Expanding your business and increasing sales is always the primary goal of any business website. Today just having a website for your business is not enough though. Chances are your competition has a website as well, and they are doing everything they can to make sure they get your online business. Fortunately there are a number of things you can do in order to make your current website more successful or to ensure a new website is as effective as possible. We will go over a few of the important points you will want to keep in mind as you are designing or redesigning your business website.
- Keep first time visitors in mind – The vast majority of people going to your site are there for the first time, at least initially (if everything is going according to plan). As you and your designer work on your website it is very easy to get so involved that you lose site of the fact that, unlike you visitors don’t know your website inside and out. Always look at your site as if it is the first time you’ve ever been there, and you don’t know much about the internet to start with. That is a pretty good description of your average visitor. Make sure every page of your site evokes and immediate emotion, this is where your design and images come in. You have less than a second to pull them in. If they stay long enough, the design and images should draw their eye to your headline, so make sure you headline is powerful.
- Compatibility Issues – Not every browser is compatible with every site. This is a problem. You want to make sure the maximum number of people can view your site, and that it looks great no matter where they are looking at it from. Your designer should know how to make sure this is the case. You may also want to consider creating a site specifically for mobile devices.
- Simple, Clear and Concise – Clutter is frustrating. Make sure you design is clean. Links are good for SEO, but don’t go overboard because it starts to look messy. Make sure your important links (home, about, order now, etc.) are well-organized and easy to find. Break up your text. Sell, but get to the point. No waxing poetic in business copy (except when waxing poetic sells and a good copywriter should know the difference).
- Simple Navigation – Along with your important links being well organized, it is important all information a customer might need is easy to find. This is a design issue. Having a link to every little thing from the home page is almost as bad as making information too hard to find. There is a balance for every website, so try to find it. Map out what your navigation will look like and make sure it is intuitive. Add a site map. Add a search function as well if possible, not the Google or Bing search but one that searches your own site for whichever keyword they enter.
- Don’t get too fancy – Most designers love Flash and other cool tricks they can do with a website. Why not? It’s fun. The problem is the vast majority of these cool things slow down user’s browser, are not search engine friendly, and frankly it’s all stuff they can see on their own social sites so why go to you for it? Worse of all, few if any of these things actually make people say “Hey, I need this product.” So why bother? Unless your designer has an amazing idea, skip it.