Marketing campaign.