A website is more than just an online brochure. A brochure is just a piece of information about your business you hand out to people whereas website is your business image you want online customers to see. People will forgive a badly designed brochure, but a poorly designed website can lead them to make a snap judgment about your company’s professionalism. Your website is one of the most visual examples of your company’s standards for quality. So, unless you are a website designer, you should hire one to design a professional website for your business.
Website design quality has increased largely due to new versions of software design tools like Photoshop, illustrator, Corel…etc. These improved tools have enabled designers to shorten their design learning curves and take their designs to a new level. This has led to higher expectations for website design quality. So if you want your business to stand out from your competition online, you need a website that’s unique, professional, and functional.
Here are some things to keep in mind before and during your web design process. They will help you communicate effectively and provide a better experience for your viewers. These are some key steps to take for EVERY successful online marketing website.
First, jot down the most important messages you want to communicate to your targeted customers, then let a few of your friends read all those messages for 60 seconds or less. Make sure they still understand your messages clearly. If your main messages take longer than 60 second to read and understand, simplify them. Also try to minimize using technical terms; instead, use simple terms that an average targeted customer might think about when looking for your type of products or services.Show moreShow less
Second, again put yourself in the shoes of your targeted customers, and think of what terminologies they would use to find your products or services on search engines. These will become the keywords you want to make a list of and use when writing up your website’s content. Try not to stuff too many keywords into your content, but apply them naturally like you are writing a standard introduction letter to your customers.
Third, prepare professional and descriptive pictures or graphics for all of your messages above. Why? Because there are a large number of viewers who would prefer to understand your messages through images rather than words. Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words.
Fourth, optimize your pictures (reduce image‘s resolutions) and graphics for faster loading on your website. Viewers won’t wait for slow websites. Also, get a faster web server to host your website on will definitely help.
Fifth, gather all content you have (or will soon have) and map out where you want to place them on your website. This is where your navigation menu design as well as your internal link building begins. It is very important to put yourself in your viewers’ shoes to map out your main menu and internal links. You want to make it easy for viewers to navigate around your website. It takes time and money to get viewers to your website, so the last thing you want is a confused or frustrated viewer, one who will click away from your website, and may never come back.
Sixth, place your main messages and pictures in a highly visible area where viewers won’t have to scroll down on the side bar to see them; usually right below, above, or next to your main menu. You don’t want to waste any time introducing your main messages. People’s attention spans are surprisingly short when browsing websites. I guess that’s why we call it “browsing” instead of “reading.” You have 60 seconds or less to share your messages with your viewers; if they don’t “get it” quickly, those viewers will go somewhere else. Again, this is where pictures COMPLEMENT with text are the best strategy to deliver your main messages to your audience.
Seventh, in your web page layouts, make it really easy for customers to contact you from your website; either through phone, email, or both. If you want your customers call you only, then place your phone number in a highly visible area on your website, with big font and a stand-out color. If you only want customers to contact you via email, then create a simple contact form and place it in a highly visible area on many of your web pages.
Eighth, embed the keywords (see part 2 above) onto your Header Tags, Description Tags, and the Titles of your web pages, strategically (do not repeat same title). These steps give clues for search engines to crawl and index your web pages.
Ninth, if anything changed at your business that your targeted customers should know about, update that on your site. You don’t want your site to have information about services that you no longer provide or specials that are out of date.
These are the steps to build a strong foundation to enable your website’s success. However, if you don’t have time to work the list above, our Minnesota web design firm can help you with that. Contact our Minneapolis web design team today at 612-590-8080 and let the professionals take care of your website.