Wednesday, 25 February 2015 04:18

Got a Website? (Website Design Tips for Start-ups)

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These days, you cannot afford to not be on the web. For any business, even start-ups, it is important to have a website. Your website is your online representative. It is your storefront whenever your target clients can't make it to your actual storefront. Thus, a well thought-out small business website design is important. And, to get this done, I cannot stress enough how it's best to hire professional web designers for small business.

First of all, remember that your website represents you. Offline, I'm sure you won't want an unkempt man with ill-fitting, un-ironed and ill-matched clothes to walk up to your prospects and try to sell your products. It's the same way online. Your website should be able to charm your visitors long enough that they remember your brand, and consider making a purchase. It should look good, be easy to navigate, and have relevant information – information that helps in your prospect's decision-making. Here are some tips to getting this done:

1. What are your competitors doing?

Do a little bit of research. Look online, and perhaps check out your competitions' websites. Put yourself in the role of the buyer. What worked on you? What didn't? What turned you off from a website? What made your surfing experience great? You'll find that just by looking around, you will have a good idea on what you want on your website, and what will make it stand out and sell.

2. Don't wast prime real estate...

When thinking about how to lay out your design and content, remember this: people normally look from left to right, and from top to bottom. So, it is important to put the important information on the top left side of your landing page. This may include your call to action or other important features that it is imperative your users see.

3. Get a great brand/logo design...

Invest in a good logo design for use online and offline. It is a good idea to get your audience to associate your business name to an image, and vice versa. This is one of the basics when you want to build up your brand.

4. Keyword research...

Before getting someone to write your website's content, do a quick keyword check on Google first. You will need to find keywords that are relevant to your product/service. Use the Google Keyword Tool to see how many people are searching for those keywords and how competitive they are. You will need to consider what your target buyers are searching for. For instance, if you have a coffee shop in Melbourne, it's best to optimise for 'Melbourne coffee shop', instead of just 'coffee shop.' People who will look for you online will look for this specific keyword, unless they want to sift through a gazillion search results.

5. Create value, not spam...

Say no to spam. Do not over stuff your content with keywords. Include relevant content only.

6. No hide and seek...

Always include a Buy/Contact link, form or button. Don't make your website visitors hunt for the elements vital to increasing direct sales or enquiry.

And lastly, get your website designed and coded by professional web designers for small business. While a lot of people own Photoshop and know a little bit of HTML, a professional who has experience, has seen millions of website that work and don't work, and is up-to-date with current design, content and SEO standards will deliver a return not just a pretty picture. A small business website design should never be just an extension of your business card. It is your first step to expanding your business, and joining the major league.

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Tim Williams

Founder and Managing Director of A Website That Works For You, Tim Williams has lead "The Green Team" to success helping business owners take advantage of leading Web Design and Online Marketing practices.

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