The vast majority of businesses use email and most even have a website, but establishing your business online is more than just ordering a new domain name. Good business owners understand the importance of planning any expansion to their business, and web design is no different. You should be sitting down to create a clear brief of what you need on your website as well as doing some research on what a modern website needs. To help you out we have put together 5 tips that will give your site a great foundation and make your web design work in the short and long term.
1. Make your site responsive
Responsive websites are the new standard. Basically, this means that the website can adjust to any device or screen that it is loaded on to. It can be easy to forget that while your new business website design looks great on your office desktop it may be unworkable on a tablet or mobile device. Just in the United States market, 58% of adults have a smart phone, while 48% of adults own some form of tablet computer (Pew Research, January 2014). So if your site can't cater to them then you may be losing 50% or more of your potential customers!
2. Are you search engine ready?
While search engine optimisation can seem like a magic trick sometimes, the fact is that Google is getting better and better at "reading" the content of your website. So in order to make an impact with search engines you need good quality written content, and you also need to avoid errors on your website such as broken links. The format of this content is also important. Using H1, H2 and other formatting tells the search engine "how important" certain things on your pages are. Also remember to do extensive keyword research!
3. Added boosts with directory listings
Directory listings online can help customers find your website and give your website that little boost it will need with the search engines. Do a search for both local, free and industry specific directories and list with as many as you can. Provide clear details and remember to write a different company description on each one. Using the same text for all of your off-site promotional efforts can end up looking like spam (especially when the search engine bots take a look).
4. Ease of use
Make sure your website user interface is not too crowded, hard to use or dysfunctional! People can spend anywhere from 1 - 15 seconds on your site so every little thing counts. The best way to ensure your website is easy to use is to have it tested in advance.
5. Keep on testing!
Use as many people as you can to test your website - your company employees, your family and anyone else that may be able to point out small problems with your site. Remember, even after the site is up and running, keep testing and keep improving.