Many businesses are told that they need a website but not what should go on that website. It is important for businesses to have websites, but an unappealing website can be worse than not having one at all. Many business owners approach graphic design companies in order to assist with their website which is a good starting point and can assist in getting your website right from the get go!
So, what are some things businesses should include on their new websites?
First, it should be easy to find essential information on the site. What constitutes essential information depends on the nature of the business, but it should include such things as services, pricing list and contacts. It may be useful to include a map to the business. These links should be clearly available from every page on the website.
A clean and uncluttered website design is best and looks the most professional and can be designed and implemented by a marketing agency. It’s best to avoid unusual fonts, things that blink and flash and music that starts up when one lands on the page. The key is to inform visitors rather than annoy them.
Business owners should think about what kind of feeling they’d like to convey with the webpage. A store selling handmade candles and incense, for example, might want to make sure the website makes the viewer feel cozy. It might use old-fashioned fonts, soft colors and illustrations that convey that idea. On the other hand, a website for a sleek and trendy new restaurant would want to make font, photo and color choices that reflect those characteristics.
Along with the look of the website, branding is important. A brand is not just a logo although that may be the most visible sign that one associates with a company. Branding is the way that people identify a business, and there should be a consistent look and feel throughout the website that evoke the brand.
Another thing to consider is content. What will make users visit the site, and what will make them come back again?
Useful and regularly updated content is key here. A blog is a great way to keep adding information to the site. The content doesn’t necessarily have to be frequent as long as it is predictable. For example, it’s not necessary to update a blog several times a week if the customer knows that something new will be up every Tuesday.
What kind of information should a blog or other regular updates on the site contain? Again, here it depends on the business. Some businesses may feel that their focus is not interesting enough to produce regular blog posts, but almost every business has valuable information to offer a consumer. A company that specializes in tires can include information on tire safety, how to choose new tires or even interesting tidbits about the history or invention of tires. Photos and stories about the employees can appear on the blog as well, and this gives it a personal feel. Finally, a blog can offer access to special promotions, savings or coupons.
A forum is another option for keeping content fresh. The advantage here is that a lot of the content may be user-generated. Forums can be particularly useful if the company sells a product or service that may generate a lot of discussion or require some tech support. The disadvantage of a forum may be that some moderation is needed.
It’s true that all businesses should have a website, and the key is to produce an attractive, useful site that serves the purposes of the potential customer. With this ideal potential customer in mind, businesses can design a successful site.