How to build a killer website
Having a website for your business is no longer an option. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet as their primary means of finding information about products and services, Florida businesses, even small local ones, need an established web presence to attract customers. If you’ve looked at business websites, chances are that you’ve seen some pretty horrible ones. Sites with confusing designs and broken links will only turn off prospective customers. Having a website that turns customers away is even worse than having no website at all. When it comes to web design, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida businesses need design professionals they can depend on for attractive websites that are user-friendly.
Why the Web?
The Internet has taken the place of the phone book as consumers’ primary tool for finding the products and services they need. According to Fleishman-Hillard, 89 percent of consumers use a search engine such as Google or Bing to find information on products and services before making a purchase. However, search engines aren’t the only way consumers are researching businesses online. About 62 percent of consumers use social media sites to research businesses. Even most business to business purchases are starting online these days. About 70 percent of enterprise business purchases begin with a web search. The evolution of mobile web technology is only serving to accelerate the trend. Now, a majority of consumers can use their smartphones to find nearby restaurants, mechanics, retail stores, and more. Not having a website puts you at a significant disadvantage to competitors that have already established an online presence.
Elements of a Good Website
It’s not enough for a business to just have a website, businesses also need to ensure that their websites are easy-to-navigate and provide useful information. The website doesn’t have to be complicated and filled with complicated graphics and informational tools. All that a good website needs to do is provide important information that consumers would need to make decisions about purchasing your goods or services. Poorly designed business websites are a huge turn-off to consumers. According to Econsultancy, 40 percent of people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Retina-burning, garish colors, and hard-to-read type are also perceived negatively by consumers. Sites need to be visually attractive and industry appropriate. For instance, a website for a law firm will look a lot different than a website for a daycare. Businesses need to hire web design firms that will take the time to get to know their business and create a site that reflects that company’s personality and the image it wishes to portray.
When hiring a firm to oversee web design, Fort Lauderdale businesses should keep the following design elements in mind:
A site must be visually appealing, polished and professional. Remember, it's reflecting your company, your products, and your services. Your website may be the first, and only, impression a potential customer receives of your company. In general, a business site needs to make a good use of color, utilizing two to three colors that blend well together and don’t strike a tone that’s off-key from the image the company is trying to portray. Good, readable text is also important. Businesses should be sure to use a font and text size that is easy on the eyes and is not overshadowed by the color or graphics used on the site. Graphic elements are another key element. Pictures, charts, and similar elements are important and can add to the utility and aesthetic appeal of a website. Be sure all graphics work properly and avoid using too many graphics, as they can be distracting. If you use photos, make sure they are of good quality. One of the key things to remember is to avoid overloading visitors to your website with too many pictures, videos, tools, or text. Keep things as simple as possible. It’ll make your website not only easier to manage from a technical standpoint, it will also make it more accessible to your customers.
- Search Engine Optimization
Getting traffic to a company’s website is key to making it a successful marketing tool for a company. Web design experts can help a site move to the head of Google’s results page by strategic use of tools such as keywords, meta data, and more. Smart, ethical use of SEO can ensure that search engines notice your website first, allowing you to reach customers more effectively. A good Fort Lauderdale SEO firm can also help ensure that the technical infrastructure of a site stays intact, keeping broken links and other problems from pushing the site down on search result rankings.
Business websites need to be usable. Their technical infrastructure needs to be sound, and the page should load quickly with few lags. Web pages also need to be accessible to several web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Updating a business website with regular, quality content such as articles about the industry or links to related blogs will help make it more useful and relevant to consumers.
- Mobile friendly
A business website needs to be mobile friendly. An increasing number of consumers are using their smartphones as their primary method of connecting to the Internet. According to a recent report by Forbes, 5 billion people will be using mobile phones by 2017. Not all traditional websites are mobile friendly, and many smartphones will have difficulty loading these sites. Your company’s website needs to be easily accessible to smartphones and mobile devices in order to make them easy for potential customers to browse. As of April 21st 2015 Google has stated that you need a mobile website to rank well in mobile searches.