Is Your Web Presence Up To Par ?

Don't Forget These Important Elements When Designing a Website for Your Business

Perhaps the single most important thing any business must have in today’s economy is a digital home. A highly professional Website will not only draw potential customers and clients to the brand but also encourages and fosters the closing of a purchase or sale. Long gone are the days when Websites simply served as digital brochures.
Customers and clients look to the internet to find resources for their personal and professional needs. In order to get that all important client call or customer inquiry, there is often a bit of lead nurturing necessary, and whether you know it or not, your Website is what you’re counting on to do it.

And that’s why today, more than ever, an effective Web design is more and more crucial to a business’ bottom line. Think of a your Website as an online sales platform for your business. What functions do you want your sales mechanism to perform?

You want it to target your core audience; provide the details they need about your industry and your service (including, pricing, value proposition and value-adds) to persuade them to contact you; and you want it to facilitate a sale in as much as it is, in this case, “digitally” possible.
When planning your Web design these and a few other factors must be top of mind in order to create the appropriate online presence that will help power your business’ sales.
The following elements should factor highly in your new Website design or re-design project:
 Brand Consistency: Before you develop your business Website, a few key decisions must first be made about your branding.  Clearly, in today’s marketplace branding is much more than selecting a color pallet, designing a logo and crafting a slogan.
A business’ philosophy, value proposition and differentiation from competitors all converge to define your business’ identity. These elements should, therefore, be taken into consideration when developing your business’ branding. Your logo, color pallet and slogan say all this and more about your business. Carefully consider the elements you choose to visually articulate what your business is all about. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Do it right.

Once you have your branding determined, promote it consistently and well when designing your Website. Instead of selecting colors that compete with those of your logo and branding, select a pallet that serves well as a backdrop with colors that compliment the identity you’ve designed.
Design a site structure that is likewise congruent with your logo and branding. Page borders should compliment the look and feel of your logo. Photos and page elements (lines, bounding boxes, visual framework) should all be consistent with branding as well. The constancy of your brand is crucial to articulating your firm’s identity online. A well thought out logo and branding, should be complimented by an equally well thought out Web design that serves to make prominent the elements that you have chosen to represent your business visually.
Site Usability: Businesses often have mere seconds to capture the attention of organic online traffic. One of the best ways to send potential leads packing is creating a Website that is confusing and difficult to navigate. Usability is key to creating an online presence that builds trust and promotes higher conversion rates for your business.
Create a seamless navigation for your site. This will foster an intuitive experience for those looking to learn more about your business.
Keep the basic elements of your site (rates, services, about us) one click from the Home page. Don’t build nests of pages for these most basic and necessary elements of your site. The basics are what tell your clients what they need to know. They provide a really good sense of your brand to the Website visitor.
Keep images and videos compressed so that page loading times are kept brief and customers don’t “bounce” from your site just seconds after visiting.  If you run an e-commerce business with lots of products and product pages, consider a sitemap and breadcrumbs to create a linking trail for users traveling deeper and deeper within nested pages.
Any content you publish on your Website should be clear and well-written. There is nothing worse for a customer browsing experience (and your brand’s image, for that matter) than Website content that is riddled with errors in grammar and punctuation, painting your brand as unprofessional and unpolished.
Creating a good user experience for those that visit your Website is key to nurturing any leads the site generates, taking them one step closer to converting sales for your business. 
Call to Action: One element companies fail to implement in their site design is an effective call to action, prompting a Website visitor to convert online. Always create and promote an online mechanism for generating the sale whenever possible within the context of your Website and business model.
If your business sells products online, create a prominent call to action for each of the pages of your site for which that may be a relevant option. Customers and clients should never have to search for a way to buy your product or click one link after another and still another to order your services.
Create a seamless process for lead/visitor conversion and promote it vigorously and you’ll reap rewards for the investment you’ve made in your business’ online presence.
Utilizing the call to action concept has always been the hallmark of effective promotion since the days print advertising ruled the marketing landscape. Employ a persuasive call to action throughout your site and ensure that your business’ online sales mechanism is strong and potent in today’s competitive marketplace.
Your  business has many ways to reach customers and effectively promote your brand. Your business Website is probably the first and best way to target those customers 24 hours a day.  Don’t miss the opportunity to harness the benefits a well designed Website will bring your brand.
If you do not have the tools to ensure your site goes beyond the online brochure of the early ‘90s, outsourcing to a Web consulting firm with experience in implementing these fundaments can be a great solution. Outsourcing this important task will ensure your site works 24 hours a day to bring you the business your brand deserves.