So your business needs a new website?
Website design can be an overwhelming process, so we’ve put together a list of 6 things we think are the most important to think about when you get your new site developed.
The first thing you must do is secure a relevant and catchy URL. Ensure that it makes sense for your business, doesn’t have a weird spelling and is available on social platforms too. There are plenty of online tools to help you check this out.
1. Crucial Business Information Depending on your business, you should have a few sections on your website that fall into the realm of “information”. We know restaurants need a menu and a list of locations (ideally with directions or a map), but every industry has its necessary items. If you’re an ecommerce business, you need product images (and they need to be good quality). If you work in the service industry and have a business that relies heavily on customer service and referrals, put some testimonials on your site.
For example, a wedding planner could have one of her recent brides write about her experience with the business. A web designer should include screenshots or link out to previous work. A hair salon could have client testimonials about a stylist’s skills and promptness. Tailor your site so that it offers the information users are likely to be looking for.
2. Contact Information We can’t stress enough that most crucial business detail is contact information— which is why it has its own section. Have a telephone number, email address, business address and a contact form easily accessible and visible. It makes a difference because there’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to get in touch with a needed business or service.
When you put an email address or a phone number on the site, don’t upload this information as part of an image — the number or address should be able to be clicked on or copied right from the site in order to place the call or send an email conveniently and quickly. Most smartphones these days have the ability to do “click to call” on the web, so make the process as easy as possible for users. We’ve also been adding Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp click to chat buttons on a few of our client’s websites such as Rob Lock’s Martial Arts Academy in Stourbridge for an even easier way of making contact.
3. Clear Navigation A map is useless without a legend and a website is useless without clear navigation. Make sure you use easy-to-understand and logical names for the various pages of your site — contact, about, FAQ, etc. Being clever or cryptic will just be a turnoff for users.
When developing your navigation strategy, you should consider a call to action. What is it that you want people to do on your site? Place an order? Email for a quote? Become a member? Come to your brick-and-mortar store? Call to speak with a customer service rep? Make your goals clear and obvious. Think about the goal of your potential customer. Pepper the site with action items to help the customer easily do what you want them to do.
4. Social Media Integration There are a lot of social platforms out there. Social media is a critical part of marketing for your business, therefore you should promote your presence on them through your website.
Integrating these platforms into your website will help boost your SEO, improve your business’ footprint on the social web and build your following across numerous social platforms. Is it worth it to maintain a presence on so many social platforms? Yes — as long as you actually maintain your content, you’ll keep your brand at top-of-mind and keep users engaged.
5. Be mobile friendly Smartphones and tablets are driving an increasing amount of web traffic, and the numbers are only going to grow as mobile devices become cheaper and more mainstream.
Responsive website design enables you to use fluid widths, so that your website layout will adapt to the screen on which it’s being browsed. You can enter HTML code so that your sidebar takes up, say 20% of the screen width, and the remaining 80% is reserved for the body of your website. Layouts are adjustable and images are scalable to make for a better web experience on myriad devices. Here are some examples of sites with responsive design, so you can see for yourself.
6. Add some Features You Don’t Need Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. But also feel free to add these things on your website:
• Anything that autoplays, whether it’s music or a video.
• Parallax sections – these add to the feel of the site.