So your business has a site – or perhaps you need one for your brand new venture. Web designers can be an overwhelming process, so we have spoken to several web designers who told us what you have to have on your site and what you can easily most likely do without (like crazy Flash animation).
The very first thing you have to do is actually secure a great, catchy URL. Make sure it makes sense for the company of yours, does not have quirky spelling, and is actually available on social platforms, too. Panabee can enable you to get creative if the business name is actually taken, and Name Vine is actually a fantastic resource for seeing what is out there.
After you have set up your domain, it is time to build out the site and make some big decisions. Allow me to share ten must-haves for the site of yours, which will ensure your customers have a good experience on the site, improve your company’s digital footprint and increase engagement with the brand.
1. A Logical Roadmap
Of course, a site must be aesthetically pleasing, but it is more important for it to be helpful. Before you pick a server or perhaps type an HTML tag, it is best to map out exactly how you would like the site to the office. This’s important both for user experience and SEO since Google considers the content and structure of a site when it ranks for search. So, map out and mock up a design for the website – what designers call “wireframing” – and run it by a couple of friends to make sure it makes sense and is actually intuitive. “If they can understand the logic, so will the folks seeing the website of yours… and Google bots when ranking it!” says Pete Mills of web design consultancy Calls9.
2. Crucial Business Information
“The biggest failure folks have actually they try and create the site they want, not always the site they need,” says designer Josh Frankel. Have a restaurant, for instance – Frankel says “everyone wants music and this giant’ about’ page,” but they neglect the basic things like the menu, directions, and contact information.
Keep text to a minimum when it comes to your mission statement since you need to be writing things, so folks can skim – all of us have short attention spans. One helpful tip for conveying your mission is usually to compare the business yours to something different, like how MeUndies.com is actually marketed as “Warby Parker for undies” to align itself with the eyewear manufacturers mail convenience and keen curation. Do not underestimate brevity – one or perhaps 2 sentences can be truly effective, says Frankel.
According to the company of yours, you must have a couple of items on the site of yours that fall into the world of “information.” We know restaurants require a list along with a menu of locations (ideally with directions or even a map), but every industry has its necessary items. In case you are an etailer, you require product images (and they have to be perfect pictures). In case you work in the service industry and have a business that relies heavily on referrals and customer service, put some testimonials on your website. For instance, a wedding planner can have one of her recent brides write about the company’s experience. A web designer should include screenshots or perhaps link out to previous work. A hair salon could have client testimonials about a stylist’s promptness and skills. Tailor the website of yours, so it has the info users actually likely to be looking for.
3. Contact Information
We cannot stress enough that the most crucial business detail is actually contacted info, which is why it’s its own area. Mills exclaims, “How many times do you go to a site and think’ how difficult is actually to get in touch with this company?’ Have a number, email, address along with a contact form easily accessible and visible,” he says. It is different because there is nothing more frustrating than not getting in touch with a needed service or business.
When you put an email address or even a telephone number on the site, do not upload the info as part of an image – the number or perhaps address should be in a position to be clicked on or perhaps copied right from the web site to be able to place the call or perhaps send an email quickly and conveniently. Most smartphones nowadays have the capability to do “click to call” on the web, so make the process as simple as you can for users.
Do you not want your phone ringing off the hook? Work with an email address, but ensure you answer emails in a timely fashion. And please, get an email address for the domain of yours. Using Gmail – or perhaps worse, an AOL email address – is not professional, and that is what you are striving to be. Should you like Gmail’s interface, you can use Google Apps to set up custom email addresses through Gmail – it is free for up to ten email addresses.
4. Clear Navigation
A map is actually useless with no site, and a legend is actually useless without clear navigation. Be sure you use logical and easy-to-understand names for the different pages of the website of yours – contact, FAQ, about, etc. Being cryptic or clever will be a turnoff for users.
When developing your navigation strategy, you should look at a call to action. What’s it you would like folks to do on your website? Place an order? Email for a quote? Be a member? Come to your brick-and-mortar store? Call to consult with a customer service rep? Make your goals clear and obvious.
“Put yourself in the shoes of who is coming to your site,” says Frankel. “What are they trying to get done? Consider the goal of your potential customer.” Pepper the site with action items to help customers easily do what you want them to do. Birchbox has done a great job of this, encouraging users to “learn more” and directing them to claim a gifted Birchbox since it is a popular gift item, and giftees will probably be first-time visitors.
When you are selling anything online, you have to put a little effort into securing your website with an SSL certificate. The SSL will encrypt communications between you and the clients of yours (i.e., a credit card number, Social Security number), which will allay the fears of their of providing such info.