You should look on your business web site as a new resume or think of the web as a giant digital newspaper. If people have no idea who you are or what you do after visiting your site, your business will suffer.
Here are 10 of the best design and planning tips I can give you to avoid your visitors guessing who you are or what you do.
Before you begin any design work, you should have an outline of the content that will be on the site for the launch. The number of pages, the content for those pages, navigation heirachy, site colours et al.
Content should include the following (at a minimum)
A full complete description of your services or product. Your content should answer those basic questions mentioned above - who are you, what do you do, how to contact you
Several options for people to contact you - email address, contact information page, or a contact form.
Include comments or feedback from customers who have bought your product or used your service.
Images that are directly related to the content. It could be as simple as stock photo or more preferably a photo of your product or services. In other words, your images should reflect who you are and the services that you represent. All images should have appropriate ALT tags.
Post a page listing other businesses you have worked with. Link to their site. Ask to get a link back to your web site.
If your site is large with lots of content, make sure you provide a search function.
Avoid large pages. Web pages that a visitor must scroll down more than 2 times should be broken up into separate sections.
All pages should contain meta keywords and descriptions, and descriptive page titles. Meta tags are contained in the HTML code.
Avoid over-doing the design. Keep it simple. Don't mix and match colors.
Avoid gizmos, widgets and gadgets just for the sake of having them. Use them only when their use is justified.
Avoid using Flash intro pages. Flash intros can be a distraction and a detractor from your web site.
Write and post articles relevant to your products or services. This will fill out your web site, keep visitors interested, and keep visitors coming back.
Don't let your site get stale. Keep adding to it in an organized way. Introduce new articles, press releases, new training, etc. A web site needs to be continually updated. This keeps visitors occupied and the search bots happy!
Use spell check and grammar tools in Word or other text editors before you post your content.
If you do nothing else but follow the 10 principals mentioned above, your new web site will be off to the best start it can get.
You'll find us hard at work Monday through Friday. We usually get started bright and early but give us a little time for the caffeine to kick in. We love it when you email us but phone calls are OK as well.