Important Elements that can make Business Website Enticing

Submitted by Kevin Taylor | Category: Business | Published on Dec 15, 2010
This article includes all important elements which are required to keep in mind when one is going to create business website. Read full article for more details.

User Friendliness With or without geographical references related to search engine marketing, user friendliness should be one of the primary components to designing a web site. Many people have experienced the frustration and irritation caused by going to a particular website, finding links or references to the information being sought, and then having to navigate several windows or pages just to get to the information itself. This can be so excessively aggravating to some consumers that, even if they find what they are looking for, they may still decide not to use a particular company. This type of disorganization leaves a lasting impression that is contrary to the image your company will want to portrait.

For this reason, website designers who want to keep visitors to the website will ensure that the home page is easily navigable. Using such features as drop-down menus and point-and-click options are one way of doing this. Website designers know there are different types of website layouts, each with its own merits.

Which design works best for a particular company depends on a number of factors. A website should be well thought out in advance so that all of these factors can be taken into consideration. The information can be summarized in the form of a series of questions that web page designers may want to ask themselves:

* Does the type of layout chosen make it easier or harder to invite "clicks"?

* Does the type of layout easily allow for expansion, updating, and even complete changing if necessary?

* Will the type of layout used make it easier or harder for consumers and users to find the company and its information, both through the preliminary SEO and the succeeding website pages?

When asked what they do and don't like about websites, many consumers often say that they don't like a site that is too "busy", particularly where the homepage is concerned.

There is too much information being presented too rapidly. It should go without saying that web pages should be written in clear, concise English, with little, if any, business jargon. This is especially important if a website is being designed to be seen by everyone rather than those within a certain field or occupation. Although, it may be possible to take some liberties with tone on some of the pages, transition should flow smoothly.

Website designers can do this by placing drop-down menus or point-and-click options for pages that may be slightly different in tone in other locations on the home page. This technique can also be utilized for every separate page or window on the website. The different windows subjects are listed on the left-hand side of the homepage, so it is simple to see the particular topic being discussed on that particular page. It is then simply a matter of placing the mouse cursor over the desired page, and clicking.

Tone of the Content

When it comes to consistency, one of the first places to look is the tone of the material being written. Oftentimes, the domain under which the website is being published will dictate the tone in which the material can or should be written. Domains under the .com or .org format can choose a style between a very casual tone or an "all business" tone, Top level domains such as .gov and .edu domains may require that only a professional tone can be used.

A company that is in a position to adopt a tone that lands directly in the middle of the casual and all business categories may, strictly from that fact alone, already have an advantage over a competitor. Most often, we recommend a tone that is professional, yet at the same time inviting so that a visitor feels welcome to stay and learn about the company. Design Elements The style of the pages on the website is another factor to consider. Again, the type of business will actually determine if a particular style should be used or what choices are most appropriate. A brochure style website is one option. In a brochure style, information is laid out succinctly; yet, thoroughly enough that consumers can see the advantages of one company over another. A brochure-type style also allows for flexibility in choosing between a casual or business tone.

Newsletters provide room for additional information; however, the contents should be written interestingly enough so that the reader's attention is held. Newsletters often require updating, but if a company is very forward-moving and wants to get that across, this style may actually help. Again, newsletters allow for flexibility, as both casual and business tones lend themselves well to a newsletter format. We always recommend that a website has the ability to collect opt-in email addresses whether or not the company currently has a newsletter. This allows a business the option of keeping in touch with a particular target market

An information page style is also quite useful. Information is presented in a clear, concise format, with sections headings where applicable. This is often used on a home page, with links to other sections of the website either embedded in the information itself or otherwise located above or around the information. Many companies are using blogs as part of their overall website. This can be especially helpful when circumstances dictate that other parts of the website be written in a more serious, businesslike tone. Websites that are or will be designed to respond to consumer "clicks" may require a specific layout. The ease, or lack thereof, with which the website invites "clicks" can spell the difference between that company being chosen and the competitor getting the job. Experienced website designers will keep this in mind, and plan accordingly.

No matter what layout design is used, if it does not allow for expansion, or cannot easily be updated, then it is going to be counterproductive. Nothing will turn users away from a website faster than outdated information and the same tired graphics being seen each time the website is visited. Seeing such a website may very well lead a consumer to think, possibly erroneously, that if the company does not care about its website image, then it may not care about its real image. While it is true that the homepage is the first thing that one will see upon entering a site's URL, this does not mean that less attention can be paid to subsequent pages. The goal of the designer and the company is not only to get the consumer to visit the site, but to "park" there for a while. For this reason, the different windows in a website should be as easy to access and navigate as the home page.

The same rules apply to them as to the home page: the information needs to be current and easily found and the other windows should offer drop-down menus and point-and-click options. Depending on the subject or area discussed in a particular window, however, the tone can possibly change. Whereas circumstances may dictate that the home page and perhaps other pages on the website adopt a professional, no-nonsense tone, it may be possible to present information in other windows in a more casual tone. This can be especially true of windows or links to blog pages or "about us" pages. Given the opportunity, people within an organization often want to come across as a person, not just a face or a name. Blog and "about us" pages offer a format in which this can be done. Search Engine Considerations " Knowing your target audience

Depending on what it is, a keyword or phrase entered into the "Google" search engine alone can produce hits numbering in the millions. The more precise a keyword or phrase, the fewer hits will be generated; however, these may still number in the hundreds of thousands. So, it is no wonder that website designers constantly have to come up with new ways to design and present websites and domains. The first page that is seen whenever any keyword or phrase is entered will contain at least ten different entries that a consumer can choose to click on. And, that doesn't even count the "related searches" listed, or the advertising links that companies pay for on the search engine site. Therefore, a website designer is going to need something that will stand out right from the start.

Always, always, always make sure that your on-page optimization is reviewed by a search engine professional whether or not you choose to pay for more aggressive search engine optimization. The analysis MUST include keywords that people will actually use to search for your products or services. 

Competitive Analysis Those who are in charge of a company's website, either designing it or determining what will go on it can get a better idea of how they want their particular site to look by visiting competitors' sites. By making note of the things they do like and the things they don't like, they can then determine how to "tweak" both the things they like and the things they don't like to give them that all-important edge over the competition.

For example, as mentioned earlier, a common complaint of users is that a page looks too crowded or "busy". By clicking on a competitor's website homepage, and simply giving it a cursory glance, a webpage designer will most likely be able to form an immediate opinion as to whether or not the layout falls into the "TMI" (too much information) category.

On the other hand, if something in particular catches the eye, then a determination may need to be made as to how this same concept can be individualized and used on the webpage being designed.

Monitoring Word about your company can spread to hundreds of people, sometimes even thousands, in less than a second. In this type of an environment, it is essential to know what people are saying about your products or services. There are also a variety of tools that we suggest using so that we can see what people are saying about us. One of the services I strongly recommend is Google Alerts, which will email you anytime someone posts one of your respective key phrases online.

In Summary, The goal of a good website is to get people to click on it and then to stay there once it has been accessed. If a company's website designer wants to blow the competition away, then having the best or most unique website will help to accomplish that and will result in increased business. However, as you can see there are a number of other factors involved. The starting point is to analyze the current state of your business. I highly recommend that my customers use the SWOT analysis method. Secondly, it is imperative to set measurable goals. What gets written and measured will get done. Set goals related to what type of website conversion rates you want to see and then take the steps to get it done.

Be sure to use SMART goals. Allow interactive customer service options such as surveys, payment forms, and other communication tools directly from your website. Use social media and integrate it seamlessly into your Internet Marketing plan. Create dynamic content an keep it fresh. Use one of the many content management systems that allow you flexibility to change things on the fly. Pay attention to the tone of your content and be sure the navigation is user friendly. Have several friends beta test the navigation of your web site. Be sure basic SEO procedures have been implemented in your site. Watch your competition and see what is working and not working for them. Finally, monitor the progress of your Internet marketing plan with web statistics and tools similar to Google alerts to ensure you know what people are saying about your company.


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