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Web Site Design Tips for Small Business

Make your site inviting to new and existing customers

There’s nothing like an outdated, cluttered, clunky Web site with spelling errors and broken links to drive away prospective customers. How can you make your site an inviting place? Here are some tips for improving key aspects of your web site.

Navigation – Your web site design needs to have a well thought out layout, so customers can navigate it easily. Make sure all important sections are prominently listed. Link as many pages as you can into the main navigation bar, instead of having subpages from pages. You can also link internally to other pages on your web site through your web content.

Branding – Incorporate memorable elements of your brand into your web site, such as your logo, company color scheme and motto or jingle if you have one. Make your logo prominent on your home page and put it on all other pages to promote your brand.

Home page – Visitors should be able to tell immediately what your business does. Any call to action such as “Buy Now” or “Call Now” should be visually prominent on the page.

Content – If your main business is offline, just give enough clear, concise information to get customers to call or email. If you sell your products or services online, provide complete information to give customers the confidence to click and buy.  Either way, consider having someone familiar with SEO do your web content writing.

Refresh content – New content draws customers back. One easy way to update your content without a lot of code changes is by starting a blog.

Think SEO – Keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind during web site design. Photos and splashy graphics may look nice, but won’t be read by search engines. One fix: have a text link that says “View portfolio” instead of a graphic button. Search engines will read the text more easily.

Colors – Use complementary colors that make your text easy to read. Clashing colors such as red text on a blue background make text too hard to read and turn off visitors.

Be easy to reach – Make sure your contact information or an obvious link to it is at the top or bottom of every page of your site.

Sound good – Music or narration that starts playing automatically when your site loads is an immediate turnoff for many visitors. If you must have sound, make sure it’s easily disabled.

External links – Links that take visitors to another web site should always load in a new window. Make sure your site stays in front of the customer, even as you provide them with additional resource information.