What are some simple ways to make my small-business Web site more effective?
Internet in Business mentor Jakob Nielsen responds: Emphasize that you are trustworthy in honest, plainspoken language. For example, if you say you're not going to use people's e-mail address for anything other than e-mailing them a password, don't send them a newsletter. If you say you will ship a product in three days, don't do it in four. Use testimonials from satisfied customers. Add interesting and useful stories about what you do, to show people you know what you are talking about. And put all your contact information in a prominent place so that people can get in touch with you immediately.
One interesting small-business site I came across recently is stonewalrus.com, which sells stone sculptures of animals. It's well organized, so you can find animals based on where they live in the world. It loads fast because the photos aren't too large, and you can click on individual ones to get more detail. You can't place an order online, but their 800 number is obvious.