If you run a business or provide a service, there’s a strong chance you’ll want or need a professional website at some point. Although plenty of companies out there can help, such as an SEO Sydney agency, it doesn’t hurt to keep the following five things in mind.
Any professional website builder company worth its salt will factor in SEO (search engine optimisation), but what can you do about it to get a head start? In short, SEO targets search engines by incorporating keywords and phrases related to whatever your product or business is.
For example, if you run a pet shop, your homepage might involve phrases like ‘animals for sale’, ‘pet accessories’ and so on. Plus, it’s possible to create a meta title (the snippet of info that loads up in Google) that gives a brief rundown of your site/business. Try writing out a list of your company’s essential features, so that these words and phrases can get worked into any marketing copy and metadata for your site.
As tempting as it might be to fill your site with gifs, moving backgrounds and music, the last thing you want is a website that looks like a twelve-year-old knocked it up in GeoCities. If your business already has a solid logo design, consider basing the site itself on this.
For example, if your brand incorporates geometric shapes and two-tone colour, you could feature these colours in the menu or use soft shapes in the background. You could also check out similar websites to see how they use colour schemes and layouts.
As important as it is to make a site that doesn’t look boring or too similar to an existing page, it’s just as vital that your site is user friendly. Try keeping everything in the same place, no matter which part of the site you’re on.
For example, situate a drop-down menu in the top right corner or link customer support and company information in the footer. Think about what you like to see on a website and do the same. Don’t add unnecessary steps that’ll only frustrate users. As another example, if you’re selling something, let people buy things with one click or save items in a cart for later.
The user experience (or UX) is similar to the above point, but ultimately a separate concern. UX incorporates various factors, such as the user-interface, overall design, and functionality.
If your site takes ages to load, potential customers will probably tire of waiting and look elsewhere. If you offer a mailing list, but it’s impossible to unsubscribe or change notification settings, this can also turn potential clients away as you risk spamming them with unwanted emails.
This last point covers a lot of technological ground. With more and more people doing everything on their phones and mobile devices, it’s practically unforgivable if a website either doesn’t have a standalone app or isn’t optimised for mobile devices. It’s also worth checking your site to make sure it loads correctly in different browsers.
There are a few honourable mentions when it comes to building a website, including:
- A testimonial/review section
- Active news/updates
- Consistency between each part of the site
- Use a reliable backend (i.e. everything that powers the site)
If you’re tech-savvy, try your hand at building your site. However, even if you understand content management systems and graphic design, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional company to help make your vision a reality.