lets talk about 10 things to consider when designing a website
1. Choosing a Domain and Host
Great domain names say so much while saying so little. In addition to being memorable, a domain name needs to accurately reflect your brand’s voice . Finding the right name for your brand is important, because incorporating a combination of SEO, simple spelling, and brand identity into the domain name leads to a higher chance of being located in search engine results. Simply put, businesses that are easily accessed online get more customers.
2. Backend Services (CMS “Content Management System” / Software)
It’s impossible to develop a great website without a functional program taking care of the backend. If you think of your website as a car, you can understand why. In the world of websites, this equates to the part of your site a user experiences directly. The backend of your website is where the magic really happens. Without strong backend services, your website won’t be able to “wow” your guests. WordPress is a customizable CMS ideal for informational sites.
3. Clean Design
One of the most important things to remember during the process of website development is to create a clean, attractive design. A quality design is attractive and easy to read with intuitive navigation. Most importantly, a clean design helps viewers focus on the value of your brand and content instead of distracting graphics and large amounts of text. Often, customers associate website designs with the quality of a particular company or product. Hence, a clean design is vital to providing a positive user experience that encourages customers to return.
Branding is important to all businesses, both large and small. The design and placement of your brand’s logo contributes to a viewer’s overall opinion. Professionally designed logos successfully catch the customer’s eye and provide a clear picture of the brand’s unique voice. Choose a location on your site that is readily visible to visitors, such as the upper left corner, since this is where the eye naturally begins to scan a website. To further solidify your brand’s identity, consider using the same logo on packaging, print advertising, and branded apparel. When a business is consistent with branding, it provides customers with an integrated and memorable brand experience.
When thinking about functionality, there are a few matters to consider. Namely, is the website functional in the literal sense? Are there loading issues or broken links? Are the site’s security features adequate for your business’s needs? In addition to these operational issues, it’s crucial to view your website’s features from the user’s perspective. Are the contact forms, surveys, and customer feedback sections of your site working properly? One or all of these functional issues can prompt a customer to leave your site.
6. Call to Action
Placing calls to action on your website encourages customers to contact your business. A friendly suggestion, such as “Contact us today!” demonstrates that your business wants to develop a relationship with its customers. It’s important that calls to action are appropriate for a visitor’s level of engagement with your company. If they’re just discovering your brand, invite them to subscribe to your email newsletter. If they’re already a loyal customer, perhaps they’ll enjoy participating in your brand’s loyalty rewards program. Regardless of what you’re asking visitors to do at your site, always include a call to action at least once on each page.
7. Clean, SEO-Friendly Code
Whether you’re developing new webpages or optimizing existing ones, it’s critical to have clean, SEO-friendly code. By taking the time to improve your site’s code, you can increase the overall return on investment. SEO-friendly code acts as a guide for search engine spiders by providing a clear picture of your site’s content. Certain CMS services, such as WordPress, provide plug-ins designed to simplify the process of cleaning up code and increasing search engine rankings. Since it requires little coding knowledge (if any), WordPress is a great resource for companies struggling to drive traffic to their websites.
8. Mobile Sites vs. Responsive Sites
Statistics indicate that the use of mobile devices to conduct online searches has increased significantly in the past two years. In fact, approximately 95% of mobile device users count on their devices to search for local products and services. To effectively reach this growing population of mobile users, businesses need to be sure that their websites are available from any device. For a large company with an existing web presence, it makes sense to develop a separate, mobile-friendly website designed to perform well on any device. On the other hand, a business planning the launch of a website would be better served by choosing a responsive design capable of adapting to any device.
9. Customer Testimonials
Similar to offsite reviews, customer testimonials can be used to promote your business. By featuring customer testimonials on your site, you demonstrate your company’s skills, products, and commitment to customers. If you already have a loyal customer base, reach out to a few and solicit online reviews. If they’re willing to provide a recorded testimonial, take advantage of this opportunity to create a branded video. The more genuine, detailed testimonials your company receives, the greater your chances of gaining new customers.
10. Comprehensive Sitemap
When you sit down to read a book, what’s the most helpful section to review first? Typically, it’s the table of contents. Acting as a summary of the book’s details, the table of contents provides a snapshot of material found within. Similarly, a sitemap provides visitors and search engines with the information to easily navigate your website and discover its contents. To keep your site up to date, it’s necessary to revise the site map as new pages are added. Google Webmaster Tools simplifies this process for you.