Following on from our first article in the Website Design 101 series, you should be fully convinced that your small business cannot survive without a website. So now that you’re a convert you need to consider what to put on your company website. Do you want heaps of nicely laid out text explaining all the pertinent details, or do you want to go mad and have all the latest gizmos, like moving images and interactive bits and pieces? Well steady on - however great a website looks, it needs to be interesting and captivating to persuade your customers to buy. If not, it’s just not smart enough.
When you start to think about creating a smart company website, follow the ideas below:
Get Inspiration - there are zillions of websites out there. Browse through lots and see which you feel are visually interesting, easy to use and make you want to stay on there to read more. Analyze why they work so well then use some of these ideas to help you create a website that will be perfect for your customers. Check out your competitors to see what they are doing too.
Easy Navigation - customers want to move through your website logically. Plan what will appear on each page and don’t make the reader click back and forth between pages to get all the information they need. The navigation layout is the fundamental building block on which the whole website structure rests on − if it’s overly complex, it will become a liability − customers won’t find what they want, and will go elsewhere.
Forget the Flash - however enticing it might be to have a flashy website, forget it. Clients find flash intros, pop-ups and snazzy banners irritating. And they detract from the copy on your website which is there to sell your message. More importantly Flash is an SEO killer, and you want to do anything you can in order to improve your SEO.
Clear Layout - it’s harder to read online than a printed document. Make it easier for your reader by using small paragraphs of text with blank lines separating them. And be consistent in your use of font, font size and colors to give a professional look.
Make Sense - the content must be concise and clearly communicate your message. Don’t ramble and use flowery words that will at best bore your customer, or at worse confuse them. And do make it interesting! No-one wants to trudge through informative but boring text.
Nippy Loading - make sure your website loads quickly. People have the attention span of a one year old. If they have to wait more than 10 seconds, they’ll throw all their toys out and give up on your website.
These pointers are the first steps in planning a smart company website that your customers will love and will visit time and time again.