Often times businesses are intimidated by the idea of designing a new website and struggle with deciding what type of information to include on the site as well as how to make it effective. This is especially true for new businesses, or well-established business that are designing their first site.
Below you’ll find 3 quick tips to help you establish a good baseline for developing your new website, or to consider when reviewing your current one. While these tips are not the be-all-end-all of website design, they will give you a good starting point by helping you understand some of the most important basics of creating a good site for your business.
1. Let Your Business Goals Drive the Website
The easiest way to reduce the stress surrounding a new website design is to begin thinking about it as a simple business tool. Yes, your company website is very important and it can have a significant impact on your business. But, ultimately it is a business tool and it’s most important function is to serve as an extension of your business model.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to consider the goals, objectives, and requirements of your business prior to considering the design, or look-and-feel of it’s website.
For example, if your company’s primary goal is to sell industrial brooms, then your website should prominently feature the broom and provide an online store that gives your visitors a secure and easy way to make their purchase.
Likewise, if the main objective of your business is to provide an offline service such as professional carpet cleaning, then the site should read like a marketing flyer featuring those services and providing a quick and easy way for site visitors to attain them.
Remember, visitors come to your site to find quick solutions to their problems and quick answers to their questions. So, it is important that you establish a purpose for your business and let them know what your business can do for them very clearly and very quickly. Beginning with a brief checklist regarding your businesses goals and then layering a good design on top of those goals will help you serve your visitors in the best way possible and help ensure the success of your site.
2. Present Information Clearly and Precisely
People visit a businesses website with a specific goal in mind. Usually, that goal is to get as much information about the business as they can in aYour blog is prabably on of your company most valuable marketing tools. You use it to build trust with your customers, generate leads, educate consumers, and build brand awareness. So, if a reader tells you your blog’s content quality is poor, that comment will probably make a bad image of your company.s little time as possible. In order to help your visitors accomplish this, you must present information in as clear and precise a manner as possible.
It is easy for a business, especially a small one whose business model is not well known, to forget that customers are often in quite a hurry. A typical visitor will only spend a matter of a few seconds scanning your site for the information they need and it is imperative that you don’t overwhelm them with unnecessary information.
To accomplish this, you must consider a few key points:
To accomplish information clarity, you will need to consider the bare necessities of your businesses communications. What must visitors to the site know absolutely? What is the simplest way to get that information across? Typically a visitor doesn’t care that you sold 4,000 eco-bowls last month, or that your business started in the foothills of North Carolina. Rather, they want to know three things: What are you offering? Why do I want it? and How Can I get it? And they want to know the answer to those questions very quickly.
Keeping the information on your site to a bare minimum while still getting the answer to those questions across will help you design an informative and user-friendly site.
3. Know Your Site and Know Your Visitors
One of the primary benefits that all websites offer, but that businesses often overlook is the site’s ability to help them know and understand their customers. Most people understand that having a company website is important and that customers have come to expect businesses, even small ones, to have an online presence. However, all-to-often we forget that a business website can provide a window into our businesses performance and can help us better understand our core customers.
Using analytical tools, such as Google Analytics can help you understand who is visiting your site, where they are visiting it from, and how they are using it. Having analytical information regarding your site can help you gauge how your business is performing by providing information regarding online and offline marketing as well as ebs and flows in visitor traffic. Good analytics can help you measure such things as:
- Site traffic- Measuring site traffic allows you to determine where your visitors are coming from (i.e. a Google search or Online Advertisement). It also allows you to see how visitors move within the site. What do they click on? What do they ignore? And, What information do they seek out most often, or least?
- Marketing Effectiveness- Measuring traffic can also help you measure the effectiveness of offline marketing. For example, Did the TV advertisement you ran last month help drive any visitors to the site? Did the mailer you included with last weeks newspaper help you gain any new customers?
- Site Maintenance- Website analytics can also help you improve your sites functionality. Most analytical tools will inform you if visitors are having difficulty within your site, such as clicking on broken links or getting errors when visiting certain pages.
Site analytics are a good way to measure the success of your website, and can also be useful in measuring the effectiveness of business marketing. They can also help you keep your site up and running and in tip-top shape. Visitors hate broken links and page errors; it looks unprofessional and will drive them away from your site very quickly. There are many good and reputable analytical tools available and many of them are completely free. Taking advantage of them can help to ensure that your site is useful and effective.
Designing a website for your business can be a stressful proposition. But, by keeping these three key points in mind, you can help alleviate that stress and give yourself a good jumping-off point to creating a site that is both useful to your visitors and effective for your business. Remember a good business website is quick, simple, and to the point. And, they are always a work in progress.