Building a website for your business can be daunting, especially if you have little or no knowledge about web design. Nonetheless, having a website that accurately and elegantly represents you on the web is extremely important. Your website is an important face to your brand, and consumers will often base their opinions on your business from your website. This includes, but is not limited to how well your responsive your website is on mobile deices, if it loads blazing fast, and if it's easy to navigate. These are just a few factors to consider and it is often helpful to have a Denver web designer to guide you though all the elements, as it can quickly become overwhelming.
Here are some website tips you should consider when building a business website.
Write plenty of content:
The old phrase 'content is king' still remains true to this day. This may sound obvious, but let us explain why having content is so important:
First, when visitors come to your website, they need to know who you are and what you do. Clear, and easy to read text and images are extremely important to convey this message. It's worth spending time on the copy that users will see when first hitting your website. If you need some seo copywriting best practices, see some of our other articles about how to write great website content.
Second, having media such as info graphics or videos, helps visitors learn more about your business in a visual way, instead of reading plain text. This is a great opportunity to show your creativity, and the passion your have for you product or service.
Lastly, getting a professional photographer to create imagery that captures your brand can add even more unique content that can be added across the website.
Define clear goals:
Every business website has a different purpose and goals. Why are you building your website? Do you need to drum up more business, and have regular leads coming in? Are you trying to simply have a website so that your current customers can use to access data? Do you just need a portfolio to show images? These kinds of questions can greatly inform your web designer, and ultimately the flow of your website. It's really easy to go to either ends of the spectrum, either going with upscale web design or going as cheaply as possible.
Make easy to find, calls to action:
When a user is on your website, you want them to be able to interact easily. This could mean many things: filling out a contact form, getting a free download, or scheduling a service. This is one of the fundamentals on how to make a good website, and should be taken very seriously. If you are able to get a user to interact with your website, you are much more likely to get them to convert into a being customer.
Make your purpose easy to understand:
When a user comes to your website it needs to be extremely clear what you do within seconds of landing on the home page, and without scrolling. Some of the ways this can be done is with text, images, and accreditation badges. Landing on a home page that is difficult to understand is a huge turn off, and will likely cause visitors to bounce (leave the website). Make what you do easy to understand, period.
Show customers what you're going to offer them:
Why should a customer hire you over the competition? This is a question you should be continually asking yourself. When a potential customer comes to your site, a great way to get them to interact is to offer them something. If you're service based, offer them a free consultation or give them their first appointment free/discounted. If you sell products, give them some sort of free download in exchange for their email address (which can later be used fo an email marketing campaign). This type of offering will help consumers get introduced to your brand, and business, putting them just one step further into your sales funnel.
Develop a site map:
Your site map is the bones to your website, so it should be carefully considered before you start building. This site map will include which main pages will be showing in the navigation bar up top, also called 'parent pages' and pages that may be nested underneath, also called 'child pages'. Once you've developed a goal for your business website, think about these parent and child pages, and how a user may want to see the information you're offering. Consider making something such as your call to action a parent item, and if you offer many services or products, add those as child pages.
Purchase a domain name:
Your domain name is what the url will read when a visitors is on your website. While some services offer free domain names by adding their extensions before it, such as websitebuilder.yourbussiness.com, this doesn't look professional. Do research on what domain names are available, and ask a Denver web design expert to help you, if you're having trouble. Domain names should generally be short, easy to remember, and have an appropriate TLD such as .com or .org.
Pick a reputable host:
A web host is the server that your website will live on. What is a website server, you ask? Think about a server as the plot of land that your website live on. Without this plot, how could you build a site? A sever is essentially a computer that is online 24/7/365, and is accessible to the public.
It is very important to research your hosting company to make sure that they have a high guaranteed up time, top level web security, and customer service that is easy to reach, in the event of a problem.
Hire a web designer with a great portfolio:
Building a website for your business is a ton of work, so when it's finished, you should love it! Because of this, take the time to vet web designers and look at their portfolios. Make sure that they have designs that are made from scratch, not templates, and that they create aesthetics that ultimately represent the business and brand. It's also important to discuss your relationship with the website designer for after the launch. Will maintenance be included? Will there be a monthly fee? Websites are not a one and done operation, so it's important to consider how you will maintain and update them in the future. Finding a website marketing company in Denver, New York or any other major city should be somewhere for you to start, as being able to meet with your design in person has huge advantages.
Plan for your websites growth:
Just like all products and services, websites grow and change over time. When you launch your business website, you may be using it simply to display your work, but later decide that you also want to sell products as well. These factors are important to consider, since even though you may launch without certain features, planning them ahead of time can set you up for less work once they are ultimately implemented. Make sure your company and developer hve a plan for your website maintenance.
One of the best website tips we can give is to find examples of websites you like. Look for websites that are both within and outside of your field. This serves many purposes: It can help give you inspiration on what you could do with your site in terms of design and function. Then in turn, it can give your web designer a more concrete picture of your vision, making it easier to get your website design correct, with fewer revisions. Example websites are a huge key to getting your website right and can provide ideas that many not have come up otherwise.
Stay away from templates:
Website templates can be appealing because of their 'plug and go' nature. Even though it may be easier to simply paste your content into someone else's formatting, you have to ask yourself, is this really how I want to represent my business? Would I ever take this approach when providing my service or creating a product?
Beyond this, templates often have very clunky code and are difficult to customize, making them poor for SEO (search engine optimization), so updating them in the future can be a pain.
Tell your story:
You've worked hard to create a business from nothing, so make sure to show what makes you great! It's worth spending time to tell customers about your story and why your product or service can help them. When people feel like a business they are purchasing from has a great vision, they are more likely to become long time customers, instead of one time buyers.
Always have a contact form:
There are very few instances where you'd want to have a business website that didn't include a contact form. Having a contact form is an essential part of communication between you and visitors on your website. Even if you're not actively selling anything on the site, having a contact form can help potential business interactions come to fruition.
Use beautiful imagery:
Whether you use stock photography or hiring a professional photographer, it's highly valuable to spend time on fantastic imagery. If you're planning on using stock photos, pick images that look organic and not overly staged. If you're hiring a photographer, consider shooting several different scenes and looks. Try and having images of your workers, the space you work out of, and artistic shots of objects in your space. All of these can be used in different ways on your business website, and will add a layer of depth to the design.
You've spend an immense amount of time, energy and money on your business, so when building your website, make sure to follow these steps to ensure it represents you well. Having a quality website can be a major factor in generating leads and ultimately sales. Whether you're redesigning your website or building one from scratch, make sure you get the most out of your hard earned money.