[This article was written by Samantha Rupp.]
A business website is the cornerstone of any effective digital marketing strategy. Even if you don’t sell products online, customers can visit your company’s website to find out more about who you are and what you offer. With an online presence, you can also increase engagement and drive sales, as people from all over the world can potentially visit your website. Lucky for you, building a business site is fairly easy these days. To make a high quality site for your business, keep the following web design tips in mind.
Tip #1: Pick a good domain name
In order to be effective, your domain name should be short, representative of your business, and as similar to your brand name as possible. Don’t overcomplicate your domain name, and try to avoid obscure or made up words. Instead, do your best to keep the domain name straightforward and memorable.
Additionally, it may be a good idea to opt for a broad domain name rather than a hyper-specific one. Being too narrow in your domain name may pigeon-hole your business and make future growth under that domain name very difficult.
For example, if you run a shop in Portland that specializes in selling high-end bike helmets and make your business’s domain name PortlandBikeHelmets.com, you could potentially be limiting yourself. What if you want to expand your business beyond Portland? What if, in addition to high-end bike helmets, you want to start selling other kinds of biking apparel, such as shirts, shorts, and gloves? Or even bikes themselves? If you plan on growing your business in the future, expanding to other markets, or offering other services, then you may want to keep your domain name somewhat broad.
Tip #2: Include contact information
Every business website should include contact information in a place that’s easily accessible. If your business depends on clients reaching out, then it’s essential that you place contact information in a very visible spot, such as the very top of the home page. For instance, check out the home page of Good Life Home Loans, where they display their phone number and a call to action directly at the top of the page.
Regardless of whether your business often directly interacts with clients or not, your contact details should be fairly visible. Virtually every business website places contact details like their store address, phone number, and email at the bottom of the home page so that visitors can find it simply by scrolling down.
In addition to that, nearly every business website has a “Contact Us” page that includes those same contact details, as well as other things like a customer support chat and social media handles.
Tip #3: Follow the best SEO practices
Search engine optimization, or SEO, encompasses a broad set of practices aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website via search engine results. In other words, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that your website will show up when people Google your business or enter search queries related to your business.
One surefire way to optimize SEO is to hire an SEO specialist or a marketing firm that understands the best practices when it comes to boosting traffic to your business’s website. However, if that’s out of your budget or if you simply want to handle things in-house, there are a number of things you yourself can do to make your website SEO-friendly. Including some of the following elements will make it easier for search engines like Google to find and rank your business’s website:
- Conduct keyword research. Including relevant keywords — or words that your target audience is searching for — can help your website rank higher in search results. Try to include keywords naturally, don’t just flood your site with the top ranking keywords. This is known as keyword stuffing, and Google’s algorithm will likely recognize it and penalize your website for it.
- Publish great content. When you create great content and publish it on your website, other blogs or individuals may share that content or link to it on their own website. Generally, more websites linking back to your business’s website will translate into a higher ranking in search results. It’s especially helpful if reputable or authoritative websites link back to your business’s website.
- Make your website visually appealing and easy to navigate. Google’s algorithm is capable of telling the difference between a messy, cluttered design and a sleek one. You should also include a navigation menu in order to make your website easier to navigate for both human users and Google’s algorithm.
Tip #4: Make your website mobile-friendly
Since so many people browse the web on their smartphones and other mobile devices, you’ll have to make sure that your company’s website is mobile-friendly. If your website takes too long to load or is too difficult to navigate on mobile, then users may end looking for a better experience elsewhere. If you’re not sure what a mobile-friendly business site looks like, take a look at Etsy, the popular e-commerce platform — their mobile website is simple, functional, and easy to navigate.
Tip #5: Keep it simple
When designing your business website, try to keep it relatively simple. While you want to create a sleek design that makes your brand look good, you don’t want to confuse or overwhelm your website’s visitors with clutter. For example, when it comes to a color scheme, it’s usually better to stick with something simple — many business websites just use the colors from their brand logo.
You’ll also want to use things like pop-ups, videos, and GIFs sparingly, as these can either annoy a site visitor or distract them from the rest of your website. Not only that, but if you include an excess of videos and other animations on your webpage, it can slow down your website and make it take longer to load.
As far as the text you include on your website, break it up into short, readable segments. Online attention spans are short, and very few people are going to want to read through thick blocks of text. So keep paragraphs brief and don’t crowd the pages on your website with too much text. It might also help to highlight or isolate important information so it sticks out to the reader, or use bullet points to make scanning through your web page easier.
As a business, it’s always important to be aware of the latest trends and keep up to date with the competition. And now that virtually every business has its own website, you may find yourself at a disadvantage without one. A business website enables you to attract new audiences and connect with current customers.
Additionally, many people either make the majority of their purchases online or go to a business’s website to conduct research before making a purchase. This is why a high quality business site is so important. By following the above tips, you can successfully build a business site that will make a good first impression on visitors and boost your company’s online presence.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.