Things You Must Do When
Designing and Building Your Website
If you are going to have a web presence for your small business, it only
makes sense that it should actually help you get more business. In order to
do so, your website design should focus on performing only one function –
and that’s to convey your sales message to your site visitors in an
effective and efficient manner.
No matter what your web designer tells you, simplicity is best when
building your small business website. While having a website with lots of
bright colors and flashy interactive graphics might win web design awards,
it will probably not help you win customers. In fact, the more complicated
your web design, the higher the risk that your sales message will be lost
amidst all the fancy bells and whistles on your site.
For most small businesses, a simple and elegant four or five page website
is all they need to get the job done. As an added bonus, such sites are
inexpensive when compared to flashier multimedia sites. If you want your
small business website to increase your profits instead of emptying your
pocketbook, pay close attention to the following design guidelines when you
build your site.
Make Your Website Easy to Read
In order for your website to get sales and/or leads, your small business
website design needs to be user and consumer-friendly - that means it needs
to be easy to read. So, short sentences and paragraphs, dark text on white
(or very, very light) backgrounds and lots of white space should be the
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again - the
purpose of having a website for your small business isn’t to win design
awards. It’s to convey information about your product or service that guides
the consumer toward making a buying decision in your favor.
If you think that dark websites and colored text on colored backgrounds
looks better, you may be right. However, as I mentioned earlier loud colors
and excessive graphics only serve to distract attention from the sales
message contained in your site content and makes your site harder to read.
Remember: keep it simple and you’ll keep the sale.
Also, remember that web users tend to scan text instead of reading it
start to finish like printed text. Since the majority of your visitors will
not read all your content, use headlines, subheadings, and bolded text that
quickly convey your overall message. Done correctly, a visitor should be
able to scan all your headlines, subheads, and bold text in just a few
seconds and understand the central message of your site or page.
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Since the chief purpose of your site is to convey information, you should
design your website so the information it contains is easy to find. If you
make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site, they’ll thank you with
their dollars. Make it difficult, and they’ll leave your website before you
can say “Google.”
At the bare minimum, you should have a navigation bar on every webpage
that includes a link back to your home page and to every top-tier page in
your website. In addition, you should consider placing links back to the
previous page visited at the top and bottom of the current page. Some
websites use “bread crumbs” for this purpose – a “trail” of links that show
each page visited since landing at the site.
Lastly, make sure that there are no broken links on your website. Broken
links may not seem like a big deal to you, but to a site visitor who was
clicking on a link for more information they are a major frustration. Fix
your broken links!
Oh, and incidentally, making your site easy to navigate will also help
the search engines to find and index all your pages, which might help you
get more traffic over the long haul.
Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
Despite the fact that high-speed internet access has become very
affordable and accessible in recent years, many web users are still using
dial-up connections to access the internet. Note that these people get very
frustrated when they have to wait five minutes for your webpage to load. You
will lose these visitors if your web page files are too large and take too
long to load.
Keep photos, graphics, and animations to a tasteful minimum on your
websites, and keep your total page size under 50K to ensure maximum
usability for your visitors. In addition, avoid using background music on
your pages unless it is absolutely necessary – music files take time to
load, and can annoy your visitors enough to make them leave your site.
By the way, smaller and faster loading pages make it easier for the
search engines to spider and rank your site – an added bonus for keeping
your page files small and your load times fast.
Hopefully, these guidelines will help you build a website that gets you
more sales and leads for your small business. Remember, building a website
that your visitors enjoy browsing will boost customer loyalty and encourage
repeat sales. Create a fast-loading site that’s easy to read and navigate,
and your visitors will thank you with their checkbooks!
About the Author:
Mike Massie is a web marketing consultant and copywriter. He specializes in
showing small business owners how inexpensive website marketing can boost
their profits. Michael can be reached by visiting his website at
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