You’ve chosen your domain name, and you’re ready to start building your site. There are lots of programs like WordPress that will help you build a website step by step. It can seem like a daunting task, and it’s easy to put it off, but a well-built website is key for a successful business. While there are programs that will take you through the technical steps of setting up your pages, there are some key elements every good website should have.
Simply put: make sure your website looks good. A good design will include elements such as a logo, fonts, layout, and colors being cohesive. There’s nothing more off-putting than going to a website that looks like a mishmash of ideas all thrown in together. First and foremost, choose a theme or layout that works with the message you’re conveying, and choose complimentary colors. If you’re a brick and mortar store finally coming into the technological age, choose colors such as what your storefront and signage carry now. If your main colors are purple and green and that’s what your clientele recognize, building a website in pink tones doesn’t make sense.
Likewise, suddenly changing the logo you’ve had on your storefront and business cards for years to something you think works better online does little to help customers identify it’s your business when they land on your page. While fonts and colors and logos need not match exactly, it’s important that they are at the very least similar to what you’ve already built in your customer base. If you’re a new business, you have more wiggle room, but all aesthetic features should work together.
Don’t confuse the issue on your website with extra information that customers don’t need, but do give them what is important. If you answer your visitors’ questions before they ask them, it makes things easier on everyone. Adding useful information isn’t just about adding an FAQ section. Think about what questions customers commonly ask about your business, and answer them. Clearly state on your website how, when, and where customers can contact you and what hours you are open in store fronts. Not knowing how to reach a business is a major complaint when contact info is left off a website, and it automatically screams shady if you don’t make it easy for customers to reach you.
State your shipping methods and costs, provide product ratings and include an about page that reveals how long you’ve been in business and what your company’s motto, goal, or vision is. Give visitors what they’re looking for right up front, so they don’t go searching somewhere else out of frustration.
Make it Navigable
Site organization is key to attracting potential customers. Visitors expect to see a navigation bar or menu along the top or down the left side of their screen. Switching it up and getting creative like putting the navigation tools at the bottom is not a good idea. If a customer must search your site just to find the “about” tab, frustration may get the better of them before they even have a chance to see what your business is.
Don’t go button crazy either. Group like information together. An about page can include your mission statement, your history, etc. and contact info all on the same page. There’s no need for individual tabs for things like email, physical address, and phone numbers for your company. Keep it simple is a concept too easily overlooked. Often, businesses want to be innovative, edgy, and creative. That’s fine for your products, but keeping your web page simple is appealing. Consider the different types of clientele you have and how easy it is for someone not technically inclined to navigate your page.
Prove Your Credibility
It doesn’t matter that you have a five-star rating on Yelp if you don’t let your customers know that. Don’t make them call the better Business Bureau to find out if you’re a member. Save them time by listing it on the website, and you’ll save a customer from jumping to another business that proudly advertises their credibility.
When you build a website it can be time-consuming, and you might be tempted to rush it, but don’t. Look at the website from the perspective of your clients. Are the layout, color, and overall styles pleasing? Is your content relevant and important to your customers? Is your site easy to navigate? Do you advertise your credibility? If you do these, it makes things easier on your customers by easing frustration and eliminating questions that might crop up in their mind.