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Five Quick Tips In Website Design Small Businesses Need To Know

For any small business, one of the most important decisions you will need to make – or rather, series of decisions – concerns your web presence. When it comes to advertising your wares, providing a platform where customers can purchase goods, and generally interacting with everyone who is interested in your products, a competent website is critical. If it isn’t designed well, site visitors will look once, then quickly go elsewhere. If the links don’t work properly on your sales pages, or there is little thought of providing customers with the ability to provide feedback, then you’ll appear less than 100% professional. Again, they’ll go elsewhere. So when it comes to website design, what are some of the most important tips?

 

Budget accordingly

Is your website to be a portal into your business in terms of providing a lot of basic information? Or will it need to be much more interactive, allowing customers to make online payments? If it’s the former, you’ll probably only need a handful of well-designed pages, in which case you could rely on one of the many site-builder websites which will provide front-end templates. You can decide which particular interface appeals to you the most and tweak the designs.

The two crucial design elements are the code and the text. The code is important because you can add tags, while the text is also a vital consideration when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). But more of that later.

If you are going to require a lot of more sophisticated functionality, there are template sites which will offer basic fixes, but it would probably best to ask a web designer to come up with a solution. This might involve downloading appropriate software, or creating a bespoke site. This will obviously be more expensive than the template option, but it would be better in the longer-term, ensuring a slick and satisfying experience for your customers.

Setting up a budget for building a website is not an easy task and more often the business owner realizes that his estimations were inaccurate. Forbes magazine has a nice article about this, check it out here.

 

Check out your competitors

It’s impossible to provide a catch-all solution for web design because one of the key factors is it should be relevant to your business. A site selling encyclopedias does not need to be heavy on images, while a movie review website needs to be upbeat, containing a lot of graphics. An excellent way to get a handle on how your site should appear can be obtained by checking out those of your nearest competitors.

Plan your site

No matter what type of site-building mechanism you opt for, you must have a strategy in place. This is where you can plan your timetable for the aspects of the site’s design – content, images, SEO – and allocate different roles, establishing deadlines for production. Think about your target audience and try not reinventing the wheel. Once you checked your competitors, note what are their UI and UX elements. Are you building a social network? You already know where to look: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Do you want to take it a step further and try helping singles in order to find their soulmates? Look on how Flirt.com is using their typeface, content layout and color schemes.

 

Elements

Returning to SEO and meta tags. These need to be built-in at the page design stage in order for your website to show up in searches. This is where you need to compile a list of keywords relevant to your content. These should also flow organically with the text, as search engines recognize when words have been shoe-horned into a page in order to try and attract attention.

Content

An important tip is to keep your site looking fresh. Constantly update your material, refresh the images, add new articles, and ensure the navigation is as slick as possible. Your site should never, ever stagnate.

 

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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