Do you need a better business website that meets your business objectives? Plan ahead with these tips for successful website development.
Successful Business Website Planning Starts Here!
Your website will make a lasting impression on your existing clients and potential new customers. Our 26 considerations for successful business website planning will help you determine how well your website serves your present and future needs. Your site must meet future requirements as well as your current objectives. Failing to do so can lead to missed opportunities, expensive fixes, and other limitations to your digital marketing strategy.
Yet it always amazes me that many people take more time to consider where to make dinner reservations than what kind of website best serves their needs. Folks, we are not talking rocket science here! A few simple considerations before any successful business website planning can help you avoid many of The Big Problems with Small Business Websites.
Considerations for Successful Business Website Planning
To make it easy for you, we have identified these 26 essential steps to successful business website planning. To keep it simple, we started at the top of your website and worked our way towards the footer at the bottom. Some things may not be applicable in your case, so feel free to skip over them. Make a note if you don’t understand something and contact us for clarification. OK, let’s get started to develop your website!
1. Domain Name
Your domain is both the name and address of your website. The most familiar domain extension is .com, but there are many others. You do not buy a domain; you register it with a domain registrar like GoDaddy for a period of 1 through 10 years. Avoid domain names that include special characters like hyphens or different spelling; visitors will mistype them. An ideal domain name includes organic keywords that describe your business or service, such as seattlesbestseafood[dot]com
2. Domain Hosting
Many website owners fail to understand that buying a domain does not include hosting. Think of it as leasing a car; you still need a place to park it. Hosting provides a “parking space” for your website. When selecting a host, you will want to consider reliability, security, performance, and service.
There are many different website hosting options available to you. Hosting providers such as Kinsta, InMotion, Siteground, or BlueHost will meet most hosting requirements. For WordPress websites, we recommend WPEngine as a hosting solution. If you have extreme hosting needs, you may want to check out Pagely.
If you want to check out more options, you will like this business website hosting comparison.
3. Development Technology
4. Site Purpose
What do you want your website to do for you? The purpose of your website can range from telling a story, collecting information, describing a service, or selling a product to connecting an audience, promoting awareness, and raising donations. Determining the purpose is essential before you develop a website.
5. Layout & Color
Part of successful business website planning is to consider layout and color. Both will affect the feel of your new site. In today’s increasingly mobile environment, long skinny designs work better than horizontal designs. Ease of navigation is essential for mobile users. And different colors evoke different responses from an audience, which can be culturally defined as well. This post explains all about the psychology of color in marketing.
6. Site Map
A site map is essential for both your human visitors and the search bots indexing your site. You need to consider the information architecture and flow before you develop a website to give your visitors an intuitive and engaging experience.
7. Visual Content
Visual content is all the info on your website and includes text, images, graphics, video, and audio. Your content needs to be informative and target your audience. As you develop a website, keep in mind that the type of content on your site will also affect how it looks and how fast it loads for the viewer.
8. Your Audience
If you have the right content, you will attract and engage your intended audience. But you will need to carefully track user behavior so that you can keep pace with shifting tastes and demographics. Keeping your audience engaged ensures that they will share and talk about your content.
Advertising is an excellent way to make money off your site if you get enough traffic. And that is a significant factor in determining your advertising rates. Overall we recommend against ads for most of our clients. If you must advertise, keep it to a minimum, aligned with your message and target audience, and upscale.
10. Pop-Up Messages
Please be careful when using pop-up messages! They are by far the most annoying type of advertising, universally despised by viewers, cause websites to load slowly, and can be impossible to close. Plus, Google is on the warpath against interstitial pop-ups on mobile devices! We are currently running a few tests on our site, so we will let you know how that goes.
11. Attractive Design
That should be self-explanatory but sadly isn’t. Forget about glitz or pimping up your site. That does not convey a professional message to your audience. Business websites need good design and professional appearance. You will need to make allowances for the type of industry and the intended audience. Take a look at some of your competitors before you develop a website.
12. Calls to Action
Your website will need calls to action (CTAs) to be effective. And CTAs need to stand out. Make your “Buy Now!” and “Download Here!” buttons bright and eye-catching!
There are virtually limitless options, ranging from full image and even video backgrounds to subtle textures and solid colors. Keep in mind that your background content or design should do just that; stay in the background rather than overpowering your content. A relatively new trend for 2020 is to use solid colors or gradients. This design strategy also helps you reduce your page load time!
14. Your Brand Image
Any successful website design project has to include some sort of brand development. What kind of impression are you trying to create? The right brand image can go a long way in establishing your brand and growing engagement. Choose your brand carefully before you develop a website. You want to be memorable for all the right reasons, don’t you?
15. Easy Navigation
We can’t stress this enough! Your navigation menu needs to be simple and easy to navigate if you want to give your visitors the best possible user experience. Avoid misleading labels, too many sub-menus, and links leading to more links. And make sure your website navigation provides the best possible user experience across all devices. Otherwise, you will never meet the expectations of ever more sophisticated and demanding mobile consumers.
16. Unique Look
You may have noticed that there are a lot of websites out there. If you want your site to get seen, it needs to be unique and stand out from the crowd. But don’t go overboard and make it so unique that people can’t figure out how to use it! A nice touch for 2020 is the use of vertical text. You can see that on our home page!
17. Fresh Content
Another simple, yet all too often overlooked fact. To keep visitors returning to your site, you need to keep the content fresh and updated at all times. Consider writing a blog, publishing case studies, or adding regular podcasts to keep your content updated.
18. Optimized for SEO
Make sure that search engines can easily find your site. It needs to be compliant with the latest web coding standards, follow Google’s best practices, and have keywords and phrases organically inserted into the content.
19. Cross-Browser Compatibility
Successful website design in 2020 means focusing on more than one device or screen size! Your visitors will use a variety of desktop and mobile web browsers. Make sure they have a great user experience on any device as you develop a website. You can use several browser testing tools to see how a site looks at various screen sizes.
20. Screen Resolution
Screens have become much bigger and much smaller in recent years. Your audience could look at your site on an iPhone or a home theater display, and each has a different screen resolution. Different viewports require much more flexibility in arranging your visual content when you develop a website. In 2020 we recommend using images at least 1920px by 1200px. Larger images up to 2560px by 1600px are better for Retina or hi-res displays.
21. Social Media
Yes, you do need to use social media marketing for your business or product brand. But there are many different options available for social interaction on your site. Your visitors can simply like or follow you. You can also provide them with a much more immersive experience through a live feed from your social profile. Keep that in mind as you develop a website.
Luckily the days where web designers were limited to only a few fonts are long gone. But don’t abuse the privilege! Bold and plain fonts are easier to read than overly ornate ones, especially on smaller screens. Always remember that part of successful business website planning is keeping the font size large enough for easy reading!
23. User Registration
Requiring user registration is not a recommended way to attract and keep new visitors to your site. If you feel that capturing your visitors’ info is important enough to ask them to register, give them member-only advantages. Entice potential members with a special gift or offer, or some other way to show your appreciation.
24. Tracking & Analytics
At the very least, you should be using Google Analytics to monitor performance and optimize your website as needed. There are other ways to track your social media engagement, website ranking, and other data. If you have any specific requirements or just need more info, please contact us, and we will be happy to help you.
25. Provide Security
26. The Website Footer
It used to be that your site’s footer was more or less an add-on with possibly your copyright notice. No more! These days your website footer is a valuable piece of real estate. You can use it to list your contact info, opt-in newsletter, links to recent blog posts, and just about anything else.
Now You Are Ready to Build a Better Website!
Congratulations, you are now ready to begin your next web design project. No, we don’t mean you have to do it yourself. But by thinking about these critical items, you are now better able to articulate your vision and requirements and take your website to the next stage. So look for a web design professional in your city, or simply reach out to us and we will be happy to help you!
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of mobile-first business website consulting and design services, including mobile-first web design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, brand strategy, and design, and business website hosting and maintenance.
How Did Your Web Design Project Go?
Did you recently undertake a web design or web development project? If so, did you incorporate any of our suggestions for successful business website planning? Did that help you achieve your business objectives? Or did you have problems with our recommendations? Please feel free to comment below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!