When starting to build a website for the first time, or looking to improve on an existing website, its hard to know where to start. Follow the 7 simple tips below and you will have the solid foundations on which to build a successful website.
Research shows that if your website does not load quickly you will lose visitors. Think carefully before adding animation, and other graphics with big file sizes as these slow down your download. Make sure all images and graphics are optimised for fast download and are of the correct type (gif, jpeg, png. etc.)
More business is lost because of poorly formatted home pages, don’t let it be you.
The design and layout of the site should aid navigation not hinder it. Information should be laid out from a users point of view, not your own. Think if I was a customer, what would I want to know, and in what order. Put the most important thing in the customers mind first in the navigation etc.
Decide on what the home page is and how it is to be used. Is it a large advert for your main product? Is it a portal in to the rest of the site, with snippets of information that draws the visitor into the site?
Your website should be build to accessibility standards. It not only helps the impaired, but also search engines. The Disability Discrimination Act covers websites, and so therefore any redesign and development of your website needs to adhere to the act.
Makes it easy for search engines. Search engines do not have eyes; they can’t ‘see’ pictures and graphics. A search engine sees the source code. Designing websites that are accessible are good for search engines.
Your website should be designed and built so it is easy to find by prospective customers. Implementing the above step (accessibility) will help with this, but there are other things to consider.
Is the domain name relevant and easy to remember? Does it contain keywords such as your company name or what you do i.e. B&Q’s website is http://www.diy.com. Is it registered with search engines? Is it listed in directories?
Also your web pages should be optimised for keywords or phrases that are relevant and that visitor would search for.
It’s important you build trust into your website. This is often the first impression a potential customer gets of your company. Once they are happy that you sell the product or service they require, they need to know whether they can trust you to deliver.
Include pictures of staff at work, or the building. Include your business address and contact details. Put up testimonials from satisfied customers. These all help build trust.
The information on the website should be relevant and well presented. Think about what you want from your website, an enquiry, an order perhaps? Then give the visitor the information they need to make this happen.
If it’s an enquiry don’t tell them everything. Give them enough to want to ring or email you.
The look and feel of the website should be consistent throughout. This makes it easier for visitors to get around and find information without getting lost. Just imagine going on a journey and every road had different signage. Navigating on journeys is easier, because we know what road signs look like and how they work. The same applies to your website. Don’t move buttons around the screen, and don’t change colours and fonts, because it ‘looks nice’.