You know how important your company website is. You have one, and you update it regularly to keep things fresh for potential clients. And yet, you’re not quite satisfied with it, are you? Your website is respectable and looks professional, but in the back of your mind, you wonder if it could be doing a better job of selling your business. Chances are, your website has some room for improvement.
Happily, bringing your website up to speed isn’t difficult. Follow these easy website design tips and your site will have the polish and information to turn visitors into clients.
Website Layout & Design
Flow is critical to your website’s effectiveness. Does your website guide visitors to the pages you want them to see, in the order that you want them to be viewed? If you aren’t creating a path that your site visitors will follow, they may never see information that could lead to a contract or sale. Your site should guide your visitors through an explanation of who you are and what services your business provides (in general terms) before getting into details about specific services.
Finally, it should direct them to your contact information. For most sites, the menu bar is that guide. Organize its tabs, assuming that the reader will click them in order (left-to-right for horizontal menu bars; top-down for vertical bars).
Consistency is important to the flow of your website. Create a color scheme (you may want to base it off your company logo) and then use those colors throughout the site. Keep the text consistent, too: Try to cover one topic per page, rather than cram multiple ideas together.
Another important aspect of good website design is readability. Loud backgrounds can make your text hard to read. The same goes for light text colors or complicated fonts. You’re not likely to make this mistake with the site’s main text, but it’s easy to forget these rules when adding text to menu bars and other parts of the website.
Generally speaking, avoid using all capital characters, as your visitors may interpret text in all caps as yelling. Giving your main page a frank assessment will likely turn up plenty of problems, but that’s a good thing. Improving your website boils down to troubleshooting: Solve the problems, and you’ll have a better site.
In many ways, your website amounts to an elevator pitch. Your site has just a few short minutes (or less) to convince visitors that you are a pro and that you offer the services they need. Photos can play a big role in quickly forming a visitor’s opinion, so give him as much thought as you do to the text. Use photos to illustrate your main points.
As we mentioned in the previous tip, certain visuals greatly affect your website’s effectiveness. Skip images that will distract the reader from your work. In fact, when possible, use images of your work to show visitors what you are capable of and build their confidence that your business is the right one to take on their projects.
Showcase your testimonials. Use quote marks and, if your client approves, his name and general location. Many websites set the quotes in italics. It’s generally acceptable to shorten a lengthy quote with ellipses (…), but run any such change past your customer before putting the quote online, or you run the risk of alienating a customer who disapproves of your edits. Photos of past work make for excellent testimonials—and they can give visitors new ideas for their own projects. When you provide a photo of work you did for previous clients, make sure the reader understands the context of the picture. A caption, for example, gives you a chance to explain the goal and outcome of the project.
Contact Information Visibility
Putting your contact information on the main page will give your company an instant credibility boost in the eyes of many visitors. At the very least, include a Contact Us page that provides multiple ways to reach you. Keep in mind that many customers use social networks. Create profiles for your company on popular networks and encourage your site visitors to Like (Facebook) or Follow (Twitter) you. And don’t forget to link from your social network profiles back to your website.
Give Your New Look Another Look
We’d be surprised if all this shuffling and updating didn’t lead to the occasional typo, broken link, or wrong graphic. Before you unveil the site to the public, browse your website; particularly your main page. You’ll have a better chance of catching mistakes if you read it out loud, but even a quick read-through ought to turn up any glaring errors. With that last bit of polish, your site is ready for prime time— and you can get back to business.
Author Bio:- Guest Post by Kashif Raza, currently working for makeawebsitezone.com. Trying to determine how to host a website online? Visit Make A Website Zone to learn the process of creating and hosting a new website.