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There’s nothing like an outdated, cluttered, clunky Web site with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.

Why Isn’t Anyone Coming to My Website?

OK, so assuming your website is up to date, looks attractive, is easy to navigate and the pages load quickly, if you’re still not getting much traffic, you probably are performing poorly with the search engines. Search engines today are like the Yellow Pages were ten years ago.

Most people, when they’re searching for something on the internet, look at the first couple of results pages, maybe three. If your page is not showing up, they never get to see what you have to offer.
So What Can I Do?
Consider getting a free SEO analysis from Coastal Web Services. SEO stands for search engine optimization. A search engine analysis will show us where your site falls as far as search engine results as they relate to the key terms associated with your business. Once we know what the problem is, we can go about helping you fix it. Using some behind-the-scenes techniques and using text optimized for SEO, we can improve your ranking with the search engines, and improve your bottom line.
A couple more things to consider that will increase traffic to your website include adding social media links and a blog. Social media is an effective way to get more visitors to your site, and blogging gives your site fresh content (Google loves fresh content), and if your blog is informative (How to Do This, Why Is That), your site will come up when people are searching for answers.