There are several keys to making sure your website is working its hardest to bring in new business for you. First and foremost before designing the website you have to have a clear goal in mind. All of the design decisions will be based on your goal. “I’m building a website to attract more business.” will not work, it’s obvious that you want to attract more business. You need to think about who you want to find your website and what you want them to do on it. After finding your website will they call your offices, go to a brick and morter shop, place orders on the site, sign up for your newsletter, etc?
Once you have defined your goal you can start planning. It’s best to start with what information is going to be included. Knowing the text of the website can help with the organization and design. Basic information like product or service descriptions, contact information, your location and service area if needed is your first priority. Then you’ll probably want to include some information about your company, usually an about us page. Commonly this includes company history, awards, accomplishments, famous clients, or any information that will differentiate you from competitors. Other options are frequently asked questions, a blog, testimonials, reviews or any other information that may be helpful to your customers. When writing the text for your website be sure to use simple, understandable language. Do not use industry jargon or complicated terms, unless your target audience is industry professionals.
As you organize information you should take a moment to think about the website navigation. Simple and easy to follow navigation is essential to keeping people on your site and converting your web audience into customers. The longer it takes somebody to find the information they are looking for the more likely they are to find it somewhere else. Related products or services should be grouped together and the use of submenus may help to break down information into small digestible pieces. When designing the look of your navigation make sure it stands out from the actual content by using design tools such as text color or size, buttons, menu bars, images, etc. Keep your navigation elements consistent on every page and keep navigation title links short but descriptive.
Lastly, you want to make sure that the overall layout and design of your website communicates your message effectively. Simple, clean layouts are the most recommended for the web. Choose colors wisely, combining too many dark or bright colors will make it more difficult for guest to read your content. And keep it as consistent as possible. Remember that your website is an extension of your established brand. Your logo should be a prominent figure on your site, and you may want to look to your print marketing materials for design elements such as color, typography, etc.