So you’ve decided it’s time that your business had a website – but what kind of website do you want? There are lots of things you will need to consider to ensure that you get the right website to promote your company’s products or services. Even if you’re getting a professional website designer to help you, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want before your initial meeting.
Here is a brief guide to some important aspects of good website design, to give you a head start on making sure you get a great website that delivers exactly what you want it to.
Website design – the right look
It’s important that your website design reflects your company’s personality – if you have a company logo, make sure you incorporate it into the basic website design template so that it appears on every page, preferably in the same place. You want recognition, consistency and strong branding. If you don’t have a logo or brand, it’s probably a good idea to think about getting one now that you’re about to take your business into the realm of the internet. Think about colors, navigation, simplicity and a clean finish.
The right type of website
What do you want to achieve with your new website? Do you want an online shop where people can buy your products or do you want to promote your services? If you want to allow people to make purchases through your new website design, then you will need an Ecommerce website – you can update products and prices using a Content Management System (CMS), and visitors will be able to make instant purchases. A CMS based website design will also be useful if you want to be able to post news articles and updates to your website regularly. If you just want a simple site that stands as it is, then a static website design will be enough for your requirements.
Make sure your website design is user-friendly
Don’t put your customers off with a complicated website design that’s hard to navigate. Make your page titles short and descriptive and use your home page as a reference point, from where visitors can easily navigate to other parts of your website that they might want to view.
Invite your visitors to take action
The best sales pitch in the world won’t sell anything unless you make it easy for your visitors to know what they need to do. An effective website design utilizes clear ‘call to actions’ – these live links will lead your visitors to your contact page, allow them to make quick and easy purchases and tell them how to take advantage of your services. Use phrases like ‘contact us now for a free quote’ and embed a link in this anchor text that takes users to an email form or phone number.
Tags and descriptions
Behind every prosperous website is a great SEO technique. Make sure you do your homework on the best phrases and keywords to use in your Meta descriptions and title tags. This will help the search engines to identify what you do and will result in the right traffic being driven to your site through user searches.
Website design for all
Don’t alienate users; ask your website designer to ensure that your site is accessible to everyone, including the visually impaired. Make sure that you optimize images too so that screen-readers will give users a description of the images that they can’t see (and it will also help with your SEO). Also bear in mind that different people use different web browsers, so you need to make sure that your website design works in all of them, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox.
Website content and SEO
Don’t rush your web copy – you need good detail and information without too much ‘fluffing’. Keep it simple and relevant, easy to read and use your keywords and phrases for SEO purposes. Remember that your website is a worldwide shop-front; be clear, concise and tell your visitors what they want to know. Have somebody look over your proposed content from a customer’s perspective, or employ the services of a professional copywriter.
Website news section
Keeping your website content fresh will help you with the search engines, so think about adding a news section to your website design. This will enable you to post interesting news stories and special offers, or anything that you think may be relevant and helpful to your visitors. You could also consider a blog for more informal company news or add a ‘subscribe’ call to action, where visitors can sign up to receive email updates and newsletters.
Marketing your new website
If you wish to keep your website ranking high in the search engines and attract regular new visitors, it’s well worth looking into internet marketing. You’ve invested precious time and money into your new website design, so make sure people get to see it! You can use social media, Google AdWords, email newsletters and many other effective internet marketing strategies to help make your website more visible and keep the traffic