Most every business working in today’s market has a website for their company. Unfortunately, many of these websites are poorly designed or have a disorganized layout; this is not going to help you stand out or get ahead. There is the theory that a bad web presence is better than no presence at all. To some extent this is true, but you often hear in business that the first impression is the lasting one.
The way your site is designed tells people in just a fraction of a second whether they want to do business with you or not. Its at this moment that the potential is highest to either earn a new client or drive one off to a competitor. Think about how many times you as a customer are quick to click off of a website that looks too visually confusing as soon as you look at it. What are the elements potential clients will most likely to identify when first viewing your site?
You want your site to have strong, but not overwhelming, graphics such as your brand or text that clearly exhibits what the page is about. An organized design is not only going to keep customers on your site, but also lends itself to the legitimacy of your business as a whole. A chaotic design will lead people to believe that you do not believe in your business and will usually look elsewhere. Remember, your website is your public branding portal to the outside world. Your website creates an image of you and what you want people to know about your business.
Another aspect of your site should be functionality as well. If the menus are hard to find and use, or forms that need to be filled out aren’t clear, this is another big website killer and will send people running screaming to the next search result. As general rule of thumb forms in general should be kept to an absolute minimum, but when they are necessary, make them as easy as possible to fill out. People often try to make menus too flashy or extravagant which detracts from the purpose of driving customers to your other pages.
An important part of the design is hierarchy. This is something that can easily get lost throughout the overall design process. How often are you busy and want to be able to quickly find the information you want from a site and continue with your day? How often do you leave a site in frustration because the information isn’t readily available? This is usually because the hierarchy of the site was poorly designed. People want to be able to find what they are looking for and have any supporting documentation or additional steps readily available in a hurry. If they can’t do this on your site, they will find somewhere they can.
This just touches on a few of the main elements involved in creating an amazing website. There are many other aspects to the process that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is all a significant part of the overall design. There are a ton of free website solutions on the market these days, and they are great if you want to create a site about your family reunion or vacation, but most are not designed to handle enterprising businesses. Your best bet is to put what is probably the most valuable marketing resource at you have into the hands of a professional.