How to ensure your Business Website is Successful.

The way you have your website designed for your Business has a major influence on your online presence, the representation of your brand, how you attract customers or sales, and if, indeed, you are able to generate a profit from it. There is so much competition online these days that you have to offer a nice looking website, AND one that “works” (here at Website Design Company we call websites that “work” simply successful!), or your potential customers are going to find another website/business that will.

There are some common elements that you must have in place so that your website will represent your business the way you desire it to, and ultimately be profitable for you.

There is so much competition online these days that you have to do more than just put up a pretty brochure of your business and hope that it will do any work for you! Unless you have a limitless offline marketing budget, and no need to appeal to online customers, you really do need to pay attention to HOW your Business Website functions.

So let’s look at a few things to consider when getting your website developed:

1. Flash Animation

Most consumers are very impatient and they won’t wait long for a web page to open up. If you are using animation or Flash to impress consumers you may find it doesn’t actually work for you that way! They simply won’t wait for that percentage countdown or load bar! You generally have three seconds or less before they will go to another website that does open quickly. Web designers use HTML5, CSS and JavaScript these days to get rid of the old fashioned Flash presentations. Also, clean modern and flat designs have taken the place of Flash as the look and feel people expect representing a Business.

2. Readability

It doesn’t matter how good the information is on your website if consumers can’t read it. Take the time to choose a reasonable size of font and discover colours that work well together. I recently visited a website that had good information but I couldn’t concentrate on it because the background was green and the writing was in pink. While you want the website design to be attractive it also has to be easy on the eyes. A modern website is a lot more subtle with it use of fonts than older sites. Time to upgrade if your website is using a difficult to read font or colour combination!

 3. Usability

The navigation for your entire website should be very simple to follow. Consumers aren’t going to spend their time trying to figure out how to get where they want to be. The primary page navigation bar should be  accessible on the top of the page. This menu should contain a “home” link, a contact page, an about page and your primary pages or categories.  Rather than making the top menu bar huge and confusing, the website should be structured properly so that internal linking provides a clean and simple navigation experience for the users. This is called “silo-ing” and it helps your SEO as well! Secondary navigation can be in the side bars or footers of you website. All websites need a “privacy policy” page and a “terms of service” page – the links to these can be in the footer menu.

 4. Forms, Payments and Communications

People don’t trust a website if it is impossible to contact someone associated with it. At the very least there should be a way to email the website or business owner or representative. For local businesses, a Google map, phone numbers, and email contact is essential.

Contact forms should have some kind of spam blocking device. While no-one likes filling out captcha’s they are, unfortunately part of life online these days. If you don’t want to use them, take care with your email form, it is very easy for spam-bots to break into your email account using them.

If you offer a facility for customers to pay for goods and services on your website it is vital that you make the checkout process as easy as possible. It should be step by step to follow and move along quickly. Offer plenty of options for payment including e-check, Paypal, and credit cards. The more payment options you include the more sales you will generate.

It is a common courtesy to have your website set up to provide an immediate confirmation number for them once the purchase has been completed. This way they know their order was processed and they can contact you about it with that number should they need to.

 5. Design

Feel free to be creative with your website design as long as you are able to incorporate these various elements in it as well. You will definitely have the attention of the consumers in your target market if you offer them something refreshing that they haven’t seen before. At the same time though you have to make sure it is easy to read and easy to navigate. Not everyone has the same level of expertise when it comes to using the internet so make your site accessible to that category as well.

Don’t let innovative design and a fancy look get in the way of the reason you have a website for your business. Make sure the website WORKS and is SUCCESSFUL for you.

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