There’s a whole different standard to building websites in a marketplace as dynamic as New York City. Here, your site not only needs to meet the typical requirements of visual appeal and intuitive functionality, as a virtual calling card for your company; it needs to be clearly differentiated from the hundreds of other businesses that also operate in your area of expertise.

Developing a website that drives sales in this lively environment requires just the right mixture of art and science. Capturing attention and leaving a memorable impression? That’s the art form. Using just the right words, images, and elements to drive conversion? Therein lies the science. Nailing the ideal balance of the two is critical in a place like New York, where just about everything is magnified on a far grander scale than you’ll find throughout most of the rest of the world.

Below are a few tips to develop a website that enables your business to convert New Yorkers.

Tip #1:
Be Assertive with Clients

Remember the Bronx Cheer? Assertiveness is an NYC tradition. Don’t be shy in taking customers by the hand and leading them exactly where you would like them to go. What do you consider to be the next logical step with those who visit your website? Immediate purchase? Request of a quote? Schedule of a phone call? Don’t be afraid to urge website users to take that next step. Clear visual paths and strong calls to action are essential to move visitors along through the sales funnel appropriately.

Tip #2:
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk and Take Time to Build the Fundamentals

From constructing skyscrapers in Manhattan to building brownstones in Queens, people want things to happen fast, but creating a good New York website and quality content is a long-term investment – a process that you don’t want to rush through haphazardly. Construction of this central online hub for your company requires skillful planning and execution, to deliver solid results for your business over the long haul. Your website content will serve as the foundation of every marketing tactic you might engage in to jumpstart sales – so take your time to set it up properly for long-term return.

Tip #3:
Avoid the Tourist Traps and don’t Buy Cheap Trinkets or Expensive Scams.

Don’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge. Steer clear of cheap marketing ploys that promise top results for little money. There are plenty of dealers out there selling low-priced websites that sound too good to be true, precisely because they are. As in life, you’ll get what you pay for – guaranteed. This is not an aspect of your business where you want to cut corners. Free websites don’t build business. Your company needs a site that actively drives conversion, and – in so doing – pays for itself many times over.

Tip #4:
Know Your Audience and How They Talk

Converting customers through your website is a matter of knowing your audience, and speaking directly to their needs, interests, desires, and concerns. Adapting your pitch to suit your target audience is absolutely key – right down to the individual words that you use. In order to connect meaningfully with a New Yorker, you’ll often need to pull in lingo considerably different than you would use with someone based elsewhere in the country, to speak his or her everyday language. Show your audience that you understand their perspective inside and out by using the words and phrases they’d use to express their own inner thoughts. By incorporating the same keywords actively Googled by consumers to find products and services like yours, you’ll enjoy a steady stream of highly qualified search engine traffic too.

Tip #5:
Expect a Certain Amount of Vermin; Exterminate the Bad Ones.

There are rats and spammers on the Internet, and you will get your share rooting on your site and sending you unsolicited requests. You might not think your website is worth hacking but websites are compromised all the time. Most website security infestations are not to steal data or take over your website, but instead try to use your server as a way to relay email for spam purposes, or to use your server to serve up files of an illegal nature. So being wary is important, but don’t go crazy when you get the occasional rat crossing the street. You are gonna get spam requests. Learn to ignore the harmless vermin, and install security to keep out the deadly ones. Here is a good blog post on securing your website…

Tip #6:
Dress Appropriately For Your Circle

One size certainly does not fit all online. Your site style should fit the audience. You would not wear a little black dress to exercise in or a tweed suit to a yoga class. Just like the appropriate attire will enhance your movement and daily activities, a good website design will enhance your user experience. Ensure visitors to your site can navigate intuitively, logically, and are able to access the information they want. Precise and user-friendly navigation, content and call-to-action elements are akin to wearing properly fitting clothing that doesn’t bunch or gather in the wrong places. Design your website like you would design your outfit. And don’t make someone wait while you get dressed! Make sure your site is fast loading so that your visitors don’t lose interest and head to another party without you.

Tip #7:
Get to Know the Local Hangouts and When Patrons Hangout There

Know what time of day is best to reach your audience, and optimize your campaigns to dominate those hours. While not strictly a website design issue, knowing when your audience responds is critical for such tactics as email marketing. And most email marketing campaigns need landing pages on your website. Creating different landing pages for email campaigns that vary message by time of day (and other psychographic factors) can be a critical component of conversion success. In NYC, many places are coffee shops by day and bars by night. Those are different crowds!

Tip #8:
Be a Fan of Something and Express It Passionately

Express passion and personality about your subject or a subject your audience appreciates. Don’t just write something to promote or sell your service or product. New Yorkers can smell a fake from a mile a way. Approach your marketing by demonstrating what you do for your top clients; don’t make each visitor feel like you are trying to convert them into a client on the spot. Demonstrate your passion and you will find other’s passionate to cheer you on. You will create not only new customers, but advocates for your brand and referral partners.

Tip #9:
Know How and When to Hail a Taxi

You can’t get everywhere on your own two feet; sometimes it makes a lot more sense to reach out for help to get exactly where you need to go. You need someone who knows all of the shortcuts and the areas of highest congestion, where the majority tends to get stuck. Someone who won’t recommend the non-existent subway in Staten Island. Hire an expert to navigate you directly to your desired destination – in this case, online success – with a lot faster and more effective results than you could achieve through your own sweat.

Final Words

To compete for business in and around New York City, your website has to be better than good. It needs to be among the best of the best in your field. Make sure your company’s website has everything that it takes to capture attention and maximize conversion, in a market where every move counts.