When creating a website for your business, you must consider how you’ll communicate your message in a stylish yet professional manner. Here are some tips to help you when creating a new website.
It is important that your business keep a consistent logo and branding across all communication. However, the branding needs to suit your business. A poor decision in this fundamental topic can lose customers and business.
Domain names should be easy for customers to remember and be as close as possible to your business name and/or activities. For example, the ideal domain for a company named “ACME Shopping” would be acmeshopping.com.au.
Australian companies should aim for a “.com.au” domain, and other options are be suitable for different purposes, such as “.org” for a not-for-profit organisation.
People will do business with you if they trust you. Testimonials help with this, especially if they’re provided by high profile customers. Include as much of the customer’s name as possible (not just initials) and their location, and add their photo. All of this builds consumer confidence.
Your website should have a Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to update the text and images of the website without needing any technical skills. It also saves you a lot of money over time when compared to paying a developer to make content changes for you.
Not all businesses need to sell online. There are some products that are not suited for online purchasing and are preferable for the product to be seen in person, especially for expensive items where considerable sales effort may be required to close the deal. However, a product catalogue may be suitable to preview items and prompt the client to contact you for further information.
Just like any business plan, a website should have a major goal which can be measured over time. The goal could be as simple as providing contact information, raising your market profile, increasing newsletter subscriptions or email enquiries, or achieving sales targets.
Customers can arrive on any page of your website, not just the home page, so it’s critical that your website structure and navigation menus are logical for most people. Before creating your website, plan your site map and menus to ensure they are simple and concise, while still allowing visitors to drill down to whatever they’re looking for.
Ensure you have permission to display graphics and videos on your website. There are countless online image catalogues that you can buy and use on your website, with various licensing options available. There are also Creative Commons image libraries which generally don’t charge any royalty fees.
Compare your competitors
Research what your competition is providing because you need to be able to at least match those offerings and functions on your own site. This research will also help clarify which areas you should focus your content on to better place you for your target audience, and possible revenue.
This is the most important reason to have a website. Offer as many contact options as possible (phone, email, fax, postal address, Skype, etc) and ensure that this information can be accessed from any page of your site. You must have the ability to respond to enquiries promptly and professionally via all of these published channels.
These are just a few tips that can help in creating a successful website for your business. While most websites evolve and require updates as your business grows or changes, getting it right the first time is critical. It’s one of the first impressions (and possibly the last) that you will make on your potential customers, so a well crafted website is crucial to your long-term business goals.