The Essential Things Your Business Website Must Include
If you are a business looking to set up your first website, here’s some things you should consider.
It is vital that the website has a clear, effective design. On no account attempt to design your site yourself, unless you have a clear aptitude for design. I have seen so many small businesses attempt to design and build their own website, and very few are able to do it well. The amount of customers you will lose with a poor design is huge. Make sure the design is not overcrowded – too many companies like to cram in every single piece of information about their company which just overloads the visitor. At the end of the day the function of the website is to get them to contact you. And remember a website is not for life – design tastes change, new functionalities are invented, and in general we see customers completely overhauling and redesigning their websites every three years or so.
What do you want your website to doc
To generate leadsc If you are in a service orientated business it is probable that you may want your website to generate leads ie get the visitors interested so they contact you direct and you are then in a position to turn them into a client. One suggestion as to how you can do this is by offering free downloadable reports in PDF format in exchange for their details. Then you could follow up with a phone call or letter to them.
Be an information resource for your customersc It could be that you want your website to be a source of information to your existing customers, including all relevant technical data, online catalogues, product reviews etc.
Be an online ordering sitec It maybe that you want your customers to migrate to online ordering as this undoubtedly saves in personnel costs.
There are many different things that a website can do and you need to think about it thoroughly in the planning stage rather than trying to be all things to all people.
Do you want search engine trafficc
You may want to generate new customers through search engines and if this is the case then there are many factors you need to pay attention to. First and foremost, you need to be aware which keywords your site will target. To do this you need to do your keyword research; there are many sites which can help your with this such as www.wordtracker.com, www.goodkeywords.com, and Google’s Adwords site . This will help you get create an image of what people are searching for in your market and the search volumes, so that you can create a short list.
On page optimisation: using the information you gained from the keyword research it will then be necessary to optimise the website for these phrases, which a web designer will be more than capable of doing.
Incoming links: The other critical factor in getting good search engine ranking is the building of incoming links to your website. This should be an ongoing process and you should set aside time each month or delegate it to be someone’s responsibility to obtain links to the website.
Your website should be functional in the following:
Navigation: This must be clear, intuitive and easy to use. Visitors must be able to know how to quickly gain access to the different parts of your website.
Browser compatibility: Your website must work efficiently in all popular browsers, which include Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox.
Clear design and branding: The overall layout design of your site should be a clear, clean design and incorporate your company branding.
Balance: Include in your website the right balance of text – break text up using pictures, as people dislike reading large blocks of text online.
Communicate clear benefits: Your website must communicate the benefits of using your company – your unique selling proposition. Lots of businesses make the error of telling the visitor all about themselves instead of advising them as to how they can help solve their problems.
Testimonials and client lists: Frequently, I have seen many customers bury their gleaming testimonials and client lists away in a corner of their website. If you have good testimonials and impressive client lists then you should use them throughout your site. Disperse testimonials throughout the main pages as they to tend to create an impression, yet no one particularly goes looking for a websites testimonials section.
Do you have an interesting story to tellc If you have a story of interest to tell about your company – maybe how it was born, or interesting case studies where you have helped a client, then tell the story. People enjoy stories – they delight and captivate and can be used as successful examples as to how your business can help them.
If you consider the above pointers, then you should have a clear plan as to how your website should look and function. You can then hand this information on to your web designer, who will then be more able to produce a finished website that you are pleased with and that does what you want of it. Which is ultimately to increase your business.