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Web Design Gravesend, Kent [UK]. Professional bespoke Web Design for the Small business. Contact Leigh today for a FREE quote.

Things to think about regarding your Website

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What do you really need on your Website? Who should you get to build it? How will people find it?  These are some of the questions that with the right answers, will enable you to create a strong online presence.

Research

Before you do any kind of Website design work, review your competitor’s Websites. What do you like? What do you not like about them? What do you think they lack which you think your visitors and potential customers might want or need?

Content

A Website should be useful and add value to your business, give the right impression and make potential customers want to either contact you or buy from you. All Website content should be written with both the audience and search engines in mind; however, audience should always take priority over search engines.  Readers tend to scan Web pages rather than read one-for-word; so capture your audience's interest with short bulleted statements that are quick and easy to read. Structure textual content using descriptive headings and sub headings.  Images should be used sparringly and carefully so as not to clutter the page and increase the time the page takes to appear in the browser.

Website content should always be current, informative and engaging; and as your business grows: your Website should grow with it.

Domain name

Think of your domain name as the doorway to your Website.  Choosing a suitable domain name that will work hard for you is an extremely important aspect of Website design; however, many fail to realise the power they wield.  The right domain name will help you to strengthen your brand, influence public opinion of your company and improve your Websites SEO. Do you get a .com or a .co.uk?  Do you get which matches your business name or one which indicates what your Website is about?  There are many factors that need consideration.  Below are a few pointers which may help you.

  1. Short – easier to type and more memorable.
  2. Easily Understood – clearly conveys your corporate identity.
  3. Easy to spell -- avoid words which are commonly misspelt.
  4. Copyright – don’t infringe on existing companies trademark rights.
  5. Unique – distinctive domain names will generate valuable interest.
  6. Memorable – unforgettable names will help encourage repeat visits.
  7. Jargon Free – use familiar terms.
  8. Keyword-rich -- domain names including keywords will ranking higher in search engines.

Business hosting

Some hosting can now be found at very low prices but consider whether they are cost effective? I can not stress this point enough -- research hosting companies before you commit to a contract.  Read reviews and look for ones which appear regularly in top-10 hosting companies lists.

Design

Usability studies have clearly shown that using the right navigation, content and visual elements will retain your audience for longer.  The longer they stay, the more likely they are to either buy from you or contact you. Use your company branding [i.e. logo and colours] to form an attractive and engaging look.  Clearly presented text, aligned and set in a font and format that runs consistently through the Website.  Make good use of space and remeber that utilising white space [content free areas] can be just as effective because it prevents page cluttering.

Functionality

It is vitally important that your Website is easy to use and that its users are able to achieve their goals without hinderance.  Their goal might be to buy a specific product or join a mailing list.  Whatever their reason for visiting your Website, they must be able to do what they came to do.  This means that your Websites' navigational system needs to be easy to understand and remain consistent throught the entire Website.

Support

How often will the content of your Website need to be changed? Future support and hosting are the ongoing costs you will need to be aware of from the very start. If you have content that will change often, you may want to consider a content management system [CMS].  A CMS Website will allow you to self-update your content without any ongoing costs.  Utilising the right technology can help your business develop and grow.  Look for a Website designer who is interested in your business and who can provide you with a solution which satisfies all your business needs.

Assessment

When you have a Website built, ensure that you are able to monitor and measure its performance.  Reviewing monthly statistics showing detailed information on how many people visited your Website and how they use it can help you measure its success. There are many tools and techniques that can be employed to help you gather information about your Website users.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO entails using search engines to drive targeted traffic to your Website. SEO is especially necessary when business competition is high.  There are many types of SEO; however, the two main ones are on-site SEO and off-site SEO.  On-site SEO relates to anything which is done to a Website, either its design or content; which improves how it seen and indexed by search engines.  Off-site SEO refers to the techniques that are not performed on a Website which also do the same job.  Off-site SEO would include backlink acquisition and directory submissions.

Promotion

Mention you Website URL on everything that a potential customer or potential returning customer might see.  Such places could include answer machines, letterheads, order forms, business cards, emails, social networking sites or local adverts.

Designer

Who do you get to design and build your Website?  Many people cut costs by getting a friend or relative to do it.  This is where you need to keep your 'business head' on! Can they really design a Website that will put you above your competitors? Will they be around to support the Website if errors appear? It can seem like a saving but it could have serious consequences to your business. If you’re serious about making the right impression -- employ the professionals.  Self-made or unprofessionally built Websites probably won’t fill your customers with confidence about your approach to business.

Contact several that you think present themselves well online and arrange to meet them face to face. Ask if you can talk to previous customers, view their Websites and read testimonials.

Cost

As with anything in life you get what you pay for! Think long term, its no good getting a cheap start up Website that can’t be developed.