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By Jennifer Knight, Show-N-Tell

Many of today's small business websites are basically one-sided efforts to relay information to the company's online audience.  Like many sales presentations, these sites are usually loaded with valuable facts and figures, but are they really serving their purpose?

Average websites focus on the company.  Good websites focus on the company's products and/or services.  Great websites focus on the company's audience.  But amazing websites focus on all three in reverse order:

1. Audience
2. Products/Services
3. Company

"If I were in that online audience, what would be most important to me?"

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your online audience.  There are three basic questions potential patrons will ask themselves about any website.  These questions are asked sub-consciously and very quickly, usually while viewing a company's home page: 1. Do I like this website? 2. Do I understand this website? 3. Do I believe this website?

Now think of the last time you were browsing online and a company's website occupied your screen. Honestly ask yourself all three of the questions listed above, but in the past tense.  Did that company win you over with their online personality?  To the point of purchase?

The world is advancing; advance with it. Resolve today that your customers expect and deserve the best, clearest and fastest online interaction you can provide. Websites are no longer digital billboards for the plastering of basic information.  They are serious tools for interactive communication between the end-user and the company.

About the author: Jennifer Knight is a business writer and Internet marketing professional for Colorado start-up, Show-n-Tell. Drawing on over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in real estate, web design and software development, she coaches executives and entrepreneurs on interactive business issues. Jennifer works with forward-thinking visionaries to employ their website as if it were the best and brightest member of their staff and urges them to evaluate the website's performance as such